The Poetry Society says: Pupils who read and write poems become skilled in using language carefully…..The language skills they gain will benefit them in all areas of the curriculum and beyond. We couldn’t agree more…

At The Story Room, we believe that both writing and reading poetry is good for children at all stages of development. That is why we promote poetry in our workshops for new writers to teen writers.

If your child is preparing for their 11-plus we recommend that you read poetry with them. Other than being enjoyable, it will help familiarise them with different types of poems that have been written through the ages and will help expand their vocabulary and develop analytical skills. A comprehension on a poem can be daunting (and hard) if your child is not familiar with poetry and has not read or studied poetry before. 

Here is a short list of classic poems that your child could read in their 11-plus preparation which hopefully they will enjoy, inspiring them to read more and to continue to read them beyond their exams.  These poems can be read out loud at home and discussed with family members. Some tell a story, some are descriptive, but all are classics that have stood the test of time. 

The Way through the Woods – Rudyard Kipling

A Smuggler’s Song – Rudyard Kipling 

The Pied Piper of Hamlin – Robert Browning 

The Listeners –  Walter de la Mare

The Highwayman – Alfred Noyes

You are Old Father William – Lewis Carroll

The Scarecrow – Walter de la Mare

Something Told the Wild Geese  – Rachel Field

Night Mail – W.H. Auden 

From a Railway Carriage – Robert Louis Stevenson

Many of these poems can be found in The Puffin Book of Twentieth-Century Children’s Verse (Edited by Brian Patten). 

Happy Reading!