A GROUP of Highbridge students are taking their poetry talents to the streets in a bid to encourage locals to learn and perform the craft.

Students at The King Alfred School Academy are taking part in The Poetry By Heart, a national competition designed to encourage pupils aged 14-18 and at school and college in England to learn and to recite poems by heart.

The pupils have been hard at work writing their own poetry and have persuaded an Elvis tribute act to recite poetry, the whole of Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, and even lifeguards reciting At The Seaside by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Barbers, greengrocers and hairdressers in the area are among some of the businesses who are signed up to the scheme and every Friday lunchtime students at the school meet up to take part in in The Poetry By Heart Competition.

Becky Dalziel, an English Teacher, helped to start the initiative in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge in December 2019 and said a Facebook group devoted to the project already has more than 90 members.

“It became obvious that our lifeguards should share with my students the pleasure of being at the seaside by Robert Louis Stevenson. I haven't just stopped there.

"We have the entire Burnham and Highbridge Town Council reciting poetry.

“When one of my Year 11 GCSE English Literature students said: ‘Why would I want to learn a whole poem by heart?’ I did the obvious thing, I made a shopping list and I popped down to town for some inspiration.

“Poetry needs to be more than reading - you need to experience, linger and enjoy the whole poem.

“We are encouraging the whole area to get behind this scheme.

"If you learn a poem by heart then it’s in your head and heart forever, and you can take it anywhere with you.

"We have a doctor of poetry in our department at school and poetry is a massive part of our curriculum. They have to learn quotes for GCSE so why not make it fun?

For more information visit poetrybyheart.org.uk.