National Poetry Day 2020

Headington girls revelled in a feast of poetry for National Poetry Day.

To tie in with this year’s theme of vision, the English Department encouraged pupils to “see it like a poet”, beginning in tutor time with the Haiku Challenge, drawing on the Japanese poetic form which is based on looking at the physical world and seeing something deeper. Girls and staff submitted their 17-syllable reflections to our online Haiku Generator, producing over 300 haikus in a single day. You can see some of our favourites below and at

In English lessons, girls in U3-U4 also wrote their own ‘vision’ poems about places they loved, drawing inspiration from WH Auden’s ‘On This Island’ – the staff were blown away by their eye for detail. Everyone in the school community has the opportunity to enter their poems into our Whole-School Poetry Competition run by the English Department and our creative writing magazine, Folio.

There’s still one final event to look forward to, which is the Online House Poetry Slam, for which pupils are currently preparing. Each competitive house will present a video performance of an original poem on the theme of vision, which will be adjudicated by Headingtonian and award-winning performance poet, Tina Sederholm. This event will premiere on YouTube in the week before half-term.

Head of English Mr Stephen Dilley said: “The House Poetry Slam is always a highlight in the School’s literary calendar, and we are very excited to see what our talented students will produce for this year’s slightly different event!”