Children as young as five shine at poetry reciting contest

Off By Heart winners with judges Alex Crossley and Andrea Rix.

Off By Heart winners with judges Alex Crossley and Andrea Rix.

First published in

THREE talented children are celebrating after winning a poetry reading contest at their village primary school.

Hyde Primary held its sixth annual Off By Heart competition, where children as young as five learned and recited a poem with judges taking particular note of presentation, expression and imaginative use of costumes and props.

This year’s judges were former teacher Andrea Rix, who set up the first Off By Heart, and one of the school’s ex-pupils Alex Crossley, now in Burgate’s sixth form, who was awarded a place with the National Youth Theatre at the age of 14.

The judges chose Eliza Cowdery as the worthy winner of Class One, Charlie Woodley as Class Two’s proud victor with Faye Ward-Jones taking top place in Class Three.

They each won a trophy as well having their names engraved on the plaque hanging in the school lobby.

The school is passionate about the arts, encouraging pupils to perform to increase their self-confidence and imaginative and presentation skills.

Headteacher Julie Dalziell said: “The standard of the Off By Heart competition this year was incredibly high.

“It never fails to astonish me how immensely brave, confident and talented our children are – the youngest of whom, performing for the first time, was only five years old.

“They should all be very proud of themselves.”

The school is holding a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on the Common at 3pm on Friday, June 27, to which the public is invited.

It will hold its summer show at 2pm and 7pm on Thursday, July 10 at Ibsley Village Hall.

Visit for further information.

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