9 May 2008


In secondary education, the conveyor belt takes a year to churn round. Ho hum - here's another Year Eleven cohort departing. In recent times, imitating American high schools, there has been a movement to produce "year books" for these school leavers and in the "technology college" where I work, a tradition has developed whereby the Head of English (yours truly) is expected to pen a poem or two for each year book reflecting upon this annual departure of the wildebeests. These are this year's offerings:-

Standing on the shore of life’s great ocean
Preparing to cross uncharted seas
Discovering distant islands
Bending your sails to the breeze
Farewell to the class of Zero Eight
Farewell to you one and all
As you exit the old school gate
Go out with your heads held tall.
Perhaps for one fleeting moment
Look back on the last five years
Remember how far you have come
The blood the sweat and the tears
Then turn your backs to the wind
And begin your voyage anew
Greystones* was simply a harbour
Where the system was sheltering you.

*Greystones = substitute name for the school

The more I grow, the less I know
Once I was eleven
Entering Year Seven
It seemed that school would never end
Always there like a clingy friend

Edale* and homework and stinking lavs
Emos and bullies and gangs of chavs
Caretaker jangling a big bunch of keys
Thank you miss and excuse me please
Comprehension or lunchtime detention
Birth prevention or surface tension
Trudging up the old cinder path*
In the canteen having a laugh
With mates I’ll always remember
- Well at least until September.
- The best days of our lives…

The more I grow the less I know
Leaving Year Eleven
Feels like seventh heaven
Now we’re off to work or college
Living proof of growth through knowledge.

*Edale = Village in Derbyshire famed for school outdoor camps
* cinder path = path joining main school buildings at my "technology college"
*School motto
When they blow up the school
It will feel so cool if they
Let me press the button
Blasting away the corridors
Where we laughed
And chewed the fat
Exploding the empty rooms
Where we toiled and boiled
Over keyboards and key skills.
It will be so cool
When I blow up the school.

And when the dust has settled
I’ll be sitting in the rubble
Not causing any trouble
Just quiet
Like a funeral

*Our old school buildings will soon be replaced.


  1. Thanks for posting these poems, YP. I am reminded of another original poem I read recently--I'll have to dig up the blog link and send it to you.

    I did as you recommended on my blog, by the way. Thanks for understanding! I do appreciate it, my friend.

  2. Brilliant YP. For a silly twit, you bardle quite well really.

  3. Yes, I'm with Katherine on this, 'tis splendid Bardling to be sure. I used to teach English too and your poems took me straight back to how it feels to be in a school at this time of year. Highly enjoyable, thank you. And what a very polite comment this has been, hasn't it?

  4. *Distant laughter* from 12,000 miles away. Should explain in case readers think I randomly go around abusing wonderful people like YP... He has been writing lovely silly twitty things on my blog for the express purpose of raising my spirits - which you have done, thank you YP. Back to me ol' self and today I'm actually going to prime a canvas and block in the basic shapes of the morning farm scene. Have been sitting looking at this painting-in-waiting for too long! Time to START! It won't paint itself.

  5. Aha! Here is that poem of which you reminded me:



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