Pupils who have been taking part in a creative writing competition will be awarded for their poetic and literary efforts at a civic ceremony next week.
Hundreds of children from primary schools across the city submitted entries into the Arooj creative writing competition, with 34 pupils being short listed as potential winners. The winner in each category will be announced next Tuesday 19 June, at a special ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall.
The competition, organised by Leeds City Council’s Equalities and Entitlement team, is part of a project which aims to increase attainment in pupils of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage and is open to all primary aged pupils in Leeds. The aim of the Arooj project is to work closely with the 12 primary schools with the largest populations of these pupils, to help to close the gap in attainment.
When: Tuesday 19 June at 3.10pm to 3.30pm
Where: Banqueting Suite, Leeds Civic Hall, Portland Crescent, LS1 1UR
The winners of the creative writing competition will be awarded their prizes by the Lord Mayor of Leeds.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Anne Castle will present the awards to winners and highly commended pupils in each category. The winners will receive a book and a special notebook to encourage their writing talents, highly commended entries will all receive a book.
Entertainment will be provided by pupils from schools involved in the Arooj project, including singing, dancing and poetry recitals. John Siddique, a renowned Yorkshire author and Ghulam Farid, a talented calligrapher who have both worked with the pupils during the year will also recite poetry and give a calligraphy demonstration which the audience will be encouraged to participate in.
Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member for children’s services said:
“Well done to everyone who entered the competition, the standard was extremely high and reading some of the poems it is difficult to believe they were written by primary school pupils, which is a credit to the pupils, schools and project leaders.
“We want all children in Leeds to perform to the best of their ability. Projects like this make education fun, interesting and relevant for pupils whose attainment and attendance may be low, and encourages them to look at their own heritage and community as a source of creativity."
Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage pupils are the largest ethnic minority group in Leeds comprising 6% of the total school population. However attainment levels for these pupils remains below their peers both in Leeds and nationally.
The Equalities and Entitlement team have developed a creative curriculum project with a focus on Muslim heritage, which has had a dramatic impact in terms of engagement and motivation of pupils and parents as well as increasing attainment and attendance.
The team has also been developing school to school support between the 12 schools involved in the project so that they can benefit from each other’s expertise.
The categories for the Arooj creative writing competition are:
KS1 (5-7 year olds) Short Story, Poetry, Calligraphy
Lower KS2: (8 – 9 year olds) Short Story, Poetry, Calligraphy
Upper KS2: (10-11year olds) , Short Story, Poetry, Calligraphy
Poems written by Leeds primary school pupils for the Arooj creative writing competition:
Through the door
Through the door of day, I found the darkness of night,
Through the door of soorow, I found the pain of joy,
Through the door of trust, I found the shivers of betrayal,
Through the door of whisper, I found the thunderous shout.
Through the door of eternity, I found the shortness of time,
Through the door of delight, I found the spirit of disappointment,
Through the door of happiness, I found the weeping of souls,
Through the door of hell, I found the brightness of heaven.
By Keearna Emett, Carr Manor PS
The skin you live in
Its polar bear white skin
And your dynamite bright skin,
Light up your life skin
The angels at night skin.
Its angel pink skin
And give her a wink skin,
How about we link
The time where we think skin?
Its crispy white skin
And a nice sight skin,
Its such a delight skin
Just like your bright skin!
Its lovely jam-tarted skin
And your lonely hearted skin
When you fall out with friends
And then you are parted skin.
By Nasir Miah, Hunslet Moor PS
I was walking
In the playground.
Called me names.
I said likewise.
He came up to me.
We started fighting.
He hit me.
I hit him back..
I really regret
I felt embarrassed when the teacher came.
I was boiling with anger.
It wasn’t my fault.
By Quddus Iqbal, Hovingham PS
The Secret Garden
If you take a child-like mind
Look within, and you will find,
Eager yearning, thirst to know
All the tools to think and grow.
But be careful what you sow
What you plant is what you grow
Some TV leaves thorns and weeds
Children need much better seeds.
By Khadija Ahmed, Hunslet Moor PS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713