A WATERLOOVILLE school is gearing up to host the regional finals of a poetry competition.
Students from across Hampshire will gather at Oaklands Catholic School tonight (Thursday) to compete in the National Poetry By Heart Competition.
The initiative was launched by former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion in 2012 as a way of encouraging talented pupils to learn and recite poems by heart.
Youngsters aged 14 to 18 will recite a pre-1914 poem and a First World War or post-1914 poem before the winner is declared.
They will then go on to compete in the national finals in Cambridge in March.
Participating schools include Mayville High School, St Edmunds Catholic School, Crookhorn College of Technology and Chichester High School For Girls.
Competitors need to arrive at Oaklands for 6.30pm and the event will get underway from 7pm.
Sir Andrew, who plays a lead role in Poetry by Heart, said: ‘Poetry By Heart has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2013.
‘Many thousands of students have not only learned great poems for life but they have also shared them with friends and families in the inspiring and moving performances that are at the heart of every competition. ‘I am constantly surprised and delighted by the quality of the students’ achievements.’
The night at Oaklands Catholic School and Sixth Form College in Stakes Hill Road, Waterlooville, starts at 7pm and free to attend. The public are welcome.