Gok Wan chooses Witcham seven-year-old Matthew as UK Arts Award Winner

PUBLISHED: 14:34 09 November 2017

A poem by a seven-year old pupil Matthew Hill from Mepal and Witcham Primary School was been chosen by TV star Gok Wan as the overall primary school winner of a UK-wide art competition.

A poem by a seven-year old pupil Matthew Hill from Mepal and Witcham Primary School was been chosen by TV star Gok Wan as the overall primary school winner of a UK-wide art competition.

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A poem by a seven-year old pupil from Witcham has been chosen by TV star Gok Wan as the overall primary school winner of a UK-wide art competition.

Matthew Hill from Mepal and Witcham Primary School penned the winning verse. Titled ’A Dream’, it talks of dreaming of a world of happiness, kindness and acceptance.

The 2017 Arts & Minds competition, organised by the NASUWT - The Teachers’ Union, saw hundreds of pupils from across the UK, aged four to 18, create a range of artwork, creative writing and poetry.

Gok Wan said: “The power of this poem has a simplicity that only a child can create, but at the same time captures such powerful and complex issues that really make the rest of us think deeply.

“If Matthew believes the world can be a better place, why can’t the rest of us make it happen?”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Matthew clearly worked very hard to create this poem, which captures a real sense of hope and optimism which should inspire all of us, a great achievement considering his age.

“The judges found it particularly hard to choose the winners, as the standard of entries throughout the competition was very high across all the age groups and categories.

“Pupils and their teachers have obviously worked very hard to produce such highly imaginative entries, and to come up with new and thought-provoking ways to convey the important issues of diversity and equality.”

Matthew was crowned winner at an awards event in London receiving prize vouchers, while his school received a cash prize of £1,000.

The 2017 competition is the 14th annual Arts & Minds competition.

It was created as a celebration of teachers’ and pupils’ artistic and creative writing skills as a way of promoting discussion and debate among young people about social and ethical issues.

The Arts & Minds competition is sponsored by SecEd, Think Global, VSO, Primary Teacher Update, The Anne Frank Trust UK, Unite Against Facism, Love Music Hate Racism and the YMT.

The awards ceremony was held on Wednesday October 11 at the Amba Hotel Charing Cross, The Strand, London.

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