In this digital age we live in, I think you would agree that is has never been more important that we focus on getting children writing and using their imagination offline through words.
Creative writing has so many benefits and is an amazing tool for children to explore and unleash their creativity, self-expression, self-confidence and improve their communication skills. Within this, poetry holds a special place in my heart, as something I loved writing as a child all the way up into adulthood.
The simple fact is, children need poetry
It’s like music to their ears – the rhythm and movement they can find in it is like nothing else. My five year old daughter is proof of that fact – she is already obsessed with words that rhyme and repetition – two of the fundamentals of children writing poetry – and a great place to start when it comes to writing poetry.
Inspiring a nation of little poetry lovers
It’s because of this I’m so excited to let you know that The Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition is returning for its second year to inspire children aged between five and eleven to get creative and pen their own poem on the theme of diversity – something that football is always an amazing example of.
The campaign, which is open to all primary schools in England and Wales, is supported by the National Literacy Trust and is part of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme, which engages more than 16,000 primary schools in England and Wales.
It sees stars from the worlds of football, entertainment and literature supporting the fantastic initiative and last year’s inaugural Writing Stars competition encouraged more than 25,000 primary school pupils to write a poem! How fantastic is that?
The judging panel includes former Premier League footballer Rio Ferdinand, singer and songwriter Olly Murs, Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Lauren Child, poet Joseph Coelho. Casia Wiliam, current Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children’s Poet Laureate) will guest judge all Welsh- language entries. All judging will be overseen by National Literacy Trust Director Jonathan Douglas.
Entries will be considered against a range of criteria including creativity, tone and originality. The winning poems will be published in a limited-edition book. Other prizes include author-led writing workshops and Premier League trophy school visits, as well as winning poems being read aloud by some of the competition judges. The first 1,000 primary schools to enter will receive a cracking poetry book bag containing 12 different titles too – just look at this!
To inspire children taking part in the competition Joseph Coelho has created a bespoke poem titled ‘Beautifully different, wonderfully the same’.
Why not read it your children to see what they think?
Wonderfully the same By Joseph Coelho
The same laughter erupts when a joke finds its giggle.
Same whoop, same cheer different smiles. The same rhythm rocks us when a dance makes us wiggle. Same hands, same feet different styles.
The same warmth in our bellies when we choose to be kind.
Same hug, same high-five different bodies. The same happiness finds us when friendship binds
Same goal, same win different players.
The same sadness within us when darkness creeps.
Same eyes, same sobs different tears. The same joy on our faces when we’re no longer apart.
Same blood, same beat same hearts.
Want to hear the poem brought to life? Watch it here:
I think you’ll agree this is a fantastic way to get school children writing, falling in love with poetry, exploring what makes us all different and special and celebrating the wonderful importance of differences.
Because poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words (Edgar Allan Poe)
…..and that’s something every child should have the joy of experiencing. So why not encourage your school to sign up and get involved?
All poems are submitted via schools either online or by post. Teachers have until Friday 21 December to submit their pupils’ work. Winners will be announced in March 2019.
For more information or to register, visit: Premier League Writing Stars
*This post was commissioned by Mumsnet for Premier League Writing Stars