Words of Wight: My Island Life

Isle of Wight Spoken Word Competition for Schools


What is it?

All children from IOW schools are invited to enter a Spoken Word competition as part of IOW Day 2017.

Entries will be divided into age groups:

Primary 4-7years

Junior 8-11years

Secondary 12-15 years

Young Adult 16 -18 years

Individual or team entries

Words of Wight IOW Day

Download a School Pack

Each school is to select one person or group entry in each of their relevant age groups to put forward for the final judging. From this group of finalists  one winner will be chosen in each age group. The age group winners will perform at Island’s got Talent on 23/09/17 and an overall winner selected.

We encourage each school to hold their own competition to select their entrant for the final for the relevant age group(s). IOW Day will facilitate schools in contacting local media to cover their individual competitions in the press.

  • Register your school Words of Wight competition on iowday.com schools page

  • Tweet your competition and school winner using #IOWDay2017

  • Add to our Facebook page isleofwightday

  • Add to your school Facebook page and website

  • ContactThe County Press

  • Contact Isle of Wight Radio Mark the subject line of your email “iowday 2017 Schools”. Schools can send an audio file attachment of their winning entry plus names of the pupil[s] in this email together with details of your own school competition. Please ensure you have relevant parental permissions


Register your entry below

Entry age group

I/We accept our Terms and Conditions

Spoken Word?

Performance of poetry and prose (focusing on word play, intonation and inflection) without music. The performance is as important as the content.

Work should be based on the theme My Island Life  

It can include:

Short prose Rhymed prose
Poem Haiku
Limericks Ode
Rap MCing

and anything else within the broad definition of prose and poetry performed aloud. Poetry slam competitions give a great idea of what can be created.

Time limit of 3 minutes. Entries should preferably be filmed or audio recorded and uploaded to our website.


Launch by 7th April 2017

Entries by 18th July 2017

Winners announced 5th September 2017

Winners of each age group will perform at Island’s got Talent 23rd September 2017


All entrants will receive an IOW day certificate

The winners will receive a trophy to keep


We would love each school to select a pupil to be their school liaison ambassador for IOW Day, with a staff member supporter if needed. They will have access to the IOW Day team member for schools who can provide them with information and resources to spread the word about IOW Day and their school involvement in the Spoken Word competition.

Karen Rivlin

What is Isle of Wight Day?

Isle of Wight Day is the one day each year when the whole community is encouraged to come together to celebrate all that is great about this special place, creating our own Red Nose Day by raising funds for deserving local causes.

Words of Wight; Schools’ Role

This competition will enable schools to ensure pupil voices are heard as an important part of Isle of Wight Day.

Schools have an essential role in our community and are often central in making links with local community groups and organisations. By participating in this competition pupils will be able to make a positive contribution to the celebrations and create an archive of material which can be used to communicate the shared values we have about our Island and why it is special to residents and visitors.

It is anticipated that entry in this competition and creation of these Spoken Word pieces will encourage pupils to reflect on their identity as part of the schools Citizenship education.

We anticipate that this project could be incorporated into programmes of study by contributing to work in the following areas in an exciting way.

National Curriculum Spoken English Targets

English Key Stage 1 & 2: Spoken Language years 1 to 6
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
  • Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and 
  • Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  • Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.


English Key Stage 3: Spoken Language

  • Giving short speeches and presentations, expressing their own ideas and keeping to the point
  • Improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate language and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact.
  • English Programmes of Study Key Stage 4

Pupils will develop skills to speak confidently, audibly and effectively, including through:

  •  working effectively in groups of different sizes and taking on required roles, including leading and managing discussions, involving others productively, reviewing and summarising, and contributing to meeting goals/deadlines
  • improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate language and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact.

Resources and Inspiration

Primary Schools

Any writing which is enhanced by being read aloud:

  • Nursery Rhymes

  • Playground and clapping games

  • Lewis Carroll especially Jabberwocky

  • Dr Seuss

  • Edward Lear

  • AA Milne

  • Roald Dahl

  • Hilaire Belloc

  • Janet & Allan Ahlberg

  • Michael Rosen- his website michaelrosen.co.uk has clips of him reading aloud

  • www.poetrylibrary.org.uk

  • www.poetrysociety.org has a section for young poets including Page Fright for performance poetry


Secondary Schools (and older primary pupils)

  • BBC Radio has lots of resources on their website- search Spoken Word and Words First.

  • SLAMbassadors UK organisation to encourage 12-18 year olds in slam poetry creation and performance. They offer masses of resources and will provide school workshops poetrysocietry.org SLAMbassadors under the Competitions tab.

  • Also https://ypn.poetrysociety.org.uk/features/discover-some-sensational-spoken-word-artists/

  • youthspeaks.org (not the UK version which is more formal public speaking) they have clips from their teen poetry slam on vimeo and youtube

  • poetrylibrary.org.uk www.project-voice.net

  • scottishbooktrust.com/blog/teachers-librarians/2015/08/8-brilliant-slam-poetry-performances-on-youtube

  • Become a slam poet in 5 steps- Gayle Danley on TedEd.com

  • Tedx poetry slam

  • A few performers to get you started

  • Benjamin Zephaniah, Sarah Kay, Phil Kaye, Noah St John, Harry Baker (he’s English!)- A love poem for lonely prime numbers on Ted.com

  • And one for the teachers! Taylor Mali- What Teachers Make on TED and Youtube (Warning : small bit of swearing at the end)