PUPILS and staff at staff at ten schools in York and North Yorkshire have embraced their inner poets.

Hundreds and pupils and staff got involved with a poetry competition which looked forward to life after lockdown – with all proceeds from the sale of a poetry book publishing their efforts going to children’s charity the NSPCC.

The ten Ebor Academy Trust school which took part include York primary schools Hob Moor, Lakeside, Osbaldwick, Park Grove and Robert Wilkinson, plus schools in Camblesforth, Tadcaster, Brotherton, Hull and Scarborough.

Winners and runners-up collected book token prizes and their poems printed in a special book.

Chief executive Gail Brown said: “This has been an excellent, trust-wide initiative that has been embarked upon so enthusiastically by so many members of our school communities as well as in our classrooms.

“We asked everyone to try and find their voice and some of the results are so heart-felt they bring a tear to the eye.”

Altogether over 400 entries on the theme of looking forward to life after lockdown were received, with the majority in the 5-7 and 8-11 age group categories. Head judge Felix Hodcroft, a poet in Scarborough, said: “The poems comprise a wide range of poetic styles and skills and they remind us how painful lockdown has been but they also show us endurance and courage, love and hope.

“I congratulate all the entrants and thank them for devoting their time, care and emotional honesty. To the winners, I say: “You’ve done brilliantly!””

The NSPCC will be handling the sale of specially printed commemorative booklets online, which means they get to keep the proceeds to help support their vital work. Copies cost £5 including postage from https://bit.ly/3dsRMxs The competition was sponsored by Agilico Workplace Technology, formerly United Carlton, who said they were “proud to be supporting Ebor to encourage self-expression and promote the love of learning.”

The winner of the 8-11 age group category was Keren Bebelagua, a pupil at Hob Moor Community Primary Academy. Her poem ‘Bloom’ has already been sent out across the country by the Confederation of School Trust, of which Ebor is a member, as an excellent example of positive thinking:


Last year was like a flower that didn’t bloom, Last year was different than any other.

Last year will never be forgotten, Don’t remember it for its worst, Remember it for its best.

Remember it for all the times you smiled,

Last year might not have bloomed,

But the seeds were sown for a brighter future,

A generation who know the value of time with their friends,

The importance of family,

Appreciating the nature that surrounds them,

The beauty outside of their own front door,

Last year might not have bloomed, But you always will.

So never give up, Be the amazing flower you have always been.

Staff winners include Fiona Thompson (Hob Moor), who topped the staff category, with runners-up Steve Metcalfe (Brotherton), Hayley Messruther (Osbaldwick) and Tony Sands (Tadcaster).

Fiona’s winning poem:

I’m looking forward to…

School assemblies,

Watching them all file in:

The wigglers,

The jigglers

The whisper-behind-your-hand-gigglers,

The sit-up-straighters Arch-my-back-till-it-achers The fingers on lips,

The wiggly hips,

The stare at the roof,

The wobble my tooth,

The gaze out to nowhere,

The plaiting of hair The scuttle in lates:

“Just done PE,”

“I needed a wee,”

“We got carried away,”

“We’ve had a rough day!”

All sat: We listen We reflect and we learn We sing We’re joyful Aligned in our mission All personalities Together and different Our mixed family of families Pumping through the heart of the school.