As a writer I am, and always have been, passionate about literature – both reading and writing. As a child I could always be found with a pen in my hand or curled up with a book, and over the years I have found a real creative, and often therapeutic, outlet in writing. My girls are very much the same and love nothing more than writing stories and reading books.
Last year when the Premier League Writing Stars Competition first launched, I thought it was an amazing idea to really encourage school aged children to take an interest in poetry. This year the theme is diversity, inspired by the poem written specially for this competition, Beautifully different, Wonderfully the same by Joseph Coelho, as recited below.
Supported by bespoke teaching resources, and inspired by football, children are encouraged to explore and celebrate the importance of differences and similarities, values that, as a parent, I believe is paramount to instil in our children.
Primary school children can then write a poem based on the theme of diversity and enter the competition with some fantastic prizes to be won: –
- 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
- 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
There are also some amazing goody bags full to the brim with poetry books up for grabs for the first 1000 schools who submit entries. We were lucky enough to read one and the books are just perfect and so beautifully illustrated.
I love that the judging panel for Primary Stars includes former Premier League footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer and songwriter Olly Murs, Waterstones’s children’s Laureate Lauren Child, and poet Joseph Coelho. I think it’s a great idea to use popular celebrities and sporting figures to target those children who are perhaps a little less interested in academic subjects, and use the appeal of football to inspire children to learn, be active, and develop important life skills.
Poetry is such a great way for children to learn to express themselves and I love that it is completely open to interpretation, something which was hugely apparent when my girls sat down to write their own poems. At five and six, my girls approached their poems very differently and, where as Megan’s poem was very fluid and whimsical, Eva’s was far more structured with a great deal of thought into using rhyme.
Writing Stars is part of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme, which currently engages more than 16000 primary schools in England and Wales, and teachers have access to free-curriculum linked resources via the PLPrimaryStars.com website. If your children’s school does not currently take advantage of this, you can encourage your child’s teacher to sign up or the Writing Stars competition here where all entries must be submitted before 21st December.
** This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Premier League Primary Stars. All words and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. **