National Poetry Competition

Year 8 pupil James Bateman has won a prize in a poetry competition launched by the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

James won the Key Stage 3 category of the competition, where he had to write a poem about a tree that became a poignant symbol of hope during the Battle of the Somme - one of the defining events of the First World War. You can read James' winning poem here

The hornbeam tree was the only one left standing in Delville Wood, in Longueval, northern France, after the area was flattened during two months of heavy fighting, nearly 100 years ago.

The competition had categories for students in KS2, KS3 and KS4, and was judged by a panel including Tom Wyre, Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate 2013-14; Spoz Esposito, Birmingham Poet Laureate 2006/0; Amerah Saleh, a young spoken word artist; Katrice Horsley, National Storytelling Laureate from 2012 – 2014 and Matilda Houston-Brown, who is currently the Young Poet Laureate for Staffordshire and Stoke.

Tom Wyre, Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate said “It was an absolute delight to get involved as a judge in the Somme 100 poetry competition and no doubt that there will be a number of very proud and pleased entrants in line with the extremely high standard.”

James has won a commemorative hornbeam sapling and plaque for Bromsgrove and a Royal British Legion Remember the Battle of the Somme 1916-2016 toolkit designed to help schools hold their own remembrance services.
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