Isobel’s creativity leads to 500-book prize for Swanmore school

BOOKWORMS Swanmore Primary School pupil Isobel Murray, centre, who won a writing competition on Radio 2
BOOKWORMS Swanmore Primary School pupil Isobel Murray, centre, who won a writing competition on Radio 2

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WHEN Isobel Murray wrote a short story about evacuees during the war, she had no idea it would be read out to a national audience live on the radio.

The seven-year-old Swanmore Primary School pupil won Radio 2’s national 500 words writing competition.

More than 74,000 short stories were entered into the competition from children all over the UK.

Her winning story was called Coming Home and featured a young girl’s train journey home with her little brother following the war and two years of living as evacuees.

Isobel said: ‘I love reading and writing stories and I’ve always been interested in what happened to children during the war.

‘It felt amazing to win and I would definitely like to be an author as well as an actress when I grow up.’

Her story was read live on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show radio by comedian and actor Catherine Tate as the winners were announced at the Hay Festival.

As part of her prize for winning gold in the nine and under category, Isobel’s school received 500 books.

John Paterson, headteacher of Swanmore Primary School, said: ‘It’s absolutely fantastic. For her to be able to see her work published to a national audience is tremendous.

‘For us to be able to be a part of that is great too.

‘On the day it went out we had families phoning us and saying it’s on the radio.

‘We are extremely proud of Isobel and very grateful for the books she has won for the school.

‘We all know the importance of reading and writing and the books will be truly appreciated by the children.

‘Isobel’s win has had a huge influence on the pupils and I’m readily seeing and listening to more children keenly thinking about writing their own stories.

‘We hope her legacy will continue and more Swanmore children will continue to write their interesting stories for many years to come.’

Mr Paterson added that reading and writing is crucial at a young age.

‘It’s an important part of their lives that they get to explore creativity and use their imagination and explore ideas,’ he said. ‘We are lucky that our curriculum lets us do that. It goes all the way through their adulthood – the ability to be able to apply these skills as an adult.’