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Dreams can come true

A poetry contest which was co-sponsored by The TES drew a wealth of entries, says Rod Savage, one of the judges

More than 1,300 entries were received for The TESWalking Oliver Poetry in Song competition which gave primary pupils the chance to have their poems about dreams transformed into songs and released on CD. It was originally planned that 10 poems would be chosen but such was the quality of entries that 15 winners were selected. Indeed, poet Michael Rosen, one of the judges, found it so difficult to whittle down that "my feet hurt!"

These new lyricists will have their words set to music, then professionally arranged, recorded and released as a CD, becoming part of the Walking Oliver catalogue. Paul Austin Kelly, who will be arranging and recording the music, had the unenviable task of making the final decision after a team of judges - Michael Rosen, children's book editor at Oxford University Press; Ron Heapy, bassist; composer Herbie Flowers; and myself, deputy editor of TES Teacher magazine - had submitted their shortlists.

Paul Austin Kelly said: "Perhaps the most striking feature of the poetry was the subject matter. We were staggered by the imagination of the children."

Entries came from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Jersey in the Channel Islands and even New Zealand. There were dreams about football, having tea with the Queen, or living like Victoria Beckham. Children also dreamed for an end to terrorism, others for an end to their parents' arguments.

The CD will be released in the autumn and Paul Austin Kelly predicts the awards ceremony (details of which will be sent to the winners by post) will be "a gala event".

Poems can be read at www.walkingoliver.com

* The 15 winners are:

Katie Bradley, 10, County Antrim; "My Family and Me"

Philip Brown, nine, Cambridge; "Before the Dance"

Rowan Butterfield, five, Hughs, Lincolnshire; "Why I Don't Like Ghosts"

Language Development Centre Class of Heartsease First School, Norwich (Elle English, Luke Gray, Ryan Lansdell, Abigail Linstead, and Patrick Seale all contributed); "Dreams of Home"

Katie Ebner-Landy, 11, London; "Maya and I"

Zakiyyah Fahmida, 10, Walsall, West Midlands; "The Cold Stares"

Francesca Haygreen, 10, Bradfield, Essex; "Sweet Dreams"

Laura Hoath, 10, Bury, Lancashire; "The Bus that has no Sheep In"

Lucy Humphris, eight, Alton, Hampshire; "Flying in my Head"

Robert Lea, 11, Oakthorpe, Derbyshire; "The Beautiful Game"

Kathleen McMahon, eight, London; "It's Easy to Dream"

Jake Newton, 11, Ilkeston, Derbyshire; "Night of the Reptiles"

Stephanie Scott, 11, Olney, Buckinghamshire; "Fade Away"

Lucie Shaw, 10, Bury, Lancashire; "Split"

Matthew Wilson, 11, Chorley, Lancashire; "Who Am I?"

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