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Trainee teacher wins Raymond Wilson Poetry Prize

‘Boy Reading’ by Professor Raymond Wilson

‘Boy Reading’ by Professor Raymond Wilson

‘It encourages you to learn, like a teacher might encourage you in class.’ Child on the judging panel

Every year, University of Reading students are invited to explore their creative side by entering the Raymond Wilson Poetry Competition. Held in memory of the late brilliant educationalist and Emeritus Professor of Education at Reading, the prize awards £200 for the winning poem.

This year’s winner, Judy Ridell is a Reading Partnership trainee on the School Direct (Primary) Programme. Her poem, ‘You Can Count on Mrs Chooit’, describes in humorous detail the many things a teacher can do to make a child’s learning engaging, whilst also reflecting the daily excitement and challenge that a trainee teacher encounters. You can read the poem at the end of this story. 

The competition is judged by children in a local school and their vote carries equal weight with that of a published children’s poet and with an academic; competition organiser, Stephanie Sharp of the Institute of Education. This brings the perspectives of teacher, writer and young reader to bear on the judging. 

The children on the panel praised the winning poem for its use of clever rhyming, friendly tone and encouragement to learn.  

Raymond Wilson was a highly-respected educationalist, as well as an inspired educational editor who introduced new editions of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetry and Jane Austen’s novels. Wilson was also well-known as an intuitive, sensitive critic and a prolific anthologist.

For further information on the competition please contact Stephanie Sharp at the Institute of Education. 


You Can Count on Mrs Chooit

If you are going to school today, you’re sure of a lovely surprise,

Your teacher is Mrs Chooit today, she’s waiting for you to arrive!

Whatever happens at school today, you know that you can do it,

Whatever happens at school today, you can count on Mrs Chooit.


She’ll give you

One big hug to show her love

Two cool drinks to help you think  

Three picture books, let’s take a look!

Four number songs to sing along

Five water trays to pour and play

Six toy bears to see if they’ll float

Seven coloured pencils to draw round stencils

Eight speedy trikes – go as fast as you8 like!

Nine paint pots, lets paint some circles and some dots

Ten gold stars for trying so hard!


Whatever happened at school today, did you find that you can do it?

Whatever happened at school today, you can count on Mrs Chooit!

Judy Ridell

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