The poem by South Shields schoolchildren which wowed judging panel including Olly Murs and Rio Ferdinand

It was poetry in motion for a group of South Tyneside pupils after their work scooped a prestigious Premier League prize.

By Lisa Nightingale
Thursday, 28 March, 2019, 05:00

The Harton Primary School pupils had no idea their work - entitled ‘Perfectly No one’ - had been chosen as the best in the region until they were presented with a framed copy of their poem during a special assembly.

The youngsters - Harley Potts, Ethan Hogg, Darcie Willis, Ella McCluskey, all aged seven along with Jacob Slater, six and Max Cockburn, five - had entered the Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition which attracted more than 25,000 entrants.

Harton Primary School are winners of the poetry competition. Teacher Stephanie Robson with pupils from left Harley,6, Jacob, 5, Ella, 7, Max, 5, Ethan, 7 and Darcie, 7

Their poem was chosen as the North East winner by a panel of judges, which included former footballer Rio Ferdinand and singer/songwriter Olly Murs, plus Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Lauren Child and poet Joseph Coelho.

Teacher Stephanie Robson said: “The children were tasked with writing a poem around diversity.

“We sat down together as a group and discussed the various displays we had around the school which looked at diversity for ideas.

“They came up with the angle nobody’s perfect and we took it from there.

Harton Primary School are winners of the poetry competition. Headteacher Karen Ratcliffe with pupils from left Max,5 Jacob, 5, Darcie, 7, Ethan, 7, Harley, 6 and Ella, 7.

“They worked really hard on their poem and put a lot of thought into it.”

As part of the special assembly the youngsters heard from Children’s Laureate Lauren Child via a recorded message, praising their work.

She said: “It is a really beautiful title. And I like the questioning thoughts you brought up in your poem, that goes through the process of thinking about our differences and ending with ‘everyone’s different in their own way’.

“So well done.”

Harton Primary School are winners of the poetry competition.

Each child was given a certificate in recognition of their achievement.

Headteacher Karen Ratcliffe said: “It was a national competition and the pupils worked really hard, putting a lot of thought into their poem, so it was nice they’ve won.

“At Harton Primary School we encourage pupils to develop their unique talents and take part in many activities and competitions.

“The whole school had recently celebrated diversity, taking part in ‘Odd Socks Day’. The school council continued this theme when creating their poem.”

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‘Perfectly No one’

“No one is perfect”,

So what’s wrong with ME?

What is it I’m missing,

That I can’t see?

Accept imperfections, that’s life

So they say

There’s no guarantee

That you’ll get your own way

“No one is perfect”,

Like odd socks, it’s okay

Like football team shirts on

Non-uniform Day

Like mismatched pj’s,

Playing Lego ‘til midday

Everyone different, in their own way