fb-pixel National Poetry Day – Winners of the Upper School Poetry Competition 2023 | Mill Hill Schools


National Poetry Day – Winners of the Upper School Poetry Competition 2023

In celebration of the wonder of words, we challenged pupils in Upper School to write their own poem in response to this year’s theme: Refuge.

What we found particularly touching is that pupils were given a variety of options and stimuli on the theme of refuge, and yet many of the entries dealt with empathising with other people in a very different situation to themselves. We are very proud of our Belmontians for their engagement with, and consideration of, what is happening in the world around them.

Thank you to all the children who entered this competition and congratulations to the following pupils who were chosen by the guest judges in the English Department as the winners.

Year 6 Year 7 Year 8
1st Place Isabella K 6GJ Santino S 7JC Oscar G 8AC
2nd Place Nikita P 6FB Soha J 7RT Rishan M 8NB
3rd Place Abe N 6GJ Savannah C 7JP Sofia D 8JR
Highly Commended Sloane S 6SB

Eesan R 6SM

Alexander L 6FB

Ben C 7LM

Jameson H 7JP

Maxwell C 7UA

Finn G 8AC

By Isabella K

I have nothing
Only little Mirabel

Something so small to you
But something so big to us

We just need a roof to cover our heads
Some food and some water instead of dry bread

See the world in a different way
See it through our eyes
We are not lazy foreigners
We are not people who sit on the side of the street and beg

We are people just like you
Just because the colour of our skin
Doesn’t mean you are so much better than us

So please listen to our words
And please consider taking us in
We just want some shelter, food and water
That is all.

By Santino S

Sirens, bombs, life gone on the street,
No water, no rest, no food to eat.
No time to feel

Family, home, love that is lost.
Cannot stand still, must run at all cost.
My country, they steal

The town where I grew,
The faces I knew.
Hands on their heads as they kneel,

So, I gamble a chance to live life free.
Across this land, and over that sea.
My fate declared and closed with a seal,

An Indian Refuge
By Oscar G

I am Indian
I am English
I am a product of two nations
I am the grandson of an empire and a country which was torn in two

I never want for food
I never go cold
I never have to beg for things that keep me alive
I study in an English school, I live in an old English house but I am not a true English boy

I am Hindu
I am Christian
I celebrate Rake with its rainbow strings and sisters blessing.
I share Christmas with its lights and trees and gifts; swirls of green, red, gold and warmth.
I am a soup of religion, skin, heritage and beliefs.

I am in India
With horns that beep like bird song
An assault of smells from the misty, holy temple smoke in honour of Gods
To the man made hills and mountains of multi-coloured rubbish
The roadside fires where wallas make fresh food and small livings

I am in my Indian family’s birthplace
Where my name is above doors
On signs and stone pillars
Where speaking my name is given discounts and respect
My name inspires words of praise for my ancestors
My name gets me entry to a private boat club on a shimmering emerald, green lake, where boats skim the surface and silver fish swim beneath.

I am in the Himalayan mountains
In their ancestral, gargantuan state, in coats of trees and hats of snow
Towering over village after village, threatening and protecting
Dark green deciduous trees reaching as far as my eye can see
Monkeys jumping on trampoline roofs, dogs barking at invisible foes, leopards lurking in the ancient jungle.

Here, there is no pressure to be two people, a product of both an oppressor and the oppressed
Here, I am Indian
Here, I am a person
Here, it is enough that I am me
Here is a refuge for my Indian self…