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Tuesday, 15 September 2020


 Just before the summer break I was lucky enough to run several virtual poetry workshops with the fantastic pupils at The Beacon School, Amersham. With the Year 6 class I focused on memories, and the inevitably mixed emotions that students were likely to be feeling at what was a very strange time. Following Kit Wright's famous lead, I asked each student to imagine that they were in possession of a 'memory box', which they could then fill with their memories of their time at the school. I have found this to be an excellent activity for any students who are in the process of transition. Here is a selection of poems that I am delighted to share, with kind permission from the school. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Memory Box by Ben

I will put in the box

The smell of salty air on my first holiday

The way the trees near my house sway

The memories of my first friend

The memories of playing a game till the end

I will put in the box

Being there on my cats first birthday

The first time I saw my imagination glow

Whilst flying over the sea below

The roar of the crowd on sportsday

I will put in the box

My first laugh

And the first time I thought “you shall not pass”

Opening my eyes for the first time

And trying to find a rhyme

I will put in the box

My videogame collection

For all that its worth

And without detection

I would put only the most treasured item I have

My box will be,

Red and covered in muddy paw prints

In the corners will be the secrets of life

And on the lid a constant hint

To the world of what I think

The Memory Box by Faris

I will put in the box

The feeling of being a million miles from home

The tears of the reception boys crying when their Mums said goodbye

The moment that I had bark chippings thrown in my face

I will put in the box

Thinking the older school boys were SO big!

Practicing over and over to tie my school tie correctly

The false smile when posing for the school photos

I will put in the box

Dreading my school swimming lessons

The noise of the boys playing on the Astro

My Mum shouting with excitement when I won the 100m at Sports Day

I will put in the box

The musty, sweaty smell of the changing rooms

Hearing the words “You will need to work faster”

Worrying in case I’d got the wrong day for non-uniform day

I will put in the box

Waiting a very long time for the ambulance after my long jump injury

The fears I overcame during Year 5 PGL residential trip

Wondering if school would close as COVID19 began to spread

The Box by Toby

I will put in the box

The time I got my dog

The time I won the tug of war

The time I had a pool party

The time I wrote this poem

The time I learnt to walk

The time I learnt to swim

Memory Box by Benji

I will put in the box

The excitement of finding out what was for lunch

The agonizing wait for golden time

The amazing feeling of getting no minutes off golden time

I will put in the box

The lonely feeling of going to the nurse

The sadness coming from losing a football match

But amazing friends to always make me laugh

Going to Uganda and meeting some astonishing kids

Seeing a river flowing excrement

Imagining what it would be like to live there

I will put in the box

The anticipation of going on my first overnight trip

Jumping in a freezing cold river and dismantling boats

Staying up late every night

I will put in the box

the startling news that I would be in the A team for every sport

Learning how to play rugby

Being inspired to start my cricket journey

and playing like Quinton de Kock.

...and finally, here we have a poem from Edward in Year 4. I asked this year group to think about and to describe a variety of different emotions. Edward decided to perform his video for the camera, and I think you'll agree he did an amazing job!

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