Poet Laureate: Competition Winners

During our most recent lockdown, the English Department looked to poetry for answers… How are we all feeling? What’s life like, locked-in, looking at a computer all day? How do we make sense of it all?

Amanda Gorman, America’s Youth Poet Laureate, was so inspiring – at the US Presidential inauguration – that we ran a competition to find three students, one for each Key Stage, who could act as Wellington Poet Laureates. We will ask these students, occasionally, to share with us their ‘take’ on current or school events – just like Simon Armitage does as the UK Poet Laureate.

The competition was popular and the poems we read were simply wonderful. They were clever, funny, heart-breaking, thoughtful, sweet, furious, passionate, but above all: unique. Every poem had a voice and many members of staff contacted me to say what a privilege it was to read them. They were all so good and I want to say ‘Thank you!’ to everyone who entered. As a result of the quality of the work sent in, a selection of the best – from across the school – will be published after the Easter Holiday for pupils and parents to purchase.

Mrs Grey is currently running a competition for pupils to design the cover for that publication, so artists – if you’re interested – please do get involved and ask her for more information. 🙂

So, without any further ado, here are the winners* from our competition.

For KS3, Abigail Park.

For KS4, Noah Gower-Jones.

For KS5, Hannah Awan.

Our winners will each receive a badge for their bags, a copy of Kate Clanchy’s How to Grow Your Own Poem, a £10 Waterstones voucher and their poems will be entered into the Foyle’s Young Poet of the Year international competition.

I hope you are as thrilled by their carefully crafted work (below) as we are.

Miss C Spencer



The KS3 poetry competition was judged initially by English teachers; the final 6 were judged anonymously by KS3 tutor groups.

The KS4 poetry competition was judged anonymously by a panel of English teachers and Y13 Literature students.

The KS5 poetry competition was judged anonymously by a panel of English teachers, KS5 staff and members of SLT.


A New Generation by Abigail Park


Hope Regained by Hannah Awan


Untitled by Noah Gower-Jones