Mansfield Town Football in the Community is delighted to reveal six winners of its World Book Day writing competition, in partnership with Wynndale Primary School and local children’s author Lucy ‘Trinderella’ Trinder.
The competition was designed to help reintegrate pupils back into school in the weeks directly after home learning restrictions were lifted, with a view to helping children find their creativity and work collaboratively back in the classroom.
Pupils from Year Five and Six took part in three workshops, a virtual workshop with Premier League Primary Stars Coordinator Jordan Ferrer, a second virtual workshop with Author Lucy about character creation and plot development which was also recorded for those learning from home – followed by a ‘Hot Seat Heroes’ session with Stags striker Jamie Reid answering questions via Zoom.
The children were then given three weeks to write a short story on a topic of their choosing, ahead of the judging process – where Year Five pupils Eloise, Kara and Kaemie and Year Six duo Mali and Oliver were awarded a copy of Lucy’s book, the time my grandma accidentally brought a giraffe for their efforts.
An overall winner was also chosen to receive a full set of Lucy’s books, which was awarded to Lilly Johnson.
Melanie Evans, Year Six Teacher at Wyndalle Primary Said, “Having the live link to Lucy really helped inspire the Children, because they could speak to her, ask questions about the process and get a real insight into how a professional story is put together.
“Once all the learning sessions had finished, I thought it would take just one or two writing sessions – however they were so engaged and wanted to develop their stories, those sessions became four or five, so the amount of effort that went in from every one of every writing ability, completely blew me away.
“It was very easy for me as a teacher to allow those sessions to go on longer, I could see that they were focussed in the right way and really engaging with the writing process – the impact that has longer term is beneficial for everyone involved.
“Having to write for a different audience and being encouraged to write about themes important to them was helpful for their development, especially for some of the boys – having football as a predominant theme, speaking to the footballer [Jamie Reid] and Lucy made it more personal and I as the weeks have gone on, I’ve certainly seen an improvement into their writing, inside and outside of English lessons”
Jordan Ferrer, Premier League Primary Stars Coordinator, said “I was absolutely blown away by the standard of the stories we had submitted, usually from a group of 30-40 you might get a handful of outstanding ones, but honestly the standard across the board made the judging process really difficult, which is why we took the extra two weeks to decide on the overall winners.
“It’s the first time that we’ve run a competition on this standard and presented these Primary Stars values in more of a workshop format – I’m really pleased at how well it’s gone and the mass impact it’s had.
“To have Lucy on board with us from the off was fantastic, for children to engage with an author is fantastic as they take on different tips and learn new techniques – and then to add the element of Jamie Reid doing the virtual Hot Seat Heroes really helped to add flavour to characters and give an idea of a backstory”
Children’s Author Lucy Trinder added “It took me ages to read all of the entries, they were well detailed and it was clear that the kids had taken on a lot of the things we did in the workshop which was really pleasing.
“I hope this experience inspires them to write more, we’ve all had a tough time with the pandemic and various lockdowns so it was really important for me to help children to escape to those fantasy lands and get the imagination flowing”