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Rugby High School Student Wins National Competition

Ameera Hashmi wins Poetry by Heart competition after performing at The Globe Theatre

Poetry by Heart is a national poetry speaking competition for schools and colleges, open to all pupils in key stages 2 to 5. Taking part in Poetry By Heart is all about developing confidence with poetry in an enjoyable, accessible and engaging way. Students have to learn two poems by heart and polish their recitiations for performance.

Ameera Hashmi, Year 12, said "Words can't do justice to the sheer thrill and magic of performing on the Globe stage - it was truly surreal to be on the other side of the curtain and share such a wonderfully intimate connection with the (visible!) audience and poet judges while playing my character, The Cleaner. The energy in the theatre was electric!"

Ameera added "I want to thank Poetry by Heart and the Rugby High School English Department for giving me this incredible opportunity - the journey was so special and I had the privilege of befriending like-minded students too! It was an unforgettable day and a memory I'll always cherish."

RHS English teacher Rachel Danks said “We are so proud of Ameera for winning the prestigious national Poetry By Heart poetry recitation competition. Ameera has been committed to Poetry By Heart since she was in year 10 and has grown from year to year in the maturity and sensitivity of her recitations. The poems she chose this year were challenging and funny and allowed Ameera to convey a range of attitudes and emotions, which she did with carefully controlled decisions about her voice, facial expression and gesture. Most importantly, she delivered them with heart.  The judges in the school competition knew she had a real talent and it's wonderful that Ameera has had this confirmed by a team of wonderful poetry legends at the national final, arranged by the brilliant Poetry By Heart organisers. Huge congratulations to Ameera.”

We have a successful track record in the Poetry by Heart competitions with former student Elise Scotney winning the competition in 2021. Elise was then invited to read to the Education Secretary in The Rose Garden at 10 Downing Street on National Poetry Day. Another Rugby High School student, Miriam Clements, was Runner up of Poetry by Heart in 2022 and and was asked to read her poems on the stage at The Globe on National Poetry Day, and invited to watch a performance of The Tempest in the evening.