I spent this year’s World Book Day at Witton Park School in Blackburn. It’s a nice change for me to go into secondary school and we were working in the rather swish CLC with some vry creative year 7 pupils. They were a little shy to begin with but soon began to realise that they were capable of producing some fantastic poetry. Two of the boys produced one of the best kennings poems I have ever seen. It was all about boxing. One girl could not stop writing and often produced two poems per exercise.
This is the group poem we created together:
I feel so small and old in my new school uniform.
I’m scared even though I have had my weetabix.
How will I find out where to eat or play?
New people to meet, new lessons to learn, now equipment to use.
My form teacher’s lovely: tall, skinny and blonde.
She smiles and helps me plan things out, sort my day.
But the scary PE teacher with the deep voice and warty nose
frowns with her monobrow and keeps punishing me.
It’s platime now, bullies everywhere who all want to intimidate me.
The worst one has a fat nose, a lumpy frumpy tragic case.
I told the scary teacher. All she said was ‘So what?’
My form tutor makes me feel better. She said, ‘Never mind.’
At last it’s the day’s end, and what a day!
Perhaps tomorrow I will make some new friends
I run all the way home in joy to my mum’s lovely tea.
She takes a photograph for the memory book of me.
We wrote this from topic suggestions of a scary teacher, bullying, school and new experiences. I think it captures very well a new year 7’s apprehension about secondary school. These children were not afraid of dealing with tough issues and they were all impressively aware of how to deal with bullying if it happened to them. We’d tell a teacher, they said with utter confidence.
I went along armed with some ideas where they could send their poems, so I hope they do enter Wirral Festival of Firsts competition and send some poems to The Scrumbler. I am also hoping to see some of these poems on the school website. We wrote kennings poems, praise poems, spells and curses and they also enjoyed a few short readings of my poems and a Q&A in which all their questions were sensible and thoughtful.
Schools have really entered into the spirit of World Book Day and it was a lovely day across the country, marked by many children dressing as characters from books, doing book quizzes, artwork, reading clubs and who know what else! Whether schools have the budget for an author or whether events are run on a shoestring, what a great effort is made and hat fun is had!