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At West Didsbury, we are extremely passionate about poetry and exposing our children to a variety of genres and poets, both classic and contemporary.

We read poetry for enjoyment regularly and we have carefully selected poetry to perform, study and inspire writing in class. We have an annual visit from a poet each January where the whole school is immersed in performing and writing poetry which is a highlight of the academic year.

Children in WDCE focus on poetry on a termly basis in guided reading. This is recorded as part of the carousel or whole class reading and is banding appropriate.

The reading spine in each year group has a selection of poetry books that are read to the children for pleasure.

The poems below are studied in class and are used for a performance focus or to inspire writing and each year group also has a genre of poetry to focus in on.


Year group Poems


 Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett

The Sharing Shell by Julia Donaldson

The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon

Year 1 - List poems

If you should meet a crocodile

The Sound Collector by Roger McGough

Queue for the Zoo by Clare Bevan

The Old Woman who Swallowed a Fly

Year 2 - Free verse

The Magic Box by Kit Wright

The Christmas Pine by Julia Donaldson

If I were King by AA Milne

B is for Birthday Erika Shields

Year 3 - Haiku

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou

The School Kid’s Rap by John Forster

Louder by Roger Stevens

A Little Prayer by Pat Mora

The Old Pond

Year 4 - Kennings

Chocolate cake by Michael Rosen

Twas the night before Christmas

The British by Benjamin Zephaniah

Year 5 - Concrete poems

I wandered lonely as a cloud by Wordsworth

When colours spoke by Grace Nichols

While shepherds watched their flocks by night

Year 6 - Cinquains 

The Tyger by William Blake

The map is not the territory by Austin Kleon

Snow by Adelaide Crapsey

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