Captivating children’s poetry casts a spell in Doncaster

We’ve just come to the end of this year’s poetry competition, and what a joy it has been to read all of the wonderful poems created by our young people!

Kindly sponsored by St Leger Rotary Club of Doncaster and inspired by our ‘classics’ list of fabulous fantasy books, the competition set the children a challenge to create a poem with a magical theme. This could include spells, witches, monsters... indeed anything strange or fantastical that fired their imagination.

We were absolutely delighted at the response. In total we had 279 poems submitted from ten local primary schools and the Home Educated community: poems about fairies and dragons, witches and unicorns, magical lands and monsters. It was extremely difficult to choose the winners, as all of the children did so well, but after a lot of thought and deliberation the following poems were selected:

First prize‘The Nightmare Thief’ by Polly from Tickhill Estfeld Primary

Second Prize‘Dear Diary’ by Skye from Our Lady of Mt Carmel Primary

Joint Third Prize (We couldn’t choose between them!) - ‘I Know a Place’ by May from Rosedale Primary and ‘Monsters’ by Mia from Saltersgate School

Both Polly and Mia received their prizes from Mr Jack Cusworth of Rotary at our event at Doncaster Dome on 12th June. Polly has also won a visit to her school from the wonderful poet Paul Cookson, and we very much hope that her friends will enjoy this along with her.

Mr John Chapman from Rotary and Lyn Hopson, Doncaster Book Award Secretary, recently visited Rosedale and Our Lady of Mount Carmel schools to present Skye and May with their prizes. You can see some photos and read the winning poems below

On behalf of the DBA, thank you very much to all of you who entered and allowed us a glimpse into the wonderful world of your imagination!

The Nightmare Thief

She flew, listened, slinked and crept
In the silent passageway, in the gloomy shadows of the walls
Like a bird, she swooped through the sky
A periwinkle backpack of dreams
Her frosty wings and salty hair
Her orchid dress and coral glasses,
Hunting for nightmares again, again, again and giving dreams in exchange
Up into the peacock sky to give them to the stars so they can be bright
In the raven sky

by Polly from Tickhill Estfeld Primary

Polly receives her prize from Jack Cusworth

Dear Diary

Today was the worst day ever. I really wanted to win the spell competition and it all went wrong.
I was really late for the challenge and they had been waiting for so long
When we started making potions I couldn’t even find the first ingredient
Then a monster came out of the bushes, he was not very obedient
He said he had the recipe but he could not actually read it
He had a green nose and a huge eye under his dirty T-shirt that’s why he couldn’t see it
I told him he was going to spoil it and to leave at once
But of course there was no response
He did a little dance and stuck his finger up his nose
He pulled out something green that looked awfully gross
He threw it in the cauldron and it landed with a thud
Then off he went with a chuckle and said “you need to add to that some mud”
So off I went to find some mud but didn’t want to get my dress dirty
Until I met a friendly ghost whose name he said was Girty
He had with him a bucket of mud
He offered it to me because he was good
I tipped it into the cauldron as it landed it was loud
I looked up to see there was a huge crowd
Out in the crowd I spotted Pupsters the puppy
Wow I thought I just got lucky
“Pupsters” I called just before you leave
“Would it be possible to have your fleas”?
“Yes” he yapped “You can have the lot”
And he came over and shook them all into the pot
Then I added my purple sauce
Which you can only get from milking a magic horse
Then I stirred it and let it set
So when I came back I would have my own magic pet
I came back all excited
I thought I was going to be delighted
But no, what I came back to was a dragon breathing out fire
That naughty monster, he was such a liar.

by Skye from Our Lady of Mt Carmel Primary

Skye receives her prize from John Chapman


I think there’s a monster under my bed
But I don’t know if it’s just in my head
I close my eyes and the noises start
I can even hear my beating heart
Grumbling sounds get louder and louder
I’m sure this monster gets prouder and prouder
He knows I’m scared when I hide under my covers
Maybe it’s time for him to meet my big brothers
Once morning arrives it all seems fine
I look for the monster but there is no sign
Things aren’t always as they seem
Perhaps it’s just been a crazy dream

by Mia from Saltersgate School

Mia receives her prize from Jack Cusworth

I Know a Place

I know a place
Where fairies exist
They cast magic spells
In an enchanting mist

I know a place
Where I saw a mermaid
She swam through a lake
Of pink lemonade

I know a place
Where you ride unicorns
They light up the night
With their fluorescent horns

I know a place
Where it is I never said
But I’ll tell you right now
It’s in my head

by May from Rosedale Primary

May receives her prize from John Chapman