Youngsters got their creative writing juices flowing in poetry workshops put on to celebrate the borough's Word Festival 2021.

Year 6 pupils from St Luke's Primary School in Canning Town joined spoken word poet and school governor Ayomide Sotebo for the session, which aimed to inspire the children to tell their own stories.

Helen Tarbuck, assistant headteacher at the school, said: "It was wonderful learning how poetry can recount a journey far better than a traditional narrative.

"Listening to Ayomide recite her work was like being invited into her past, present and future.”

Pupil Eitautas said: "I felt so many emotions listening to Ayomide. Listening to the power of words made me want to write and perform my own."

In the workshops, Ayomide told the pupils about her own inspirations and helped the children to pick themes which were important to them.

She taught them techniques including how to "thought shower" their ideas and different ways to describe everyday things.

Eitautas added: "When Ayomide was reading her poem, I felt like I was inside the poem. It was so real."

Another pupil, Ornah, said: "Before today, my poems were a bit flat and I just used to look for a rhyme, but working to a theme made me think deeply. I know the words that I write could make others truly feel it too."

Malia added: "I enjoyed writing about my difficulties this past year. I was happy that my words may inspire others, the same way that Ayomide's words inspired me. That is true power."

After the pupils performed their pieces, they spoke about how the process supported their wellbeing and how they felt vulnerable to commit words to paper but, by opening up, gained courage.

“Spending the afternoon with the students was a great opportunity," Ayomide said. " I learned a lot about myself from them and left feeling inspired by their courage to write boldly."

Newham Council's Word Festival 2021 is running from June 21 to July 4 with the theme "spreading the word".

Poem one

Take a step forward

Make a meaningful change

All it takes is one brave brain

And hope that it gives you a push to make a change.

Poem two

Racism is widespread through the earth

We're still alive, but what's it worth?

Earth is warming faster than a rocket

But world leaders are try'na mock it

The ocean is full of plastic

But no motion to stop it.

I have a dream.

To save the Earth.

That's what we are

That's what we're worth.

Poem three

Last year, everything changes.

A pandemic struck.

People died.

People cried.

Covid-19 wrecked us.

Poem four


Is my key

It unlocks my joy

A key to my heart

It fills my day

It builds a wall to fend off my fears

Each Lego brick builds hope

Hope and belief

Belief in myself

For today and tomorrow

A fearless tomorrow

A tomorrow built on hope

Brick by brick

Hope on hope.