St Stephen’s School Carramar poems open the door for award

Pre-primary students Amelia Lewkowski, Olivia Edwards, Asher Munjodzi and Isaac Reid with teacher Sandra Corcoran.
Pre-primary students Amelia Lewkowski, Olivia Edwards, Asher Munjodzi and Isaac Reid with teacher Sandra Corcoran.

POEMS about monsters, teddy bears and unicorns helped a group of St Stephen’s School Carramar students to win a national poetry award.

Seven Year 6 and 54 pre-primary students entered the 2015 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, with the group winning The Sheelah Baxter Award for Primary Schools, recognising the school’s effort, achievement and high standard of entries.

With the competition receiving nearly 10,000 entries from 655 schools around Australia, pre-primary teacher Daniela Calabro said it was a privilege to win the award.

“We’re so happy for the children and the parents and the school – it’s just an awesome achievement,” she said.

Fellow pre-primary teacher Sandra Corcoran, who has entered students in the competition for the past six years, said they were initially encouraged to write about autumn.

“When our students were reciting their poems they would put their arms out and twirl around and try to really feel the poetry,” she said.

“I was so blown away by the quality of their poetry that we then opened it up and gave our students the choice to write about whatever they wanted.”

The Year 6 students were from the gifted and talented program and some used the award’s theme “The Open Door” as a stimulus. “The students enjoyed the freedom to use their creativity and to put their inner most feelings down on paper,” teacher Nicola Byrne said.

Six pre-primary students also received a commendation from the judges for their poetry. The school’s prize included $1000, a trophy and a collection of books.

Pre-Primary student Olivia Edwards’ commended poem:

Unicorns

Tails swishing,

Shiny horns

Pointing up to the butterflies.

Magical hooves

That let her fly

Through the sky.

Unicorns,

Lovely unicorns,

Where have they gone?

In the Kingdom of clouds?

In a leafy, green forest?

In my imagination?

Unicorns.