Congratulations to Year 8 students Olivia Miller and Amelia Sulch who won prizes for their hand written and illustrated stories aimed at young children. Nine of the best entries were given to the children at Oakley Vale primary school to judge and their comments, along with the names of the winners, were announced in assembly with Olivia’s ‘Lost’ and Amelia’s ‘Deep, deep in the woods’ sharing first place. Each received the prize of a gift voucher.
Mr Fitzjohn said: ‘The children at Oakley Vale absolutely loved the stories. Amelia’s story was about friendship and understanding and with Olivia’s they were totally engaged from start to finish and they all wanted to get involved. They really enjoyed both of the stories. The whole purpose of the competition was for young people to inspire other young people to read. The girls balanced the perfect amount of words and imagery so reading the books was something enjoyable that the younger children can go back to and enjoy time and time again.
‘It was the first time we have staged a writing competition aimed at young children which is the most challenging of all the genres. Reception children judged them on their surface value and gave a rating out of 10 and many year 6 students offered written feedback. They were looking at grammar, punctuation, spelling and purpose and whether it was appropriate for the age range and something that children would enjoy and go back to. The students who assessed the competition felt it was really important not only to be interactive but to have vocabulary that was understandable and challenging but with a really positive message.’
Amelia said: ‘My story was about woodland creatures. The main characters were a family of squirrels whose home fell down and how all their friends team together to help them. I wrote the story first and planned out the illustrations which were the hardest part because there were quite a lot of them and I drew and coloured it all myself so it took quite a long time!’
Olivia’s book was about a missing teddy. She said: ‘It was Emily’s bedtime but she couldn’t find her teddy so she and her mum go on a hunt around the house. I did it as a lift the flap book as it is interactive for younger children so it would keep them engaged. The story isn’t that detailed but it took me quite a while to come up with the concept and construct it all. I really like writing and I am thinking about journalism as a career path.’