Callum Roberts a Year 10 student at John Cabot Academy was recently longlisted for a national poetry competition.

Held at the prestigious Royal Festival Hall in London, Callum was placed in the top 40 from over one thousand entries

The First Story group held at John Cabot Academy, run by Caleb Parkin, Judy Hayes   and Sally Maud, met over 16 sessions, to write and develop pieces of writing – mainly poetry – which then became the soon-to-be-launched book, The List Might Never End.

Callum’s piece of writing emerged from a session they did about LGBT History Month and relating to gender, which are both really important subjects for young people and society. Caleb Parkin entered poems by two of his education projects and was delighted when this piece was selected by Jackie Kay and Raymond Antrobus for this year’s Foyle award.

Caleb Parkin said, “For me, what’s so delightful about it being longlisted for such a prestigious award is that it’s a brief, direct and honest poem about something important – spoken in Callum’s own voice. And there’s something very important there for all young writers: what you say has value, your ideas have value, and the way you express those has its own enormous value, too. So keep at it – and be yourself in your writing! Well done Callum, this is a wonderful achievement which I hope encourages your writing life ahead.”

Callum said, “I was extremely shocked when I found out I was in the top 40, as I have struggled with English in my early years at school. I am immensely proud of my achievement and the poem.”



Gender Vs meaning

Callum Roberts

Humans are strange creatures:

they use abstractions

to describe themselves

 Meaning is a gift you give yourself

Gender is a jumper you knit and wear.

Meaning is an unplanned flight path.

Gender is a discovery

made, well – later.