House Poetry

12th October 2015

Last week, Mrs Campbell-John asked me to co-judge Thursday’s House Poetry competition. I knew it was not a rhetorical question. Flattery mixed with the knowledge that the Headmaster was off-site for the day had to be put to one side for the greater good.

The principal judge was the charming and eminently qualified Tina Quinn from Rydes Hill who has judged the competition for the last few years.

Having gathered in the Hall and heard a brief introduction we listened to each of the children read their poems in turn. Mrs Quinn and I then left the Hall for our deliberations. It is 19 years since I graduated with an Honours Degree in English Literature and sadly 19 years since I seriously spent time in critical appreciation of any poetry. However, as our judging discussion got under way I was relieved and delighted to find that we were often in agreement about the poetry we had the pleasure to read and hear.



Without doubt the calibre of every poem was exemplary. Creative, thought provoking, technical, emotional, dramatic, evocative were just some of the responses we shared.

The theme this year was “light” and the children replied with a spectrum of responses that involved everything from the filament of a light bulb to the concept of light symbolising life in a warzone.

In all competitions there has to be a winner and this time it was McCormack who took the House Poetry Cup. Kean came a (very) close second and Murtough a close third.

Both Mrs Quinn and I chose a favourite poem each and asked the author to read them again. I attach these two poems here. “Inside the world of the light bulb” by Toby was my choice. What a fantastically original subject to focus on! His poem is so vivid in its descriptiveness, the imagery is fantastic and his use of simile is inspired. Mrs Quinn chose “Blue Moon” by Hector. What a mature piece of writing. Moody, great imagery again and use of simile and so evocative.

Well done to everyone who took part and thank you for roping me in Mrs Campbell-John!

Justin Shreeve – School Secretary and Head’s PA

House Poetry Favourites


Bluemoon. Floating on the sky, moving like a luminous sapphire.

Craters like spotlights are glued to the surface.

Its gloomy blue light casts mist on our larger earth

Slowly it smokes like a dying bonfire.

Silent and still, it watches the earth face away and slip back another lucky day.

By Hector, Year 7 – McCormack


Inside the Miniature World of the Light Bulb

It glares at me so,

Because it knows I have uncovered its secrets,

The light that glows fluorescently,

To make enormous balls of fire, Which are sources of light for the light bulb.

The stairs for the workers at the urn of lava.

No worker dares to touch those stairs

For bandits, glowing serpents and humungous germs lurk.

The few workers who got up the stairs fell in the lava

Or fell on the return.

Under the glass dome the heat is unbearable.

There is no fertile land

Only a desert of broken glass.

It burns underfoot

Like a fiery volcano

By Toby, Year 5 – Kean


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