Teacher and pupil poets win

A teacher and his pupil from a Tadcaster school have been judged to score highly in two categories in a poetry competition which received over 400 entries.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 2:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 2:03 pm

Teacher Tony Sands, of Tadcaster Primary Academy, in the staff category and pupil Tyler Bishop in the age 8-11 category, have won book vouchers and two free copies of a commemorative booklet which contains all the winning poems. Their poems were inspired by Simon Armitage’s poem “It ain’t what you do, it’s what it does to you.”

Ebor Academy Trust, which has 24 schools across Selby, York, the East Riding and Yorkshire Coast, invited all its schools to look forward to life after lockdown by writing an optimistic poem.

Head judge Felix Hodcroft, a poet in Scarborough, said: “The poems comprise a wide range of poetic styles and skills and they remind us how painful lockdown has been but they also show us endurance and courage, love and hope.”

In a unique partnership, children’s charity the NSPCC will be handling the sale of the booklets online, to help support their vital work. Copies cost £5 including postage from https://bit.ly/3dsRMxs

“This has been an excellent, trust-wide initiative that has been embarked upon so enthusiastically by so many members of our school communities as well as in our classrooms,” said chief executive Gail Brown.

“We asked everyone to try and find their voice and some of the results are so heart-felt they bring a tear to the eye.”

Staff runner-up, Tony Sands, Tadcaster’s poem:

After Covid, it ain’t what you do, it’s what it does to you

I have not sat on the pristine, golden beaches in Dubai surrounded by elegant skyscrapers but I have hurtled along Cleethorpes beach on my battered, old bike laughing joyfully with the wind in my still brown hair on a beautiful Summer’s Day.

I’ve never eaten lobster in the finest restaurant in Paris but I have scorched my mouth with the hottest curry in the scruffiest but best curry house in Driffield.

I have not danced the Salsa in Rio or the Tango in Argentina but I’ve boogied on down with Dickie Bow’s disco in the hall of the best school in the world.

I’ve never been the life and soul of the grandest party but I have eaten chocolate spread with a friend in a bright red dressing gown.

I’ve never been to Disneyland and rode on the wildest roller coaster but I’ve never wanted to. I have been mesmerised by fireworks and made patterns with sparklers with my mum.

I’ve never been to Denmark for a day and tied the knot in jeans but a kindly priest married me on a beautiful May day among the green, undulating hills of Northern Italy.

I’ve never seen the smile on my mum’s face as she held her first born grandson but I imagined it and remembered.

I’ve never been blessed with riches or fame but I’ve held hands with two little people who sometimes make me burst with pride.

Soon when Covid is just a distant, grubby, little memory, I’ll sit on new beaches, fine dine in Driffield, dance the salsa in Tad and be mesmerised again. Perhaps I’ll do those wild, exciting things I haven’t done and I will make new memories of small things that are special to me.

8-11 runner-up, Tyler Bishop, Tadcaster’s poem:

After Covid, it ain’t what you do, it’s what it does to you.

I haven’t worn my new football boots on the pitch, but I have worn them in the park, playing with my dad. It was not the same, as friends cheering me on, but at least dad gave me a chance. He passed on his skills, to help me improve, it took him back to when he was a youth. He dribbled the ball like Neymar himself to get his first goal then ran around the park with his arms waving about while stood there with my tongue hanging out. With dad running about, my feet took off, saw a chance of my kick, backed one in the makeshift net, it wasn’t the voices of my friends cheering me on. It was my dad’s voice screeching no, no, no, I was not even in goal!! It was dad’s voice. Go on son you’re doing me proud! Friends are good to have around. But you, dad cheering you on, is better than a crowd.

I can still have fun with my Dad and when Covid is over, we’ll do it all again.