Sonia wins literacy prize out of over 1000 entries


Festival Leisure Park has announced the winner of their ‘Festival in 70 years’ time’ Literacy competition, seeing over 1,000 entries received and 23 schools take part.

To celebrate Basildon New Town’s 70th anniversary, Festival Leisure Park launched the campaign back in April, inviting local Primary Schools to creatively write and express what entertainment they thought would be at the popular Leisure destination in 70 years’ time. Continuing the 70th theme, each school entered into the competition is also set to receive £70.

After receiving over 1,000 entries, with Primary Schools setting the piece of work as either homework or classwork, judges from Festival Leisure and Basildon Council sat down to shortlist the entries and then final deliberations. Judges agreed not to limit the shortlist down to the top 10, but to extend this to the top 20.

The winning entry has been announced as year 3 pupil, Sonya from Whitmore Primary School, Basildon. After reading Sonya’s submission, the judges were blown away with the clever layout and how Sonya mentioned Virtual Reality, flying cars and robots!

To present the cheque which totals £1,070, on Tuesday 9th July Matthew Chambers, Centre Manager at Festival Leisure Park and Basildon’s Mayor, Cllr. David Burton-Sampson attended Whitmore Primary School’s assembly. The announcement saw a surprised Sonya head up to the stage to collect the giant cheque. Festival Leisure also arranged for Sonya’s parents to also attend the surprise assembly.

Whitmore Primary School’s Headteacher, Mrs Kemp said: “After being notified last week that Sonya had won Festival Leisure’s 70th Literacy competition we were absolutely thrilled and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside Festival Leisure Park to arrange the presentation assembly. “We’d also like to mention another two pupils from Whitmore – Eliza BE and Elizabeth O who were also shortlisted. I’d like to thank our Literacy leader- Miss Channing for all her continued hard work! I’ll now be speaking with Sonya to decide what she’d like to spend the money on here at the school.”

Matthew Chambers, Centre Manager of Festival Leisure Park said: “We’d like to thank every Primary school for entering our Literacy competition over the past few months and we’ve been blown away with the standard of writing.

“Sonya’s submission really stood out and it was a great pleasure to present the cheque and meet the fantastic staff at Whitmore Primary School.”

Cllr David Burton-Sampson, Mayor of Basildon Borough commented: “It was such a pleasure to present Whitmore Primary School with their prize and to meet the talented pupils and staff who have been so enthusiastic about the competition. Three entries were shortlisted from Whitmore, which is a testament to the outstanding creative skills among their pupils. Well done to our winner, Sonya and everyone who submitted an entry – keep up the creativity!”


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