Yes, yes, yes Christmas IS coming but there’s something more exciting happening before that! The Premier League Writing Stars Poetry Competition is underway for the second year and is hoping to attract even more entries this year. Last year, they received a staggering 25,200 poems from primary school children on the theme of Resilience.
The theme for this year’s poem is ‘Diversity‘ which fits well into the PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) aspect of the National Curriculum. The theme Diversity is supported by bespoke teaching resources available from the Premier League Writing Stars website and has been inspired by football. Children are encouraged to celebrate and explore the importance of their differences and similarities.
To inspire the children, Joseph Coelho, (children’s poet and Writing Stars Judge) was invited to write his own poem, Beautifully Different, Wonderfully the Same which explains Diversity it so well.
This year’s panel of celebrity Judges joining Joseph Coelho include Premier League footballer, Rio Ferdinand, singer/songwriter Olly Murs and Waterstones’ Children’s Poet Laureate Lauren Child. You can hear them (along with a bunch of their celeb buddies) reading the poem in the video below.
Rio popped into his old school in Peckham and Olly visited one primary school in Salford to surprise the children who were in the process of writing their poems for the competition. Olly explained to the children how he uses songwriting to express his own thoughts and feelings. I had been booked to visit one of our local Primary Schools last week to tell the children all about the Writing Stars competition but sadly I had a poorly Albie at home which meant I couldn’t attend. I told Lillie all about it and together we watched this video which inspired her to write her own entry. She can’t wait to get it sent in along with her classmates.
What can you win?
The Writing Stars competition is judged in two categories, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. There will also be prizes for the best entries in the Welsh language at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Prizes for overall winners:
- A Premier League Trophy visit to your school
- A visit to your school by a children’s author or poet to lead a poetry workshop
- Winning poems read aloud by one of our star judges
Prizes for regional and Welsh winners and overall winners:
- Poems published in an official Premier League Writing Stars book with bespoke illustrations
- An invitation to a national celebration event and the chance to meet other poets and special guests
- A framed version of the winning poems
- Poetry book bags for all winners’ schools
Be one of the first 1000 schools to enter to receive this . . .
If you’re one of the first 1000 school to send in your entries then you will receive a special Premier League Writing Stars goody bag filled to the brim with an amazing selection of children’s poetry books.
What are the judges looking for?
The judges will be looking for the following:
- The vocabulary that is relevant to the theme of diversity
- An appropriate tone
- Poetry – figurative speech and devices to build a picture in the reader’s mind in a creative and effective way. For example, alliteration, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, symbolism.
- Elements of poetry – words chosen for effect, a sense of structure, clever use of rhythm, purposeful use of rhyme, (although not all poems have to rhyme).
- Effect – does the poem celebrate diversity? Do you understand what is important about diversity having read this?
- Originality – does this entry stand out from the rest? Is it original and unique?
- Appeal – will it appeal to other primary-age pupils?
The website is packed with all of the information you need for your school to register and submit entries. Your school needs to get all poems entered by 21st December 2018, make a note in your diary and get those creative juices flowing. It’s worth noting also that children in Key Stage 1 may submit a class poem, whereas children in Key Stage 2 need to submit individual entries. If your school hasn’t mentioned it, give them a nudge and show them the website.