Pupils well-versed in the art of poetry

Schoolchildren in Norfolk have incredibly creative imaginations - even when they're asleep - if the fruits of an EDP poetry competition are anything to go by.

Schoolchildren in Norfolk have incredibly creative imaginations - even when they're asleep - if the fruits of an EDP poetry competition are anything to go by.

Surreal worlds of monsters, sweets, funfairs and crazy alter-ego lifestyles were conjured up by the youngsters who were yesterday awarded for their poetry prowess.

The EDP and Bayer CropScience Young Poets of the Year contest aims to capture the creativity of children across the region and this year had more than 500 youngsters imagining fantastical lands and flights of fancy for the competition's theme of dreams.

Norfolk's Simon Thomas, a presenter on Sky Sports, made a special trip to Carrow Road's Study Support Centre on National Poetry Day to congratulate the winning children and hand over their certificates.

After the presentation, the children were taken on a tour of the ground by community ambassador and Canary legend Jeremy Goss.

Mr Thomas was appropriately chosen after fulfilling his dream of working on television - he formerly fronted Blue Peter - and for his links with football and the Canaries.

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He joked that he was filled with trepidation when he agreed to be a final-stage judge and a huge envelope of poems landed on his doormat.

“I knew the competition had previously been judged by Stephen Fry, a highly intelligent man, so I didn't quite know what I'd let myself in for,” he said. “I used to sit here and watch Norwich City as a young boy, long before the new stands were developed, and I dreamed of playing up front for Norwich.

“Poetry was not my strong point, but looking at the entries I realised just how good the standard was this year.

“Reading through the poems, I was taken to some weird and wonderful places - worlds with ghouls, a place where sweets are stashed under the bed, where teachers are boring and minds drifting off to faraway lands.

“Everyone has done amazingly well, the level was higher than I could have imagined, and it was a real honour judging the competition.”

Children from about 20 schools took part and displayed an incredible talent for verse - and some were not writing in their first language.

One of those who entered, and who was highly commended, was Edvinas Kavaliouskas, a Lithuanian pupil at Corton Primary, who began learning English just 18 months ago.

The overall winners were Tyler Hall of Valley Primary in Earlham, in the eight to nine-year-old category for his poem Dreams, and Grace Moss of Norwich High School for Girls junior department in the 10 to 11 age group for Drifting into Day-dreams.

The pair scooped £100 each, plus £500 each for their schools and a day at Norwich City FC.

Grace said: “I've written a few poems before, just for fun.

“I had a few ideas, and then I just started writing them down. Then I got the first line of the poem and it just carried on from there.”

As part of their involvement, Bayer made £500 donations to Mr Thomas's chosen charity, Hope HIV, and Dreams Come True.

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