Over 200 local school children who entered a Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition promoted by Notts County Football in the Community (FITC) and the Premier League have won huge praise for their writing skills.

The poetry competition, was inspired by the poem Try, Try Again, which is featured in the Premier League Primary Stars TV advert. Pupils were asked to write a poem based on the theme of resilience, encouraging young people to work hard and to never give up, themes that run through the educational programme delivered by Notts County FITC.

After careful consideration, FITC chose 4 age group winners as well as an overall winner – Callum, Year 6 Pupil from Westglade Primary School, who’s talented writing skills earnt special praise from the gaffer Kevin Nolan.

All winning entries have been entered into the Premier League Primary Stars national competition, which is judged by a high-profile panel, including Children’s Laureate and writer of the Charlie and Lola books Lauren Child, former footballer and now children’s author Frank Lampard, Everton star Yannick Bolasie and the Young People’s Laureate for London, Caleb Femi. Head judge is Jonathan Douglas from the National Literacy Trust. The Premier League are expected to announce the regional and national winners very soon.

As part of World Book Day celebrations in March, Notts County FITC have launched a Premier League Reading Stars video to showcase the impact it’s had on pupils’ learning at Whitemoor Academy.

The programme, which reaches over 750 pupils in Nottingham, uses football-related resources and texts from the Premier League Primary Stars (PLPS) programme to engage, as well as improve pupils’ reading attainment and their attitude towards reading.

Louise Dewsbury, Leader of Wider Curriculum at Whitemoor Academy, said: “The Reading Stars programme has been really successful for our Year 6 boys because, although quite capable readers, some of them are sometimes more reluctant to read so we’ve used that programme to develop their passion and their interest about reading.”

Jo Toone, mother of a Year 6 Sports Ambassador at Whitemoor, also commented: “I think for children that do sometimes struggle to engage with school on an academic level – to have that to look forward to – encourages them to attend school and to focus and learn.”

To watch the full video, please visit our website or find us on social media @nottscountyfitc.