A school visit with Sparky Mark

Holy Trinity CYP

In the run up to the Festival, our Children and Young People’s Team has been busy taking some poetry magic into local schools. One of their recent events was held at Holy Trinity School in Priorslee, in conjunction with Redhill Primary School, where sixty children were entertained by poet Mark Niel, aka Sparky Mark (who will be performing on Sunday, 24 April at 10 am, as part of our fun-packed free programme in our new Children’s Marquee).

Thirty of the children got up on stage to perform their own poems. Mark also sang a special ballad which took a line from each child’s poem and had been created by our CYP Co-ordinator Sarah Povall. The children were delighted to recognise snippets of their poems and the adults present were visibly moved.

The children loved Mark’s rendition of his poem My Teacher is an Alien and eagerly joined in the actions and chorus, but the absolute favourite was Mark’s amazing on-the-spot musical poems based on individual children’s names. Leo was a superhero, Gabrielle fell down a well, Ellie had a giant wellie, Minnie drove her fast car, Cameron went to London and Edward was very, very good. Mr Hodkinson, Year 5 teacher, was nominated to have an impromptu poem written about him, to much hilarity. Thank you for being a good sport, Mr H! – and thank you Redhill and Holy Trinity for such a fabulous morning of music and poetry.

The schools are also taking part in the Festival’s Poetry Bunting project and were able to see their poems hanging on a washing line, ready to join the poetry bunting from ten other local primary schools, writing groups and Brownie packs in our free Children’s Marquee on the Church Green over the Festival weekend.


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