Children’s Poet Laureate set to hand out prizes for Abergele school’s Oscar night


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Wales’ Children’s Poet Laureate will be handing out prizes to learners when an Abergele school stages its own Oscar-style awards evening.

Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan will celebrate the achievements of pupils across a wide range of subjects as well as individual awards for community and charitable work.

And guest of honour at the glitzy event at Rhyl Pavilion on Monday, October 19 will be the Children’s Poet Laureate for Wales, Martin Daws.

Martin, who lives in Bethesda, says he is delighted and very honoured to have been asked to present the awards.

He said: “I have been working with pupils at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan and will be conducting another few workshops in the very near future.

“Every child has a story to tell and a right to tell that story. I think write, speak, believe sums it up nicely.”

He added: “I have been working with Venue Cymru who helped with funding for a School Slam live poetry competition. I worked with Slam Conwy at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan with a group of pupils and really enjoyed working with the school.

“Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan has a personal perspective and I found teachers and the head very supportive of creative education. It all helps personal development in every subject, not just literacy. More than anything it develops self-confidence and self-belief in pupils.

“I believe we can gain so much from creative education and through writing, the spoken word and poetry.”

Originally from Surrey, the 46-year-old is now settled in Gwynedd where he lives with his wife and their son and daughter, and says has no intention of living anywhere else.

He said: “I attended Liverpool John Moors University which brought me geographically close to North Wales. I did a few poetry gigs down at Bangor and my wife had no intention of moving to London so we settled in Bethesda.

“I’m now a naturalised Welshman so far as I am concerned, and love the area and people. I really couldn’t be more delighted nor honoured to have the opportunity to present the awards to Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan learners. I really am looking forward to what will be a special evening.”

Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan’s learning and achievement leader for 11 to 16-year-olds, Andrew Goodwin, has been responsible for organising the awards celebration and says the evening will be a very special occasion.

He said: “We will have around 350 learners attending and it’s a great chance for teachers, governors and others connected with the school to meet with parents and learners and celebrate their success across a range of subjects.

“Awards will be presented across a wide range of subjects for both excellence within individual subjects, in addition to excellent effort across the school year.”

He added: “I know our learners are really looking forward and excited about what will be a wonderful evening.

“It will be amazing having everyone coming together to celebrate the success of the school and the hard work of everyone involved whether as learners or as staff.”

Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan head teacher Lee Cummins said: “I am delighted that Martin has agreed to present these awards, which for us are the Oscars of our school year.

“These awards are all about celebrating the achievements of our learners, across a wide range of subjects. I hope that parents and family friends will be able to join us at Rhyl Pavilion for this celebration.

“As well as awards for achievement in the classroom and on the sports fields, Martin will also be presenting awards for things such as citizenship which is about both the school environment and in the community beyond.”

Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, which dates back to 1899, has more than 1,100 learners with 140 teaching and support staff.

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