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Year 8 Poetry and Literacy Day with Poet Terry Caffrey

It seems like every single day I get a leaflet or email popped into my pigeon hole in the staff-room. It's impossible to fit every competition and event in, but the competition held by Vision for Education seemed a great opportunity that couldn't be missed. After all, the first prize was a visit from a poet.

I chose to enter year 8 students into the competition, knowing that they had studied poetry and would probably have some creative ideas for the acrostic poem. I was very impressed by the results. All students presented their poems beautifully. Some had colourful borders, others were folded like booklets, one was even written on a paper aeroplane.

Needless to say - we won! All thanks to Holly Fowles' poem about Autumn.

It seems like every single day I get a leaflet or email popped into my pigeon hole in the staff-room. It's impossible to fit every competition and event in, but the competition held by Vision for Education seemed a great opportunity that couldn't be missed. After all, the first prize was a visit from a poet.

I chose to enter year 8 students into the competition, knowing that they had studied poetry and would probably have some creative ideas for the acrostic poem. I was very impressed by the results. All students presented their poems beautifully. Some had colourful borders, others were folded like booklets, one was even written on a paper aeroplane.

Needless to say - we won! All thanks to Holly Fowles' poem about Autumn.

We were delighted to hear that the poet coming to our school would be Terry Caffrey. Terry's poems range from whimsical and humorous poems about bums, to more serious and moving poetry about cyber bullying. All have a catchy beat and appeal to a young audience.

The day of the visit was arranged for the last day of term, before the Easter break. And my goodness, what a fantastic way to end a term!

Terry spoke off-the-cuff (to almost 100 students and a few staff) in our main hall for over an hour. He was hilarious! The students were giggling and gasping at his funny jokes and his comical jibes at the teachers. At one point at teacher had to sneak out of the hall to attend to something else. As she tiptoed out, Terry tiptoed behind her. The room was filled with laughter and Mrs Wright (the teacher) took it all in good sport too.

Then the day was made up of workshops inspired by Terry, who gave me some ideas, or led by him. Every student got a chance to be involved in a workshop with him.

Terry inspired creativity and confidence in those students like nobody I have ever met. It was magical.

Jemma East told me the day was "Brilliant!” Emily Broadbent said it was "Fantastic!" and Chloe Hunter said "He was funny."

After he signed copies of his book for students and left, we stayed in the hall to hear examples of their own work throughout the day.

They were wonderful to hear and to watch.

Overall the day was a complete success.

Principal, Joe Sellars, said ‘for Holly to win such a big competition was tremendous and the prize of a day with Terry Caffrey was great because so many of our students were able to work with him and be inspired by his enthusiasm for poetry. He really was inspirational to both students and staff’.