The CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) is the only award for published poetry for children in the UK. Established in 2003, the annual Poetry Award encourages and celebrates outstanding poetry published for children. Alongside the CLiPPA to promote the teaching of poetry in schools, we run a Schools Shadowing Scheme.
When the shortlisted collections are announced, our team of expert teachers write detailed planning linked to each collection which focuses on the appreciation, performance, response to and writing of poetry. Schools can register to take part in the shadowing scheme and receive updates and links to the materials when they are released.
These poignant, punch-packing poems explore the varied emotional lives of secondary school pupils facing the giddy transition from being “the biggest to the smallest...in the secondary school jungle” like “gazelles in a field full of lions”. Complex tangles of feelings are laid bare with heart-rending authenticity, from the headiness of he-said-she-said gossip, to the bewildering “who the hell do you sit with?” loneliness that strikes when your best friend’s off school (Thanks a lot, Belinda).
Vending Machine is an incredible piece of writing, encapsulating the anguish and anger of betrayal, of having your heart trampled on, and then the bliss of recovery when your heart feels “a little lighter”. Another personal favourite is the sublime Dear Mum, BTEC about a student “drawing different plans” after realising they are ill-suited to exams - plans they hope will make Mum proud. There are jubilant themes too, such as the breathless, time-stopping “WHAM!” of instant attraction, the jangling joy of being at the bottom of a celebratory pile-on after you’ve scored, and the magic of those inspirational, unforgettable teachers who take time to share a book they think you “should try”.
A chorus of entertaining, emotionally-charged insights and observations sing and dance through these tender, playful pages, with each short verse alive with empathetic, true-to-life experiences.
- Joanne Owen (LoveReading Editorial Expert)