Earlier this year we worked with the Premier League on their Primary Stars campaign. Designed to inspire children across PE and Sport, English, Maths and PSHE, Premier League Primary Stars is a curriculum-linked education initiative for KS1 and KS2 teachers. It’s a superb community project that’s seen more than 10,000 primary schools sign up for its free resources in just seven months.
Teaching kids about health, teamwork, resilience and positive behaviour is becoming increasingly important in schools with many of these skills transferrable into adulthood. As parents we want to see our kids flourish but also understand how they can pick themselves up when the fall and learn to move forward. If they can learn what resilience is and how to recognise it, it makes it easier to bounce back from difficult or challenging situations.
The Premier League Primary Stars TV advert featured an array of football stars and the “Try, Try Again” poem by William Hickson. Beginning with the words “It’s a lesson you should heed, try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”, this poem is what inspired the Premier League Writing Stars competition. Premier League Writing Stars is part of Premier League Primary Stars which you can read more about here.
What is Premier League Writing Stars?
Premier League Writing Stars a poetry competition open to all primary schools in England and Wales which aims to get children (aged five to 11) writing poetry in different creative forms using resilience as the inspiration. The poetry competition is backed by names from football and literature including Frank Lampard OBE, Premier League player and lyricist Yannick Bolasie and Children’s Laureate Lauren Child.
How to enter the competition
To enter the #PLWritingStars competition, teachers should encourage pupils to write poems based on the theme of resilience entitled “Try, Try Again”. There are two categories – one for pupils in KS1 and one for those in KS2. Key Stage 1 can submit individual or group entries with individual entries only for Key Stage 2. Poems should be no more than 20 lines or 150 words and must be on the theme of resilience. Poems can be of any structure and don’t have to rhyme. Pupils can write a new poem themselves or continue the Try, Try Again poem. Entries will be considered against a range of criteria including creativity, tone and originality. All entries are submitted via schools. Teachers and parents should visit plprimarystars.com to register or nominate their schools to take part. The competition is open from Thursday 28th September 2017 (National Poetry Day) to Friday 22nd December 2017.
The competition will be judged by a high-profile panel including Children’s Laureate and writer of the ‘Charlie and Lola’ books Lauren Child, former footballer and childen’s author Frank Lampard OBE, Everton star and lyricist Yannick Bolasie and the Young People’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi. The head judge will be Jonathan Douglas from the National Literacy Trust.
The judges are looking for precise vocabulary to the theme of resilience and determination. There should be an appropriate tone and message. They’re looking for the poem to use figurative speech which builds a picture in a readers mind in a creative way and demonstrates resilience. Poems should appeal to primary age pupils, be original and unique. Poems will be judged on creative merits but should still be proof read before being submitted.
Money can’t buy prizes!
Premier League Primary Stars will contact schools in February 2018. The winning poems will be published in a limited-edition book. Other prizes include money can’t buy prizes like author-led writing workshops and Premier League trophy school visits, as well as winning poems being read aloud by football stars. The first 1,000 schools that enter the competition will receive a bespoke ‘Book Bag’.
Six year old POD thoroughly enjoys reading, writing and drawing. She’s always making up her own stories and while she does write poems, it’s not often they rhyme although they might be illustrated. That’s what makes the Premier League Writing Stars competition so great, the fact that it’s flexible enabling primary school children to explore their creativity. We’ve seen first hand what an impact the Premier League can have in schools with Primary Stars and Writing Stars promises to do the same. What a brilliant way to get kids writing and with so many money can’t buy prizes on offer too. POD’s school was thrilled with all the free resources they had available to them having signed up to Primary Stars. I cannot wait to share this new initiative with them, what a great campaign to get involved with. Do make sure your child’s school has registered with Primary Stars – as a parent you can nominate your child’s school here. And do check out Dan Walker and his Egg Club for some initial inspiration.
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) October 9, 2017
Disclaimer: I’m working in a paid relationship with the Premier League on their #PLWritingStars campaign. Do have a look at the benefits your children and their schools can get by taking part in the Writing Stars poetry competition.