Poetry joy for primary pupil

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A six-year-old from a Derbyshire primary school has won a prestigious poetry competition.

Naina Chandran from William Levick Primary School in Dronfield, Derbyshire, has been named as the East Midlands regional winner of the inaugural Premier League Writing Stars competition.

Naina’s poem ‘I tried to read a book…’ was selected as the winning poem for the East Midlands region in the Key Stage 1 age group (five to seven years old).

The winning poem was selected by an all-star judging panel, which featured former professional footballer and children’s author Frank Lampard OBE, Premier League footballer and lyricist Yannick Bolasie, Children’s Laureate Lauren Child and the young people’s laureate for London Caleb Femi, overseen by the National Literacy Trust Director, Jonathan Douglas.

Commenting on William’s poem, Lauren Child said: “I think what I really liked about Naina’s poem was that it felt very personal and I liked the way she listed everybody who helped her as well because being resilient is sometimes also about other people standing by you. I think she’s got that across really beautifully, so congratulations to Naina.”

More than 25,000 children from England and Wales entered the competition with their own original poetry submissions. From the 25,200 poems received, nine regional winners and one national winner have been selected across two age groups, Key Stage 1 (5-7 years) and Key Stage 2 (7-11 years), with the poems being judged on their originality, effect, tone and message.

The winning poems will now be published in a special Writing Stars poetry book due to be released later this year. Other prizes include author-led writing workshops and Premier League trophy school visits, as well as winning poems being read aloud by football stars.