Search

Thorpe St Andrew: School librarian joins BBC Radio Two’s Chris Evans in search for best young writers

09:49 28 February 2012

Amanda Allen, librarian at the Thorpe St Andrew School, who is one of the judges in a BBC Radio Two writing competition. With her are keen reading students at the school, from left, Josh Van Carrapiett, 11; Ben Ames, 11; and Stephen Youngs, 12. Picture: Denise Bradley

Amanda Allen, librarian at the Thorpe St Andrew School, who is one of the judges in a BBC Radio Two writing competition. With her are keen reading students at the school, from left, Josh Van Carrapiett, 11; Ben Ames, 11; and Stephen Youngs, 12. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

One of the judges helping to find the best young writers in the country for BBC Radio Two in the coming months will be Thorpe St Andrew School’s librarian, Amanda Allen.

"It’s very important to get children reading early. They must not see reading as a chore and not just something they do in English."

Amanda Allen.

The national radio station has launched its 500 Words competition for writers under-13 years old once more, with a celebrity judging panel waiting to choose the winners.

Radio Two breakfast presenter Chris Evans will be joined by TV comedian and author of Billionaire Boy David Walliams, as well as author of Tracey Beaker, Dame Jacqueline Wilson; author of the Young Bond series, Charlie Higson; author of Charlie and Lola, Lauren Child; and author of Mr Gum, Andy Stanton.

Amanda, 45, who lives in Thorpe, has been the librarian at the school for nine years and during this time has introduced hundreds of children to the range of books and reading material in the school’s library.

She has always supported World Book Day, which is this Thursday, and encouraged entries to the BBC Radio Two competition - but this year she decided to get even more involved. She applied online to become a volunteer judge and, supported by a reference from English teacher and head of key stage three English, Pauline Whitton, she has been accepted.

Amanda expects to receive about 30 to 50 entries from a possible 60,000 in total, as one of more than 1,000 regional judges.

She said: “It will be really good fun to see what they have come up with. I was looking at some of the stuff that was written last year and there is some really good stuff, so I’m looking forward to reading this year’s.”

Amanda says that she has always loved reading and started to write her own stories at the age of seven. Since Amanda took over running the library it has become a showcase where the school library service sends librarians to see what can be done.

In an age when many people think that children read less, the library at Thorpe is always full and busy and, bucking the trend, it’s boys who make up 90pc of the lunchtime users of the library.

Amanda added: “It’s very important to get children reading early. They must not see reading as a chore and not just something they do in English. It needs to be instilled reading is for pleasure because that stays with them. I wrote stories and poems from an early age and it stayed with me.

“It’s good for them to feel confident from an early age and a competition is a good way of making that work. They are coming up to me already and saying ‘when will we hear back?’ already, it’s really sweet.”

As one of the participating judges, Amanda is also automatically entered into a draw for a pair of tickets to attend the live broadcast of the Chris Evans Breakfast Show from Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, on Friday, June 1.

Is your school holding a competition? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

Related articles

0 comments

Other news

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Another Norfolk council has joined Norwich, North Norfolk and Breckland in rejecting the government’s devolution proposals.

Thu, 15:10
BTO cuckoo, Coo

Bird lovers are being offered the chance to play their part in a scientific migration study by paying £3,000 to name a new study cuckoo.

Thu, 11:30
The parachute jumpers for TW Gaze are made up of Scott Parke, Daniel Woods, Robert Kinsella, Lisa West & Louis Smith

They are more used to going under the hammer than hurtling through the air above an airfield.

Thu, 10:52
Gislingham Primary School have introduced a puppy to help children interact and improve their reading skills. Headteacher Julie Welham with Tilly.

Meet Tilly, the newest arrival walking the corridors and joining youngsters in the classroom at a north Suffolk school.

Most Read

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Simply Halal in Banham. Photograph Simon Parker

A vet and meat hygiene inspector have been suspended from their duties at Norfolk slaughterhouse Simply Halal over concerns for the welfare of animals.

Read more
Norwich
Monday, September 28, 2009
In the bath at Norwich City FC.

They dared to bare all at tourist attractions across Norfolk.

Now a brave group of NHS workers from Attleborough is hoping to raise thousands of pounds to help breast cancer patients in the county after launching a nude calendar.

Read more
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Tara Bailee, left, with daughter Rickeita Harvey and granddaughter Lexie.

WITH the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in Europe, Britain is witnessing the emergence of a new kind of grandma - glamorous, 30-somethings with not a blue rinse in sight who love to go out clubbing with their friends.

Read more
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Duncan Slater running the London Marathon, centre, with Christopher Moore on the right.

An inspirational RAF veteran, who was badly injured in Afghanistan, has taken on a new role – engaging with businesses, organisations and the government to promote the mobility needs of disabled people.

Read more
United Kingdom
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Tanya Holloway, who will be running the London Marathon for Parkinsons UK, with dad Terry Green, who has been diagnosed with the disease, and daughters Tazmin and Tia.

A mum-of-three from Harleston is launching a fundraising drive ahead of her debut London Marathon next year.

Read more
Archbishop Sancroft High School

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 9°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up