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We invited students to write a poem based on this year's competition theme, 'Looking Ahead'.

Our Poetry Competition is a brilliant opportunity for young writers to compete internationally and showcase their talent. This year's competition theme was 'Looking Ahead'. 

Each school could submit up to two entries per category. 

  • Category A: Key Stage 1 & 2
  • Category B: Key Stage 3
  • Category C: Key Stage 4 & 5

We received 449 entries from students in 136 COBIS schools worldwide. Well done to all students who entered and congratulations to our competition winners!  

Winners and Runners-up

The winners and runners-up are listed below, along with the judges' comments. To read each poem, please click on the student's name.

Key Stage 1-2

Winner: Rheya Mehta, aged 10, GEMS Jumeirah Primary School

“Theme well covered. Good use of rhyme, repetition and quatrain structure. Engaging content adds to interest of the poem.”

“Time, Time: "Looking Ahead" - Very powerful, excellent rhythm to it, structure, imagery and tone.”

Runner-up: Aidan Saroudis, aged 10, King`s Oak British International School

“Great effect using good, sensible rhyme. Carefully chosen vocabulary.”

“The message of this poem was very much a call to action and unity amongst people in light of recent events. I really liked the use of collective terms such as 'we' as it is an inclusive message that every person can make a difference in the overall recovery of the world. Great use of language and the rhyming was effective (I particularly liked the line 'It might take a person, it might take a million/They may be British, they may be Brazilian). Tremendous job!”

Key Stage 3

Winner: Tania Mubaslat, aged 13, The English School, Kuwait

“There is certain James Joyce-esque element to this poem, the alternating rhyming couplets seem to add a chanting element to the images present, the dreams, cheers and freedom being exemplified due to the structure of each line.”

“A delightful poem that skilfully uses figurative details, subtle rhyme, and imagery to convey the theme of ‘Looking Ahead’. A poem that commands multiple readings - a joy to read!”

Runner-up: Saraa Amin, aged 13, The British School of Geneva

“Very impressive metaphors, a powerful exploration of feelings, clever allusions, a hopeful message to end - this is a very mature poem.”

“The central imagery of theatre and creativity is clear throughout the poem. It is mixed with imagery of travel as well and the uncertainty that the elements present. At times the imagery competes for attention rather than complementing or extending the central message. The poet has used language that paints a lingering, surreal picture.”

Key Stage 4-5

Winner: Abayaa Afful, aged 17, The British School Kathmandu

“Really heartfelt emotion that comes through even more because of the disciplined use of structure; has a sense of pain that is tangible. Lovely use of imagery and repetition. Accurate and thoughtful vocabulary. Feels very much something people could relate to.”

“The narrative of this poem is very strong and the language simple but effective. I particularly liked the imagery of plugging up grief with tissues and condolences.”

Runner-up: Isabelle Forget, aged 14, Cayman Prep and High School

“Wonderful extended metaphor and highly original interpretation of the topic. Strong control of form and a real sense of poetry. Use of sensory imagery is powerful!”

“Excellent use of imagery, diction, form and structure.”


A certificate and prize has been awarded to the winner and runner-up of each category.

Winner: £75 Amazon voucher     
Runner-up: £25 Amazon voucher


The success of our Poetry Competition is dependent upon the expertise of our external judges. Thank you to all the judges who volunteered to support this competition, including teachers from COBIS Schools, experts from COBIS Supporting Associates  and professionals from the writing industry.

To register your interest in judging the competition in future, please contact

We would like to thank Collins and Komodo for sponsoring our 2022 Poetry Competition.