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Pupil Success at Storyslam Semi-Finals

Pupils from around the country took part in the United Learning semi-finals of new national StorySLAM competition

Pupils from primary schools around the country competed last week to win United Learning’s StorySLAM regional semi-finals.

StorySLAM is a new national story writing and storytelling competition for Year 5 and 6 pupils across the country. Pupils from across United Learning have been competing for a chance to represent the Group at the Young StorySLAM grand final at London’s Southbank Centre in February.

Since October, pupils across the Group have been competing within their own schools to write the best original stories and perform them to an audience in the short three-minute time frame. Last week saw them going head-to-head with other United Learning schools at the two regional semi-finals held at William Hulme’s Grammar School in Manchester and Surbiton High School in Surrey.

Although the standard was incredibly high, the judges chose two overall winners who will compete at the national grand final next month. On Tuesday, Nada from Cravenwood Primary Academy was announced as winner of the Northern semi-final, with Sumaiyah from High Hazels Academy as runner-up and Jess from William Hulme’s Grammar School winning the ‘best line’ award. This award was for pupils who wrote a particularly special line or verse that stood out either because it was well written, well performed or made very good use of grammar.

On Wednesday, Ellie from Rowan Preparatory School was the overall winner with ‘best story’. Rahmah from Wilberforce Primary was awarded the runner-up prize and Hannah from Surbiton High Girls’ Prep School was chosen to win ‘best line’.

During the events, United Learning’s Poetry Ambassador Paul Cookson also led pupils in a workshop which they thoroughly enjoyed, encouraging them not to be afraid of writing and performing. The contests were judged by Paul Cookson along with Surbiton High School’s writer-in-residence Stuart Bird and Linda Heaver, a primary trustee for the Group. The semi-finalists were each awarded a £50 book voucher. They will all have their original stories published in a special booklet to commemorate the event.

Darran Lee, Primary Director of United Learning, said:

‘Congratulations to all our pupils who have taken part in our StorySLAM semi-finals and to those who have competed within their schools across United Learning. The quality of stories and performances during the two semi-finals was outstanding and the judges had a hard task choosing the winner.

‘The competition has been an exciting way to explore creativity, writing and reading as well as giving pupils an excellent opportunity to work with children at other schools within the Group at the regional semi-finals.

‘I would like to wish Nada and Ellie the very best of luck for February when they represent United Learning at London’s Southbank Centre in the national grand final.’

Nada, the Cravenwood Primary Academy pupil who won the Northern semi-final, said:

‘I am really proud of myself for getting through to the final. I didn’t think I was going to do it. Also, I am very excited to go to London and read my story in front of all those people, I can’t wait!’

Ellie, the pupil from Rowan Prep School who won ‘best story’ at the Southern semi-final, said:

‘I was quite nervous at the beginning but once I started my story I felt much better. When I heard my name read out I was very surprised but pleased. I think the final will be nerve-racking but great fun. I am really looking forward to it.’



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