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A pupil from a Dukes Education school wins BBC’s 500 Words 2024 competition

We are thrilled to be able to share that a pupil at Dukes Education school has won the age 8-11 category in the BBC’s 500 Words writing competition. The winner had to exercise MI5 levels of subtlety and secrecy over the past week while the news remained under embargo but following the official announcement on The One Show, we are delighted to reveal her extraordinary success. Winners of this competition are almost mythological to English teachers: we know they must exist in some school somewhere, but in such a publicised, popular competition, it is extremely challenging to achieve success.

The winner visited Buckingham Palace for the final of the competition, and was presented her certificate by Her Majesty The Queen. Malorie Blackman, one of the winner’s writing heroes, was in attendance and congratulated her on her exceptional talent. The winning story, ‘Cellmate’ has been published in the annual BBC 500 Words book, and illustrated by ‘Bunny vs Monkey’ illustrator Jamie Smart. Actor Tom Hiddleston performed a reading of her work on The One Show (still available on iPlayer), and it is also available to listen to and read on the BBC 500 Words website.  The winner will receive a stack of reading books as tall as Lenny Henry (at 6’ 2”, that’s a very big prize) and the school will also receive 500 books which they plan to share with local primary schools linked to their charitable foundation.

We are very proud the achievements and the incredibly creative, masterful, and atmospheric writing.  What an inspiration to other young writers – congratulations!