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Performance Poetry

On 22nd June people across the UK celebrate Windrush Day… but what is it all about?

Who are the Windrush generation and why are they so important?


Watch this video to find out more 




John Agard is playwright, poet and children’s writer. He was born on the Caribbean island of Guyana and he now lives in Britain.

Listen to his poem Windrush Child.




1. What do you think the poem is about?


2 Which words or phrases tell you what the Windrush child left behind?


3. What sort of place was it?


4. Who will the child miss?


5. Why is the child’s grandmother important to them?


6. 'Windrush child' is repeated four times in the first four verses of the poem. Why do you think the poet chose to do this?


7. Can you find another repetition or echo in the poem? Why do you think the poet chose to do this?


8. Do you like the poem? Why/why not?

What actions could you use to represent the palm trees waving goodbye? What about the blue water rolling by?

Think of actions to represent the sections that are highlighted in yellow.


Now practise performing the poem with actions to your adult.


Windrush Child by John Agard

Behind you

Windrush child

palm trees wave goodbye


above you

Windrush child

seabirds asking why


around you

Windrush child

blue water rolling by


beside you

Windrush child

your Windrush mum and dad


think of storytime yard

and mango mornings


and new beginnings

doors closing and opening


will things turn out right?

At least the ship will arrive

in midsummer light


and you Windrush child

think of grandmother

telling you don't forget to write


and with one last hug

walk good walk good

and the sea's wheel carries on spinning


and from that place England

you tell her in a letter

of your Windrush adventure


stepping in a big ship

not knowing how long the journey

or that you're stepping into history


bringing your Caribbean eye

to another horizon

grandmother's words your shining beacon


learning how to fly

the kite of your dreams

in an English sky

Windrush child

walking good walking good

in a mind-opening

meeting of snow and sun