Essex County Council’s Inter-School Poetry Competition
September this year saw launch of the first ever county-wide Inter-School Poetry Competition, organised by the Cultural Development Team at Essex County Council.
Pupils interested in representing their school were asked to submit a poem relating to the Great War to link in with the council’s First World War project – Now The Last Poppy Has Fallen, funded by a grant of £65,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Thanks to National Lottery players, the project has been be running since September 2013 and includes a touring exhibition, education sessions and two artists (singer/songwriter Georgia Strand and renowned poet Luke Wright) who were commissioned to write new material relating to impact of the war on Essex.
The council received over 35 entries from a number of different primary & secondary schools which were judged by Luke who picked out a winner for each year group along with an overall top three. Each top 10 winner will receive a prize of a £25 book voucher and each school in the top three with also receive a poetry workshop from Luke.
Greensted Junior School, Basildon, who were one of the Top 10 winners, with a Year 5 group entry, even made a short film of their entry, which can be viewed here:
Greensted Junior School on YouTube
Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Finance, with responsibility for Heritage, Culture and the Arts, said: “Now the Last Poppy has Fallen focuses on the lives of individuals, families and communities in Essex during the First World War. We were really pleased to be able to involve so many young people in the project and were very impressed by the standard of entries. We were delighted with the response and pleased that so many schools took the time to engage with this competition given their busy schedules.”
Luke himself commented that there were “some lovely, accomplished stuff among the winners, especially the top three”. It is hoped that there will be a celebratory event for schools in the Spring Term where these poems will be showcased.
Other Top 10 winners were:
- Cherry Tree Primary School – Bethany (Year 3)
- Greensted Junior School – Group entry: Frankie Curran, Chevy Quirey, Tom Holland, Grace Collins, Ellie Morgan and Blaine Harding (Year 5)
- Philip Morant School and College – Georgia Lockerbie (Year 11)
- The Sweyne Park School – Anna Wilson (Year 8) and Lucy Wilkinson (Year 9)
- Holt Farm Junior School – Elizabeth Ware (Year 4)
- St Nicholas CofE Primary School – Ronnie (Year 2)
Poems can be read on our Inter-Schools Poetry Competition Winners page