November 19, 2021

Summer Challenge Winners Awarded by an Author

Our talented Year 7 writers were awarded prizes on Thursday 18th November for their efforts over the Summer holidays responding to the Library’s Summer Challenge.

Each year the Library sets an optional literary task for our incoming students with themes ranging from boats to treehouses, from chairs to board games! The challenge for 2021 was to design a guidebook to the wonders of Earth to help an alien find out about our species and our planet as well as designing a space station or spacecraft for exploring the galaxy.

The competition was inspired by our Patron of reading, Steve Cole’s new book ‘Swarm Rising’, about an alien species visiting Earth and co-written with astronaut Tim Peake. On 18th November, Steve visited Leighton Park and gave an inspiring talk to the whole of Fryer House in Main Hall. The Year 7 and 8 students were fascinated by the logistics of toileting, sleeping and surviving in space which Steve had gained accurate insight into through working closely with Tim Peake on their new book. The Fryers enjoyed taking part in an interactive quiz and hearing more about Steve’s journey to become a published author including his time spent at BBC magazines working on the Noddy magazine, as well as creating young adult fiction such as Young Bond, and popular children’s books like the Astrosaurs.

At the end of their talk the students were delighted to be recognised for their own written achievements which also demonstrated beautiful skills in illustration, design and layout. The guide books were wonderfully detailed and presented with thorough research and creative imagination filling every page. Steve offered encouragement to the winning authors saying, “Amazing work this year! I think the overall winner has to be Hermione, her alien help guide to Earth was fun and witty and covered all bases and above all was helpful! Harry and Tyler clinch it for the runners up. Tyler’s looked really impressive in its box!”

Overall winner, Hermione, exclaimed, “It was great! Steve commented on the fact I had included about food and digestion so he thought it would be very useful for an alien to understand about our insides.”. Tyler and Harry who were both awarded runner up prizes, said “I’m so happy!” and “It’s great! I worked on it nearly every day over the summer”, both of them proudly taking away their gifts.

Librarian Grace Ritchie, who organised the competition reflected: “It was so difficult to choose the winners for the summer challenge this year, as they were all so fantastic! But Hermione, Harry and Tyler absolutely nailed the brief and put so much time and effort into their creations, we were so impressed!”

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