We are absolutely delighted to share that following our high volume of entries to the Premier League Writing Stars competition it has been announced that Maariya in Year 5 was the national winner. Of the 25,000 entries Maariya's poem titled "An Ordinary Girl from Birmingham" stunned the judging panel which was overseen by National Literacy Trust Director, Jonathan Douglas.
The Premier League Writing Stars competition takes place annually and welcomes entries from children aged 5 to 11 across England and Wales. Students were tasked with writing a 150 word poem on the theme of diversity. To provide inspiration for the theme, poet Joseph Coelho wrote a poem titled, Beautifully different, Wonderfully the same. The poem and subject encouraged entrants to think of ways to celebrate similarities and differences that bring people together, and these were the themes that ran through the programme.
The judging panel, consisting of Premier League footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer and songwriter Olly Murs, Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Lauren Child and poet Joseph Coelho said "Maariya’s poem is wonderful. It has a really strong voice. It talks about her parents being from the North or South and how that doesn’t matter because together they make her world, which is such a beautiful sentiment.”
Mrs Atherton, Head of School said “We are inordinately proud of Maariya and indeed all of our pupils who entered this competition. She has demonstrated the diversity she knows and how it is a positive thing in her life. I know she will continue to write many more things that she can be proud of”.
Thanks to Maariya's success we were awarded a day to remember with a visit from the Premier League Trophy and an incredible poetry workshop with Joseph Coelho.
Throughout the morning children also received a special assembly from the Premier League. Coaches from Aston Villa F.C and mascot Bella delivered a fun morning of football activities. As if that wasn’t enough, Maariya’s winning poem will be published in a limited-edition anthology later this year. The anthology will be illustrated by David Mackintosh who has created bespoke pictures that will feature alongside the winners’ poems.
We would like to say a huge congratulations to Maariya on her incredible achievement.