In March this year, over 800 primary and secondary students from our family of schools across the world entered into Nord Anglia Education’s Global Classroom short story competition. Timed to tie in with World Book Week, the competition allowed students to write up to 2000 words on the theme of taking a ‘Journey of Discovery’.
Story ideas were wide ranging from the more traditional travelling in time and space and growing up, to more philosophical journeys of the mind, spirit and emotions. Students were given completely free range to express themselves and the finalists showed an outstanding quality that really demonstrates the impact of Nord Anglia Education’s commitment to High Performance Learning.
The competition judges were award-winning authors Geraldine McCaughrean, who judged the primary students' entries and Gemma Malley, who judged the secondary students' entries. Geraldine has written over 160 books and is probably best known for Peter Pan in Scarlet, the official sequel to J. M. Barrie’s classic, instigated by Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London. Gemma Malley is a former journalist who has already written five successful young-adult novels and is the author of the critically acclaimed ‘The Declaration’ series.
Judges were looking for a clear strong voice, an original theme, an interesting and unusual plot, strong characterisation and story progression and most of all, whether the story was really emotionally engaging.
Geraldine McCaughrean said: “So much of reading comes down to a matter of taste. You won’t necessarily enjoy the books your friends do. Different things make you laugh or stir your interest. It’s as personal a thing as whether you like milk or dark chocolate. Always a problem when it comes to judging; always a reason for you to disagree with the results. If you were judging, you might each have come up with different winners, because readers (like the stories I’ve been reading) are very different beasts”.
All the stories from the finalists have been presented in an exclusively designed e-book, with the judges’ favourites receiving signed copies of their novels. Please click here to view the Journey of Discovery e-book.
The Global Classroom is a unique opportunity for students to extend and enrich their learning from experts and each other around the world and is an opportunity for us to showcase flexible thinking, intellectual playfulness and imagination - three of the key advanced cognitive characteristics of high performance.