How often have I said how much I love working in this school? As I say in my Welcome Message on the website, ‘it is because something really quite special exists in the ether in and around this village and the school can’t help but be swept up in it.’ It is a warm environment and a creative one. Perhaps it is this creativity; this constant circulation of ideas, new thinking and beautiful works; the conviction that every day is a new day; that everyone is a valued and unique individual and that what they create is equally of value and unique to them: perhaps this is what makes my/ our time in this school and in this community special.
On my desk right now is an extraordinary piece of writing from one of my Year 6 girls- it is utterly original, intriguing and far more sophisticated than you would imagine possible from a primary age child. I have had it on my desk for three days and show it to anyone who comes my way, not by way of showing off (I take no credit for work like this) but by way of celebration- that I get to work with such creative, inspiring children.
Below are two poems, the first ‘Silence’ published by a Year 6 pupil, in their Learning Journal; the second ‘Our Galaxy’ published recently in ‘Live Canon Children’s Anthology 2021.’
There was silence in that forest.
Only elephants, backs iced with red dust and warm rain,
Their heads bowed, ears curled like crinkled paper.
Only leaves, broad and waxy, bees like red-and-black beads,
Hovering groggily in the humidity.
Only wild cows, hair thick and wiry, burnt with an unceasing sun.
Only birds with bent wings, green and yellow, feathers smoothed with existence.
Only rivers, hushed by leaves clogging muddied banks, pebbles riddled with rusted minerals.
There was silence in that forest.
Or maybe it was too loud, and we don’t listen to the earth’s deep noises.
This poem came from RE work on Hinduism and in particular karma. This pupil was inspired to find out more and came across all the rich symbolism in the Hindu religion; which in turn inspired the poem. Please note the references to:- ‘forests’ seen by Hindus as the primary source of life and fertility; ‘elephants’ symbolic of royalty and democracy; ‘bees’ symbolic of Vishnu, Krishna and Indra; ‘cows’ held as sacred for their gentle nature and strength; birds symbolising all that is wholesome and free and beautiful; the ‘river’ as cleansing and symbolic of life.
A stranded society
A queenless hive
A lost explorer
A life protector
And opportunity giver
An unfinished masterpiece.
An infinite night light
The earth’s follower
The sun’s substitution
The lieutenant of stars
A search of purpose
Polaris (north star)
A diamond in an endless treasure chest
A beacon of hope shining through the darkness
A guide for those who are lost
A monument of awe-inspiring beauty
A splash of glitter on an empty canvas
A start and finish line
Creator of life
A generator of light
A puppet master in an endless show
A core of all
A leader of greatness.
This poem was inspired by learning about the solar system and some star gazing during lockdown.
The word I keep repeating/ can’t help repeating is the word ‘inspiring.’ How could my job/ our job ever be boring; ever reach a conclusion, ever feel lacking when this is the kind of reward we receive day in day out. If any of you are considering a change of career, can I heartily recommend a switch to teaching. And please don’t think these two excellent poems are somehow the exception, the exceptional. While poetry may be one of my ‘things,’ I am/ we are inspired by all our children, bar none, and by all their creativity. We are surrounded by it and awash with it.