Year 12 Student Safah Ahmed Wins Second Prize In Prestigious Poetry Competition

Everyone at The NCS would like to send a huge message of congratulations to Year 12 student Safah Ahmed who won second prize in the prestigious Tower Poetry competition with her poem “Accent” at a prize giving in Oxford yesterday (April 20th).

Tower Poetry exists to encourage and challenge everyone who reads or writes poetry. Funded by a generous bequest to Christ Church, University of Oxford, by the late Christopher Tower, the aims of Tower Poetry are clear: to stimulate an enjoyment and critical appreciation of poetry, particularly among young people in education and to challenge people to write their own poetry.

You can read Safah’s poem below:



When they arrived,
Baba held her hand while she
cut off her tongue and sewed on
a new one.

He trained her voice to give in
to new rules,
and let the vowels distort themselves –
mutate like cancer cells
and lie.

She wondered if they’d notice –
and if they did would they invite her in
to one of their
interrogation rooms,
and would it be black –
and blue

she’d spent too long in a room like this,
where footsteps sounded like thunderstorms –
or was it thunderstorms
sounded like footsteps –
their steps were always so loud,

and their shoes were black like the sky
she could see out of the corner of her
blue black eye –

but it wasn’t her eyes they wanted,
it was her tongue.
So she kept her lips closed.
Hid the needlework behind blue veins
and white teeth –
played dumb to play civilized,
played dumb to play alive.

But her words were lined up
like dominoes,
and dominoes were made to fall,
so she stood waiting,
with a hurricane in her mouth,
wondering how long it would take
for them to give
her away.

Alumni can collect their A Level certificates at designated times during December

The waiting list to attend our 2023 Open Evenings is now closed. is now SixthForm.London!
Welcome to Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre's new home online.
One of the best Sixth Forms in London for student outcomes.