An English teacher from West Kirby Grammar School has transformed her department by completing a leadership course to help re-introduce students to poetry.

Jennifer Bigg-wither completed the Level 1 Subject Leadership Certificate accreditation with education charity, the PTI.

As part of the Subject Leadership Certificate with the PTI, Jennifer created a new lesson introducing students to poetry.

Jennifer found that many students had a negative pre-conception of poetry and based on academic research, she realised that one of the causes of this was teachers selecting specific poems to focus on in isolation and not providing students with a wider library.

Jennifer said she constructed her lesson around poetry anthologies to expose the students to more than just a singular poem by an author to allow them to draw comparisons between works.

Jennifer told the Globe: “The students were very comfortable with the poetry and drew comparisons between both poets as a whole not just between specific poems.

“With this new lesson, they have found a new appreciation for poetry both inside and outside of the classroom."

The unit started by focusing on Andrew McMillan’s Physical and Roger Robinson’s A Portable Paradise before developing to a comparative unit looking at selected works of Philip Larkin and Carol Ann Duffy.

The 18-month course helped Jennifer to increase teaching expertise while working with experienced practitioners to design new and challenging lessons for students.  

Chris Pope, Co-Director, The PTI, said: “The PTI are delighted to be celebrating the work of teachers completing our Subject Leadership Certificate, especially since this challenging work required further reshaping due to the pandemic and remote learning.

“This is a fantastic achievement for teachers who have gone above and beyond to engage more deeply in their subject and expand their expertise.

“It is good to see that this has not only inspired teachers but has helped students with their passion for learning.”