The Palace House Literacy Project

4th July 2017

Beautiful poems have been written by members of All Saints Primary School as part of The Palace House Literacy Project.

Children in years 2, 4 and 6 from All Saints school have worked over six sessions img_6877with performance poet, Justin Coe, in activities to support the enrichment and understanding of vocabulary which will ultimately develop writing and understanding of text. The children have worked with Justin both in the classroom and in the galleries at the National Heritage Centre, even taking inspiration from the live horses in the Rothschild Yard. They have produced individual and group poems which they performed as part of a poetry tour of the galleries of the Heritage Centre during the special show case event on 7th June, which will not only celebrate their achievements but also highlight the value of working with Heritage Centre collections.

The Palace House Literacy Project fulfils our commitment to work with local derby-day2schools to improve literacy skills, using our collections as a stimulus and focus. This pilot project will form the basis of a replicable resource which can be used by many schools when visiting and will provide a legacy in the form of an easily accessible resource for teachers.

This poem was inspired by a famous racing painting by William Powell Frith called Derby Day - which really captures the spirit of the Epsom Derby.

On Derby Day

On Derby Day, on Derby Day,

The whole of London on display

The whole of London comes to play

On Epsom Downs, on Derby Day.

I am Cedric Phillips,

Make me interested,

You want me to buy your flowers?

Well, you’ll need more persuasive powers

Than just a plea.

Look at me, look at her! I don’t care.

I look better than everyone,

Slouching here against the carriage

Wearing my lady’s scarf

What a laugh!

I am Cedric Phillips,

Make me interested.

On Derby Day, on Derby Day,

The whole of London on display

The whole of London comes to play

On Epsom Downs, on Derby Day.

The lobster on the platter next to the pie,

Says, ‘I didn’t know I was going to die!

I can see those scruffy kids, eyeing me up,

Ready to rip me up and gobble me up.

The child’s distracted from the act,

His dad’s awkwardly annoyed and that’s a fact

Holding his arms out for a hug

Waiting there on the rug

And here I am, ready for lunch.

Goodbye cruel world,

Crunch, crunch, crunch

On Derby Day, on Derby Day,

The whole of London on display

The whole of London comes to play

On Epsom Downs, on Derby Day.

I’m Mr Mystery (the thimble rigger)

Roll up, roll up,

try your luck (even though there’s none)

Bring a shilling, if you’re willing

To try the impossible

For one shilling, you can win a lot of money,

(But if you lose, it will be funny)

Ha ha ha

On Derby Day, on Derby Day,

The whole of London on display

The whole of London comes to play

On Epsom Downs, on Derby Day.