Poetry by Heart announced as Headline Sponsor of the Great Oracy Exhibition 2023

Voice 21 is delighted to announce Poetry by Heart as its Headline Sponsor for the Great Oracy Exhibition taking place 10 October 2023 in Manchester.

Poetry by Heart is a free national poetry speaking competition for schools and colleges, open to all pupils in key stages 2 to 5. Participating in Poetry By Heart is all about developing confidence with poetry in an enjoyable, accessible and engaging way. As its name suggests, the competition encourages students to learn a poem by memory and perform it to an audience. For over ten years, thousands of students have participated in the competition and developed numerous skills in the process, from confidence, focus, independence, language building, and of course, oracy.

The Great Oracy Exhibition is the UK’s largest oracy festival and is a vibrant, energising and inspiring celebration of oracy-related thinking and practice. The day showcases the work of many schools in Voice 21’s national network of over a thousand schools with over 20 varied and motivating sessions.

Voice 21 CEO Beccy Earnshaw says, “Poetry By Heart are the perfect headline sponsors for our Great Oracy Exhibition as the competition supports students to develop and perfect their oracy skills. Learning how to present to an audience, how to manage pace and timing, as well as developing eye contact, body language and gesture, are all crucial ingredients in developing effective spoken communication. But most importantly, we love how Poetry by Heart has taken a concept that had fallen out of fashion and transformed it into a thriving national competition that students from all backgrounds can benefit from and enjoy.

Dr Julie Blake, founder and co-director of Poetry By Heart says, ‘Poetry and oracy go hand in hand as Poetry By Heart demonstrates, both in the opportunities the competition creates for public speaking but also in those rich conversations and discussions that happen beforehand as young people choose and explore the poems that speak to them. We are delighted to be headline sponsors for the Great Oracy Exhibition and excited to be working with Voice 21, an organisation we very much admire and whose aims, particularly around equality of opportunity, align with our own.’

The Great Oracy Exhibition takes place on 10 October 2023 at Kings House Conference Centre, Manchester, UK.

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