Inasmuch as all schools recognise the importance of the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development of pupils, Durston has, for many years, taken a pride in promoting all that is good and worthy with regard to the cultural practices of our country. The oral tradition of verse speaking is one such example; all boys in Junior, Middle and Upper School take part in the very popular Verse Speaking Competition, which is held during the week of the annual Durston House Literary Festival.
Boys choose their own poems and prepare to recite them to their English classes, in the first instance. Later, semi-finals are held before our finalists are chosen and the stage is set for a Verse Speaking Final, in front of the school. Confidence, clarity, humour, pathos – boys are keen to demonstrate their proficiency in delivering a range of emotions in an event that is an eagerly anticipated feature of the school calendar.
The power of the word, the art of prosody, the delight in effectively taking possession of a small part of our literary heritage are potent reminders of what we seek to achieve when we engage with an enduring aspect of our culture.