Noremarsh Junior School Poetry Slam judged by world champion

By Jessica Durston - 11 November 2022

EducationPrimaryArts and Culture
  • Harry Baker with students (L-R) Rosie, Nathan and Max

    Harry Baker with students (L-R) Rosie, Nathan and Max

As part of the Ascend Learning Trust Rise Up challenge, Noremarsh Junior School hosted a collaborative Poetry Slam event, which was judged by world champion Harry Baker.

Harry Baker

Harry Baker hosted and judged the event, which saw four representatives (aged from school years 5 - 8) from each school, participating.

Ascend Learning Trust Schools taking part in the event included Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, Kingsbury Green Academy, The Wellington Academy, Lawn Manor Academy, Wellington Eagles, Wellington Lions and Noremarsh Junior School.

Poetry Slam champion Harry Baker performed some of his world-famous poetry including ‘The Sunshine Kid’, as well as leading a workshop encouraging students to write and share their own poetry. He then organised a Poetry Slam between the participating schools.

For the poetry slam, each performer was given a maximum of 3 minutes to perform. Once everyone had performed Harry, Hilary MacMeekin (headteacher of Noremarsh Juniors) and Steve Kneller (Deputy CEO of Ascend Learning Trust)  deliberated and decided on the winners. 

The winner was announced as Nathan from Royal Wootton Bassett Academy who gained the prestigious title of Ascend Poetry Slam Champion. Max from Noremarsh Junior School came in second and Rosie from The Wellington Academy as third place.

Nathan said: “I have always liked writing, it was a fabulous experience! It was amazing meeting Harry.”

Pupils who took part on the day were said to have been thrilled to have the opportunity of working with such a famous poet. One student commented: “The way he recites the poetry is really cool, he gave me some useful tips on how to improve my performance ready for the afternoon slam.”

Another pupil added: “He’s really funny and puts his humor into his readings, my favorite was ‘Dinosaur Love, it’s definitely made me want to write more poetry.”

The Noremarsh team said Harry Baker's heart and humor has been watched by millions online and allowed him to perform all over the world. Famous for combining his love of maths with poetry he was the youngest ever winner of the World Poetry Slam Championships in 2012 which has allowed him to travel the world and write poetry full time.

Harry explains his passion for poetry: “For me, poetry has been the ultimate way of ideas without frontiers. The people who inspired me were the ones with amazing stories. I could create these worlds where I could talk about my experiences and dreams and beliefs.”

Talking about working with schools he added: “It's one of my favorite things to do as I remember the impact writing had on me when I was in school.”

Head teacher Hilary Macmeekin who organized the event said: “It was such an enormous privilege for me to be able to host the first Rise Up event for our trust, bringing together a talented group of your writers and performers from across our schools. What they achieved in the morning is incredible. I am really looking forward to making this an annual event”

For more information on Noremarsh Junior School, individuals can visit

The School is proud to be part of Ascend Learning Trust. For more information on the Trust, people can visit

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