As part of their celebrations for National Poetry Day, Penarth school Ysgol y Deri (YYD) published a special ‘We Are Writers’ poetry book to showcase the talent of its pupils and raise funds for the school.
Rebecca Jones, one of YYD’s teachers and the school’s Reading Champion, told us: “Every pupil in the school was asked to submit a poem for the book, and it includes poems from pupils aged four all the way up to 19.
“Some poems are written by individuals, others by pairs, or as a class collaboration. Some pupils wrote their poems using symbols and picture images and others explored poems with paint, messy play, food and toys.”
The anthology includes poems ranging from acrostic, to emotion poems, and from haiku to riddles to rhyming poetry, and more.
“I was blown away by the standard of entries and particularly enjoyed reading the poems that described how the children have changed since they were a baby.” says Rebecca.
“It really is a celebration of their imagination and talent and gives the reader a glimpse of their passions and interests. The poems are very heart-warming and have made staff and parents feel very proud.”
All pupils were involved in the creation of the book from the beginning.
This included a competition to design the front cover of the book, but as competition was so fierce, there were actually five winners – Layla-Mae, James, Cody, Skye and Bronwen – and their designs were used to create a collage for the cover.
The introduction to the book has been written by former Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, who said: “Writing down what we think and feel is a great way to remember things and a great way to share with others the things we care about.
“Once you write something down, you’ve recorded it- just as we do when we take photos. This means we can go back to it again and again and think about it, almost as if it’s not you who wrote it.
“What you wrote about becomes part of the way we all find out together what matters and what the possible ways to behave, think and feel about things are.”
Chris Britten, YYD’s headteacher, added: “Writing is a vital skill for all of us. It takes time and effort to do well. At Ysgol Y Deri, we have lots of creative and imaginative children and young people who we are very proud of. This is a showcase of their talent, we are enormously proud of each and every one of them.”
Some of the young poets also gave their thoughts on the experience.
Tomos, aged 10, said: “It makes me feel happy because I am an author.”
Erin, a 13-year-old pupil, said: “My mum and I are totally excited. I have written a real book.”
Joseph, a 12-year-old with, seemingly, his career path mapped out, said: “I am going to be famous and have my own TV show!” while fellow contributor Ella, 12, said: “I am really happy because I wrote my poem all by myself. I can’t believe I am going to be famous.”
The book is published by Scholastic. Well done to all the young poets included!