Over 700 children find their rhythm at poetry event

Over 700 primary schoolchildren found their rhythm at a poetry outreach event organised by King Edward’s School on Thursday, 14 October 2021.

The children, who came from 18 primary schools across the city and the wider region, attended one of three sessions held on the day with Hip Hop artist, performance poet and author, Karl Nova.

Karl shared his inspirational story, talking about his journey from the UK to Nigeria and back again, finding his voice, and speaking from the heart. The audience were also treated to performances of his work, much to the delight of the children attending.

Reactions from Year 6 pupils at Park Hill Primary School, one of 14 state primary schools that attended, included: “Karl’s beatboxing and singing was astonishing – I was dumbstruck when I saw how talented he was”; “It was amazing because I’ve never seen a person that famous before”; and “Thunderstruck, simply thunderstruck!”

The school’s Ruddock Performing Arts Centre provided the venue for the event, seating up to 300 children at each of the sessions, and giving Karl plenty of space to perform.

“I’m amazed that a school has such a fantastic facility and is so keen to share it in a meaningful way with the local community,” said Karl. “I’ve always loved Birmingham and I’ve really enjoyed speaking to so many children throughout the course of the day – I hope they’ve enjoyed it too!”

The author visit is the first large-scale outreach event organised by King Edward’s School since the pandemic began.

Graham Watson, Director of Outreach at King Edward’s School, said: “Being able to welcome so many children back onto our site has been an absolute pleasure. The children were captivated by Karl and it was wonderful to see so many happy, smiling faces. I would like to thank Karl for giving his time and energy so freely, the feedback we have already received from the primary schools has been amazing!”

Staff and boys from King Edward’s are involved in the delivery of the school’s outreach programme, which pre-pandemic engaged with over 13,000 children from more than 200 primary schools across the region. Activities provided range from chess tournaments and science workshops to maths competitions and music concerts, all of which are free to attend.

Find out more about the school’s outreach programme and how to get involved.