Schools at The National Poetry Library

Book a session for your school from our range of activities for primary and secondary students. These are aimed at different Key Stages and designed to support the school curriculum.

how to book

To book, call Southbank Centre Groups Ticket Office with your preferred date and class details.

Tel: 0844 875 0070 (9.30am – 5.30pm, Mon – Fri)

Or email us for more information about booking one of these sessions.

teacher resources

You can download resources to guide your own visit here or have a look at one of the workshops below.

Under 5s: Rug Rhymes


Rug Rhymes is a session for under 5s that takes place every Friday morning in term-time, 10.30am – 11am.

There are poems and songs alongside our resident puppets, Firebird and Federico. Rug Rhymes is free, just come along to The National Poetry Library Reading Den.



Lambeth Primary Schools: Poetry Explorers 


Every Tuesday in term-time we run  free shared sessions for Lambeth primary schools with Southbank Centre Gamelan Workshop. The National Poetry Library session (Poetry Explorers) allows children to explore different kinds of poetry (visual poetry, spoken poetry and poetry about animals), learn how to use an index in a book and how to find items in a library.

This two hour session runs from 10.30am - 12.30pm. A class of up to 30 children breaks into two groups, each group spending an hour in The National Poetry Library, and an hour in the Gamelan Room. Tell us your preferred date and class details quoting Lambeth Schools Gamelan Offer
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Wednesday School Sessions


On Wednesdays 11am – 1pm, we can offer a session for any UK school.  Choose from the following:

Primary School Poetry Explorers 

A class of up to 30 breaks into two groups with each group spending an hour doing Poetry Explorers in the library and a second hour doing the Poetry Word Search, an activity in which children find words across the site to create their own poem. 

Letters Home

Young students get a chance to discover alternative approaches to poetry that were created by poets during the First World War.

Students read poems from this period and also write their own. They learn about Imagist poetry, visual poetry, typography and sound poetry.

Secondary Schools Key Stage 3: The Poetry Box

The Poetry Box activity links poetry and science. This activity encourages students to experiment with writing their own poetry inspired by an interactive box, where they view microscopic slides.

Secondary Schools Key Stages 4 and 5:  Teacher-led sessions

Teachers are very welcome to use the library as a resource for leading their own sessions. We can help by preparing books on a given theme or type of poetry. Please email us if you are interested in setting up one of these sessions for your students.

Secondary Schools Key Stage 5: A Dictionary Story

This activity for A-level students is based around a visual poetry book by Sam Winston which invites students to think about the relationship between visual art and poetry and specifically around the idea of visual poetry.