Pupils from Banchory Academy have scooped prizes in a national poetry competition, organised by ex-Service charity Poppyscotland, in partnership with the Scottish Poetry Library.
Poppy Poetry is part of Sowing the Poppy seed – Poppyscotland’s education project that teaches pupils about veterans, remembrance and conflict.
The competition received over 1,500 entries within the categories of P4-7, S1-3 and S4-6.
In the S1-3 category, Banchory Academy won across the board, with the following results: Winner - ‘My War’ by Catrin Stephen, S2; Runner-up - ‘And I was the Lucky One’ by Laura Smith, S1; Commended - ‘Veteran’ by James Sanders, S2;
Commended - ‘Solitude’ by Liam Hutcheon, S3.
At a ceremony at Poppyscotland’s HQ in Edinburgh on February 22, 14-year-old Catrin was presented with a digital compact camera and a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.
The school received a digital SLR camera.
Catrin and her class will also be invited to attend a poetry workshop hosted by the Scottish Poetry Library and a published poet.
Laura, James and Liam each won a poetry book donated by the Scottish Poetry Library.
Pupils were invited to write poems of between three and 30 lines on the theme of ‘What is a veteran?’ and were encouraged to either draw on their own experiences of meeting a veteran or use one of three selected photographs and quotes from veterans as inspiration.
At the event, the pupils met former Royal Navy medic Lisa Hickie, 28, originally from Forfar, who served in Afghanistan and whose image was featured as part of the stimulus.
Poppyscotland Chief Executive Ian McGregor said: “We were delighted by the response to Poppy Poetry and we congratulate the winners for their enthusiasm, hard work and creativity.
“We hope that this different way of learning about Poppyscotland’s work is an experience that will resonate with them as they grow up.”
Robyn Marsack, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library, added: “We are glad to be partnering Poppyscotland again this year in looking for an imaginative insight into the lives of servicemen and women of the past and present.
“The winning poems go beyond the physical details that so many of the entrants dwelt on to portray attitudes of mind and heartfelt emotions, and the young poets’ confident choice of language and form made their work outstanding.”
Sowing the Poppy seed was developed by Poppyscotland and can be downloaded from www.poppyscotland.org.uk/education