King Alfred teacher wins outstanding engagement award for poetry competition entry

PUBLISHED: 11:00 29 April 2020

Becky Dalziel from King Alfred School Academy during filming of BBC Breakfast seqment in aid of Poetry by Heart competition. Picture: Mark Newman

Becky Dalziel from King Alfred School Academy during filming of BBC Breakfast seqment in aid of Poetry by Heart competition. Picture: Mark Newman


An English teacher who organised a Somerset town’s entry into a national poetry competition has been recognised with an award.

King Alfred School Academy teacher Becky Dalziel led Burnham and Highbridge’s entry in the Poetry by Heart 2019-20 competition, which was featured on BBC1’s Breakfast programme in February.

The national Poetry by Heart competition from the Poetry Society aims to encourage children and communities to learn and love poetry.

Ms Dalziel was recognised for her contribution to the competition with a ‘special award for outstanding engagement’.

She said: “We were thrilled to hear our town and the school had won the award for outstanding engagement from the hundreds of schools who entered.

“It’s a testament not only to the brilliance of pupils who recited their poems so beautifully but also to the people who supported them.

“It was so exciting welcoming BBC Breakfast and we received lots of letters from people around the country saying how much they enjoyed watching our children, Mayor, Vicar, lifeboat cox and residents enjoying poetry.

“It just shows what a wonderfully supportive community we have.”

The BBC breakfast segment was filmed in Burnham and saw members of the community reciting poetry at King Alfred School, the Princess Theatre, St Andrew’s Church, the RNLI station and the seafront.

At the time, Burnham’s Mayor, Cllr Andy Brewer, who featured on the broadcast, said: “It’s been great to see such a variety of people from Burnham and Highbridge getting involved with Poetry by Heart through the encouragement of Becky at King Alfred’s School.

“While I’m more of a technical person, I’ve been really pleased to support this initiative within the community as there are benefits for all of us, ranging from helping school pupils to develop an appreciation of literature and the arts to helping older members of the community who have memory difficulties. I’ve also learned that poetry can be fun.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to all our residents who got involved with Poetry by Heart and especially to the pupils and staff at King Alfred’s School.”

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