Award-winning poet returns to his old school in Haverhill to inspire future Premier League Writing Stars
By Steve Barton
Published: 10:19, 27 February 2020
| Updated: 10:19, 27 February 2020
The “hip-hop” poet Karl Nova paid a visit to his former school in Haverhill to inspire pupils to be ambitious in his role as a judge for Premier League Writing Stars.
During Tuesday's visit to Burton End Primary Academy, in School Lane, where he was a pupil until he was seven-and-a-half, Karl led a whole school assembly and delivered individual poetry workshops to Key Stage One and Key Stage Two classes, as well as officially opening the school’s new library.
He said: “It is amazing being back at Burton End. This was the school that taught me to read and write and now I am back promoting reading and writing.
“I have had such a wonderful day and been hugely impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and creative skills. While the staff are just as lovely as when I was a pupil here.
“I can remember being on that playground wanting to be a professional footballer.
“Then I found a passion for creative writing and poetry and I am delighted to be supporting the Premier League Primary Stars.
“I would urge all school children to take part in the competition around the theme of ‘ambition’.”
The school's headteacher, Karen Sheargold, said: "He’s such a bright personality and his passion for poetry is truly infectious.
“Our pupils were captivated by Karl’s words around ambition, and they each came out of the class feeling motivated to achieve their goals and to submit brilliant poetry for the Premier League Writing Stars competition.”
Poet Karl Nova officially opens Burton End Primary Academy's new library during his visit to the school. Picture by Gooderham PR
Premier League Writing Stars is a poetry competition open to all primary school pupils aged five to 11 in England and Wales.
Now in its third year, this year’s competition theme is “Ambition” asking children to explore what it means to them to dream big.
The competition is supported by the National Literacy Trust and is part of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme which has already engaged more than 17,000 primary schools in England and Wales.
During his visit Karl also recited his new, original poem, “Beautiful Ambition” written specially for Premier League Writing Stars and addressed pupils on the importance of self-belief, encouraging children to celebrate their accomplishments as they work towards their goals.
Premier League Writing Stars uses the appeal of football to engage and inspire pupils.
Joining Karl on this year’s judging panel for the poetry competition are Leicester City defender Wes Morgan and Waterstone’s Childrens Laureate Cressida Cowell, author of How To Train Your Dragon.
Following the school visit, Karl, winner of the CLiPPA (CLPE Poetry Award) 2018 for Rhythm and Poetry, added: “ It was fantastic to talk to the kids about the power of confidence and self-belief in helping them to achieve their dreams.
“I’m thrilled to be on the judging panel for the Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition and can’t wait to read this year’s entries!
"It was clear from how the pupils reacted during today’s lesson on ambition that football and poetry have the ability to make kids use their imagination and dream big!”
Primary school teachers should visit www.PLPrimaryStars.com to download the free Premier League Writing Stars resource pack on ambition.
All original poem entries must be submitted through the website or by post by the closing date of Friday, March 20 to be considered.
Twenty regional winners and two national winners will be announced in May.
All winners will see their poems published in a limited-edition book, with national winners also winning a Premier League Trophy visit for their school as well as a special poetry workshop for their class.
Beautiful Ambition by Karl Nova, written for Premier League Writing Stars
I’m not just daydreaming and wishing
I’m bursting with ambition
thirsting I drank wisdom
Poured out in nan’s kitchen
She fed me hope
and that expands vision
I saw many possibilities
I planned, thinking
I thought so big
I saw the future winking
showing me what is possible
my eyes glistened
inside belief has risen
though I have fallen due to hard collisions
hard collisions with obstacles
made my goals seem so impossible
those who can’t see themselves shining
talk less of you
will likely be mocking you
if they make fun of you
Just keep running through
the field of dreams
see them coming true
Take steps with ambition burning in your chest
Work hard and be prepared for what’s next
Filled with beautiful ambition