Renowned Poet judge’s national poetry competition!

Paul Cookson and Finley Skiming

Paul Cookson, Poet and Performer from Retford has been busy judging pupils’ poems from across the UK this month as part of the National Association of Teachers of RE’s (NATRE) national competition: ‘Spirited Arts and Poetry’.

Over 200 pupils were selected from schools from across the UK and entered ‘Spirited Poetry’ this year, enabling young people to think about the use of literacy in Religious Education.

Paul visited one of the winning schools to personally congratulate and present the certificate and prize of Amazon vouchers to Finley Skiming aged 7 from Nutgrove Methodist Primary School in St Helens.

This year’s poetry competition was held in conjunction with ‘Spirited Arts; a popular arts competition which has been running for 16 years and has attracted over 340,000 participants averaging 20,000 partakers per year since 2004. Hundreds of UK schools get involved, with entries coming from as far afield as Cyprus and Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.

Paul Cookson, Poet and Performer, commented:
‘It was a pleasure and privilege to read all the fantastic poems. so inspiring and encouraging to see children exploring important questions of humanity and faith through their poetry. I loved the simplicity and directness of Finley's poem. Profound, moving and accessible.’

Judging took place over the summer by Fiona Moss, Chief Executive Officer, NATRE and National RE Adviser, RE Today and Paul Cookson, Poet.

Fiona Moss, Chief Executive Officer, NATRE and National RE Adviser, RE Today commented:
‘Firstly, I would like to congratulate all the winners of the 2019 ‘Spirited Arts & Poetry’ competition and thank all pupils from across the globe who took part!

Spirited Arts is an excellent addition to a school’s curriculum and every year it is a great pleasure to receive the entries and see that young people are doing vital thinking about the big issues of beliefs and values through RE.

This year the ability to run both Spirted Arts and Poetry simultaneously demonstrated the ability of 3-19-year olds express themselves with astonishing depth and clarity through words as well as art. Well done to all pupils and teachers involved.’

Rachel Bottell, Headteacher, Nutgrove Methodist Primary School comments:

‘The RE curriculum at Nutgrove enables our children and staff to think deeply, develop spirituality and ask big questions. Our whole school embraced the themes of the Spirited Poetry competition and we encouraged our children to express themselves freely through poetry. Our children thoroughly enjoyed entering the competition this year and it was a delight to learn that we had a winner, Finley Skiming. We are looking forward to continuing entering the Spirited competitions in future years.’

Finley Skiming, winner, aged 7 commented:

‘I like writing poems and I’m really glad I won. I like RE because we get to learn about God.’

Mrs Skiming, Mother of Finley Skiming commented:
‘When we were informed that Finley had won a national poetry competition, we were both so very proud and delighted for him. We were amazed at Finley's ability to write such wonderful poetry at the age of seven. Since winning the competition, Finley has shown a keen interest in both reading and writing poetry. As parents we will encourage Finley to continue with this as he grows.’

View the full list of winners here.
Check out the Spirited Arts 2019 gallery here.
Check out the Spirited Poetry collection 2019 here.
Listen to Paul Cookson reciting Finley and other pupils poems.

This website uses cookies, if you'd like to know more about these cookies here's our cookie policy.Accept