Praise for pupil poets at a Saddleworth primary school

PUPILS at Oldham’s smallest primary school have received top marks for turning their lockdown experiences into a series of thought-provoking poetry.

Now the group of Year 5 and 6 children at Christ Church, Denshaw have been praised for their “resilience” throughout the pandemic.

Around 20 pieces of work have been completed by the youngsters, aged nine to 11 – a number of which the Independent is delighted to publish here.

“It had been a work in progress for a while,” explained class teacher, Eleanor Bell. “But they were all finished at the beginning of January.

“The children worked tremendously hard, engaging in live lessons and assignments set online which has helped them produce these beautiful poems which are unique, humorous and inspiring.”

The inspiration originated from a work by Mancunian poet Tony Walsh called ‘This is the Place.’ It was written after the Manchester Arena bomb attack in 2017 which killed 22 people.

“The children came back into school extremely excited with endless amounts of energy to take the school year on,” added Miss Bell.

“So when the children were told we were going back into lockdown again, I was extremely concerned about their mental health, how they would manage to keep up with their work at home and manage this scarily uncertain time.

“However, the rest of the staff and I could not be prouder of the resilience of all children at Christ Church.

“They have kept a smile on their faces, day in, day out, while working unbelievably hard on their home learning.”

Christ Church, which remains open to educate key worker children, has been rated ‘good’ after a full Ofsted inspection in 2014 and short inspection in 2018.

A remote monitoring visit was held on November 5, 2020. This was part of a national inspection into how England’s education system was managing at that time a return to full education for pupils, following an extended break in formal schooling due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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