Coventry & Warwickshire Children’s Peace Poem runs every year in the autumn term, accepting poems from children up to the age of 16 on the year’s selected theme. In 2020-21 the theme was Neighbourliness.
The competition received a record 341 entries, giving the judges a lot of work but also a lot of pleasure as they read through the children’s poems.
The winning poems from Coventry all came from Ravensdale Primary School, a remarkable achievement. First Prize was awarded to Anna Gardiner, Second Prize to Harrison McQueen and Third Prize to Sahej Cheema.
In addition, a picture from Ravensdale student Angel Parekh was chosen to feature on the cover of the paperback book which the Lord Mayor’s Committee has published, containing all 100 poems shortlisted by the judges.
Regarding poems submitted by children from Warwickshire, Joint First Prize winners are Daisy Thatcher of Ettington Primary School and Polly Jones of Alveston C of E Primary School, both schools in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The winners each received a gift token kindly provided by Warwick Rotary Club, a certificate signed by either the Lord Mayor of Coventry or the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire and a copy of the paperback book.
Due to Covid restrictions it has not been possible to organise presentations of awards in person this year.
The judges were the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Ann Lucas, Craig Muir, Janey Manton, John Greatrex and Ann Evans. They judged the poems for their relevance to the theme, originality, creativity, style, having a coherent message, the strength of their imagery and their use of language.
The judges remarked that students from Ravensdale School had worked hard on their poems and that the teachers had obviously been encouraging them to tell a story. The judges offered their congratulations to all the students and schools that entered the competition, especially Ravensdale. Janey Manton said “It was a pleasure to read the children’s poems! But how hard it was to choose because all the poems had merit and we had to work hard to decide which ones best fit the criteria of the competition. One of the reasons I really love reading what children have to say is that they have such true moral compasses and an inbuilt sense of fairness and that shines through in these poems. I feel some real hope for the future!”
The shortlisted poems are available both as a paperback and an ebook from the Peace Poem website covpeacepoem.uk/store/.
All 341 poems that were submitted have been published in a free ebook available at coventrycityofpeace.uk/books/AllPeacePoems2020-21.pdf