INSET training

Our INSET sessions, taught by experienced poets, provide a high quality professional development opportunity to teachers. Working imaginatively with poetry in the classroom is a very effective way of learning about language and raising standards in literacy.


Poetry Train was a training programme designed by the Poetry Society that provided a poetry intervention to support student teachers who will go on to teach in primary schools. The findings showed that as these students move into their teaching careers, they are more likely to try to teach poetry creatively than they would have been in the absence of the Poetry Train intervention;students in the group interviews described themselves as more ‘adventurous’ and ‘willing to take risks’ with poetry. Read the NFER's executive summary here.

Book a poet to come to your school to lead workshops with your students or to lead an INSET. 

Explore our Poetryclass resources to find creative strategies for the teaching of poetry.

Contact the Education Team for more information or for the full report.

The Poetry Train project was made possible by funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Our INSET gives teachers an opportunity to 'be creative' and experience the writing process themselves, stimulated and supported by professional writers.

For free lesson plans, articles, interviews and all kinds of resources for teachers to adapt and use with confidence in their own schemes of work, please see the resources pages.

'Without a doubt the most enjoyable, inspiring and empowering training day I have ever experienced.'

To book an INSET training session in your school or to find out more, please read the description below and email [email protected] or call 020 7420 9880.

INSET Description

The Poetry Society has devised exciting ways to help teachers enable students of all abilities to develop their understanding of poetry and to improve their writing.

The main focus of our INSET is on poetry writing, but the principles of good writing are relevant to all disciplines and across the curriculum. Poetryclass methods also develop speaking and listening skills, and offer new techniques for improving students' performance of their own work.

'I have been amazed at the quality of language used by pupils in both poetry and prose since using the ideas I gained on the course.'

We'll help to select a suitable poet to deliver your INSET session, drawing on our UK-wide database of experienced and published poets who are well versed in the problems associated with teaching poetry. Between them they have hundreds of tried-and-tested ideas for approaching poetry in the classroom and overcoming preconceived ideas of poetry as 'stuffy', 'dry' and 'difficult'.
Many of these poets have written training packs and resource materials which are available on this website.

The service works in two main ways:
• In-school: a school can buy in the services of a poet for the day, to deliver training to its staff. This can be combined with classroom work, offering opportunities for skillsharing.
• One-day course: set up in partnership with an LEA adviser, this offers the chance for schools in the area to buy a place for an individual teacher.

The training can be tailored to meet your specific needs. We can offer a range of options including working with GCSE anthologies, exploring poetry across the curriculum, developing skills through poetry with target groups, or simply to inspire the reading and writing of poetry more widely.

'inspiring... a very creative experience, something teachers don’t often get!'

• A toolkit of tried-and-tested techniques designed to get students thinking, writing, redrafting and editing.
• Ideas for developing students' oral work and performance skills.
• Ideas for differentiation and progression.
• Opportunities to raise questions and concerns.
• Information about resources, opportunities for publication, competitions, further training.
• A copy of one of these highly acclaimed books for each participant (limit 12 books per School Booking): The Poetry Book for Primary Schools or Jumpstart Poetry in the Secondary School

The Poetry Society's Poetryclass project supports educators, poets and parents in using poetry for learning. Please browse below for the kinds of support we can offer.

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 020 7420 9880