Pupils from all year groups took part in the College’s National Poetry Day competition. Joining the UK-wide celebration, pupils were challenged to write poems on the theme of ‘Refuge’. Congratulations to our five year group winners Lily (I), Lukas (F) Beatrice (I), Keiran (G) and Jennie (M).


My refuge is the pages of a book –

Dusty, cracked, crinkled like an old man’s hands.

My refuge is the chords of a piano –

Melancholy murmuring and contemplative chords.

My refuge is the sting of fresh snow –

Silvery flakes floating like frostbitten fireflies.

My refuge is sunlight through pine trees –

Bird calls through crisp air and warm light.

My refuge is endless summer evenings –

First stars winking from lofty shadowed perches.

My refuge is waves on white sand –

Unknown words sung on mermaid beaches.

My refuge is sunset on gold-tipped mountains –

Sequoias stretching towards fleeing clouds.

My refuge is hornbills and clear oceans –

The smell of lavender and sapphire sea.


My refuge is Christmas candles and autumn showers,

Spring flowers, coastal breezes, long laughter.

My refuge is this myriad of memories, this multitude of moments. Alone, meaningless.

Together, magical.

Faulkner’s Winner


They still walk, you know?

Skin stained white,

Lugging their sacks through

Rock-filled streets.


The Wadi Derna.

The ‘Dam of Death’,

As They call it,

Washed and ravaged cities to the ground.


This country holding thousands of generations.

Where deserts swamp vegetation,

Where the Ancient Greeks once ruled,

Where the Ottoman Empire once populated.


Now they seek shelter.

Who’s there?

Who is willing to throw a hand into this



The torrential cloak

Of the clouds descend.

The torches extinguish.

The young perish.


They still walk, you know?

The great people of Libya.

Shell Winner


It’s the safety of grass,

And the comforting envelope of a foggy mist.

It’s the crunchy autumn leaves as your supporters,

And the damp turf mowed so perfectly under foot.


It’s the scenes we replicate flourishing in our head,

And the trees that whisper our name in the wind.

It’s the gentle wrap of perfectly fitted leather that surrounds our feet,

And the handcrafted orb that sails across the green sea.


It’s the twigs we beat,

And the cobwebs we score past.

It’s the roll of the interlaced silk,

And the mysterious echo that follows.


It’s the random spike in motivation,

And the competition of our parallel future.

It’s the thought of the normal 9 – 5,

And the sadness of an office desk.


It’s the vast amount who are “going to make it”,

And the small portion who keep the dream alive.

It’s the action of injury that tell us the most,

And the reaction from the brain that checks our reality.

It’s the drive from nothing,

And the destination to everywhere.

Its football that’s my refuge,

And the safe memories of where I began.

Fifth Form Winner




I fled for Peace.

I fled for refuge.


I cry,

I bleed,

I feel pain –

I seek refuge.


“I empathise,

I sympathise,

I commiserate –

I provide refuge.”


“You love me,

You protect me,

You comprehend me,

You are my refuge.”



Refuge is not a sentiment expressed by others

Wherein it has no value.


It is an emotion

Experienced by a victim

Exposed to the elements and


By injustice,




When I arrived here

Everything was





They call me a


I hide myself until I sound like them

Dress like them. Yet, I came here for Refuge.


Saccharine words

And shallow gestures

Will not Engender such a feeling.


The seeker finds refuge

In unlikely domains

But knows when it is found,

As the pain alleviates

And warmth permeates the shelter –

Refuge is in the eye of the beholder.


*My name is Salemeh

Lower Sixth Winner



If you were to crawl into the corner of my spherical brain

You would probably find a damp pink seat.

And on that damp pink seat in the corner of my brain,

You might find a little girl in a squelchy pink, ruffled dress

Curled up like a foetus, knees to her chest

Resting her fragile head on her fragile arms.

And in her arms, you may see a soggy pink unicorn –

Her favourite companion of course.


From her view, the world is pink.

Soggy of course, but still pink.

She likes pink.

Sometimes, when the real world becomes too real,

I like to crawl into the corner of my spherical brain

Hoping to stumble upon the little girl in a squelchy pink dress.

I like that she still likes pink

I like that she still grasps onto her soggy pink unicorn

To the point of suffocation, because it makes her feel safe.

She makes me feel safe.


And when I think bad about the world,

(And I try not to that often)

I like to go find the little girl in a squelchy pink dress

Because she sees the world through a pink kaleidoscope covered in condensation.


Upper Sixth Winner