For the second year running, Cokethorpe School entered the national Poetry by Heart competition with all pupils from the Senior School participating. Finals were held on Wednesday 4 December for Lower House and Thursday 5 December for Third Form to Fifth Form in the Cranham Library.
Lower First was first up, and immediately the bar was set, the audience enthralled and the judges becoming increasingly concerned about the need to decide upon eventual winners. Then Upper First pupils took on the challenge; there was humour, drama and such an intensity to some performances that everyone was moved in one way or another.
The following day pupils from the Third Form to Fifth Form performed their poetry. The standard was so high because students were not just reciting memorised poems – they were reciting the meaning as if the texts were their own compositions. Echoing the words of Chief Judge and Housemaster Mr Walwyn, the competition was not difficult to judge; it was almost impossible. However winners finally had to be chosen and the results were as follows:
From Lower House;
1st Lukas Russell (Upper First, Gascoigne)
2nd Frankie Brown (Lower First, Vanbrugh)
3rd Michaela Logue (Upper First, Vanbrugh)
From Third Form to Fifth Form;
1st Louisa Mattinson (Third Form, Harcourt)
2nd Charlie Hodges (Fourth Form, Queen Anne)
3rd Tied between Ben Foster (Fourth Form, Vanbrugh) and Matthew Ellacott (Fourth Form, Fielden)
From the Sixth Form, Katie Buckley (Upper Sixth, Harcourt) will represent the school in the County Final.