Record number of entries for Thomson Reuters writing competition

Pupils, teachers and Thomson Reuters staff gathered to celebrate the pupils hard work
Pupils, teachers and Thomson Reuters staff gathered to celebrate the pupils hard work

The fifth annual Green Writing Competition at Calder High School, organised by Thomson Reuters’ Mytholmroyd office, has received more than 450 entries, the largest number of entries to date.

Each year, Thomson Reuters and the school hold a writing competition for pupils focussing on environmental issues and encourage creative and thought-provoking submissions.

Louise Alton-Fletcher, Partnership Co-ordinator and Editor at Thomson Reuters, launched the competition back in March by arranging an in-class presentation by Mytholmroyd-based Lisa Schroeter, who holds a Masters degree in Ecology.

The theme for this year’s competition was positive actions and innovations to prevent local or global flooding. It asked pupils to think about flood prevention and the effects of flooding and was particularly pertinent as the 2015 Boxing Day floods directly impacted on many of the pupils at the school.

English teacher, Rachel Willshaw, said: “This is the first year in which the competition has been built directly into the school’s curriculum.

“It has been a great way to provide an engaging and practical basis for a full week of English classes and we can really see the benefits in the quality of the work produced.”

Lessons focussed on researching, writing skills, drafting and feedback, and encouraged pupils to produce original and creative pieces of writing of no more than 500 words.

The competition was judged by renowned local children’s fiction author and winner of both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Melvin Burgess, who returned to judge the competition for a third year.

First prize in Year 7 went to Isla Lee-Grant, who wrote from the perspective of a local shop-owner affected by flooding. First prize in Year 8 went to Isobel Kendrick for her clever poem on the causes of flooding in the Calder Valley. Second place prizes were awarded to Ru Fenton Gort and Kelbie Higgins, third place prizes to Conor Callaghan and Lachlan Wilkinson, with special mentions for Fig Latimer and Evie McAdam.

Jan Healey, Stakeholder Liaison at Calder High School, commended the high quality of entries and said: “There were so many creative ideas and solutions, all of such an excellent standard—it must have been very difficult for Melvin to pick the winners”.

The school has a long-running relationship with Thomson Reuters, including initiatives such as the Reading Mentors Scheme and fundraising support for school projects.