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6 posts categorized "School Competitions"

31 August 2016

Sow & Grow takes the UK by storm

The innocent Sow & Grow campaign, in association with iChild, launched in the UK in March 2016 with over 3,000 schools taking part. 

Diary 3 - hello cress! (image only)
The aim of Sow & Grow is to teach children about where their food comes from, to allow them to start growing vegetables themselves and to develop healthy eating habits from a young age.

iChild recruited over 3,000 schools nationwide to take part, reaching over 100,000 primary school children.

Each school that took part received a comprehensive growing pack, suitable for a class of 30 from GIY and innocent. This included curriculum based lesson plans and supporting activities to support the initiative, developed by the educational consultants at iChild, along with compost, cress, spinach and pea seeds and cups to grow in. Further activities and recipes for children to try with their vegetables once fully grown could be found online at (You can view the full range of Sow & Grow educational resources for free on

Schools also completed online growing diaries, with students charting their seeds' progress. Schools could read each others' diaries online, developing a Sow & Grow community among participating schools.

Based on their diary entries each week, one lucky school who impressed the most was chosen as the 'Grower of the Week' and won a pack of innocent smoothies. Then, from this shortlist, one overall winner was awarded at the end of the term.

 Horseden winners

The winning class: Mrs. Wright's Class from Horseden Primary School grew their cress to impress, winning their school new gardening supplies and a visit from the grassy green innocent van.

Horsenden Primary School were the lucky overall winners, winning their school new gardening supplies, a new wheelbarrow and a visit from the team at innocent. Horseden PS had had a vegetable garden previously, but no longer had the funding to support it. Thanks to the free Sow & Grow packs, and the grand prize, they've been able to reopen their gardening club - much to the joy of the students and teachers alike. 

Horseden thank you card“Taking part in Sow and Grow has been, without a doubt, the highlight of the academic year for my class. It is rare to find a project that can engage a whole class and draw enthusiasm from even the most reluctant of learners, but the Sow and Grow initiative certainly achieved that. From planting the seeds to harvesting our small crops, every child was excited to get their hands dirty and learn as much as they could about growing their own food.”

- Miss Wright, Class Teacher, Horseden Primary School


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23 March 2016

100,000 entries to Royal Mail's Young Letter Writer of the Year Competition

Two school children have been named as the national winners of Royal Mail’s Young Letter Writer of the Year Competition which was developed, promoted and run by iChild. Iris Ferrar, aged 9 from south London, won the Under-11 age group and Amelia Cunliffe, aged 11 from Bolton, Greater Manchester, was the winner of the 11-14 age group. Each child wins £1000 in vouchers and also £1000 for their school. They were awarded their prize by TV presenter, Helen Skelton. 

Iris and Amelia’s entries were among almost 100,000 submissions from children aged 4-14 years old across the UK in response to the question: ‘What is your dream job?’ Entries were received from almost one in five (19%) secondary schools and nearly one in four (23%) primary schools.


Iris wrote to the Extraordinary and Exotic Zoo describing why she would be the ideal candidate for her dream job as an Animal Language Decoder. Writing to Mr Gruntspeak, Iris wrote how she “could converse with the animal specified and then tell you exactly what they need.”

In addition, Iris said she would be ‘perfect for the job of language decoder’ as she was ‘extremely committed and happy to have her lodgings in the animal enclosures – although she would have to tame the crocodiles first!’

Amelia Cunliffe, winner of the 11-14 age group, wrote to the ‘Department of Space Cleanliness’ applying for the position of ‘Moon Cleaner’. In her creative and imaginative letter, she wrote that she was currently working as ‘head of equipment cleaning for NASA in Washington DC’. She also stated that she ‘loves cleaning’ and that securing the role of ’moon cleaner’ would also ‘create brighter streets at night, meaning less energy consumption’.

Tim Peake also sent a message of congratulations from the International Space Station after reading Amelia’s letter!

Tim Peake Facebook LikeMoya Greene, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Mail Group said: “Nothing packs an emotional punch like a letter. I want to personally thank all our letter writers for giving us real insight into not only the amazing creativity, humour and originality of young people across the UK, but also their ambition.

“In recent months, we have heard from aspiring sportspeople, architects, biotechnology experts, lifeboat workers, chocolate tasters and of course animal language decoders and moon cleaners! These young people have the world at their feet, and I have no doubt from the quality of their letters that many of them will go on to make their career ambitions a reality.”

The four-stage judging process involved all submissions being assessed on a range of criteria, including: correct letter layout and word count, good use of vocabulary, accurate grammar and well-constructed sentences, correct punctuation, strong and engaging content with originality and a compulsion to 'read on'.

Presenter, Helen Skelton said: “Congratulations to Amelia and Iris. I loved both their winning letters. Their creativity and standard of grammar was impressive – I had so much fun reading all of the final entries. I’m sure they will both go on to do great things in whatever dream jobs they choose.”

23 January 2015

Stacey Soloman and Pip visit winning school in iChild's Pip Ahoy! month


As part of iChild's promotion of CHF's Pip Ahoy! show, a "Pip Ahoy! Month" was developed by Family & Education, and over 1,000 nurseries, pre-schools,and primary schools took part, with involvement from more than 70,000 children. The winning school was Gainsborough Primary School who received a visit from Stacey Soloman and Pip.

Following iChild's promotion of Pip Ahoy!, the show is now No. 1 rated.

The Newham Recorder featured the visit...

Many children dream of meeting their favourite cartoon character, and for pupils at Gainsborough Primary School, that became a reality.

Popular Channel 5 cartoon Pip Ahoy!’s star Pip popped into their classroom, joined by television presenter and singer Stacey Solomon, who performs the show’s tune.

The duo led the school in a singalong and each class were able to ask a question to the special visitors.

Stacey said: “I was so excited to be visiting the children at Gainsborough Primary School and loved their passion for the show.

“They were so welcoming and engaging that I did not want to leave.”

The visit came after the school won a nationwide competition by iChild, which produces educational resource packs to accompany the show.

Teacher at the Berkshire Road school, Samuel Cullen, said: “The children have been so excited about Stacey and Pip visiting the school that we have had to contain their anticipation all week!

“Pip Ahoy! is a particular favourite amongst the children and we have loved using the Pip education resource packs that have been produced as part of our lessons.

“Using children’s characters is a great way of helping children to get enthusiastic about learning.”

The show follows the adventures of a mischievous pup and his friends who live in the colourful seaside town of Salty Cove, and stars Sir David Jason as the voice of Pip’s uncle.

31 October 2013

Prince Charles selects Christmas Stamp Design Competition Winners

HRH The Prince of Wales today presented prizes to the two winners of Royal Mail's Christmas Stamp Design Competition. The competition was developed and run by Family & Education and promoted through
This year's first class stamp shows Father Christmas, drawn by seven-year-old Molly Robson, a pupil at Leechpool Primary School in Horsham, West Sussex, while the second class stamp features three singing angels, designed by 10-year-old Rosie Hargreaves, who attends Ermington Primary School in Ivybridge, Devon.
TwochildrenwithHRH2.jpegCredit: Royal Mail/PA
The winning designs were chosen from over 240,000 entries received from children aged four to 11, in response to the question: What does the Christmas season mean to you?

It is only the third time in Royal Mail's near 500-year history that children have designed Royal Mail's Christmas stamps.

The two winning designs were unveiled at a ceremony in Clarence House where Rosie and Molly met the Prince of Wales.

Molly said: "I was very excited that I won. The picture took me two afternoons to draw. I usually like to draw rainbows."

Rosie, who is giving some of her prize money to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: "It felt really amazing to win. I was very excited about meeting Prince Charles. I think mummy and daddy were more nervous than me!"

Prince Charles, who led the judging panel, presented a framed copy of the winning designs to Molly and Rosie.

Royal Mail's Chief Executive Moya Greene said: "These wonderful images capture perfectly what Christmas means to many people throughout the UK. We were overwhelmed that the competition received more than 240,000 entries and Molly and Rosie now follow in the footsteps of some highly acclaimed children's designers and illustrators who have designed Royal Mail's Christmas stamps in the past". DaybreakThe winning designs were featured widely in the news today, including on Daybreak and BBC Breakfast. 
You can see the BBC Breakfast coverage here.

30 August 2013

HRH The Prince of Wales to lead competition judging

Today Royal Mail announced that new grandfather HRH The Prince of Wales will lead the judging of its Christmas Stamp Design Competition. The competition was developed and run by Family & Education and promoted through

The Prince will be casting his eye over the final shortlist of 24 designs created by children aged 4- to 11-years-old who have made the final stage of the competition, and will help choose the two winners. The final shortlist comprises of two winners from each of the 12 competition regions.

The two overall winners – one each from the 4 to 7 and 8 to 11 age groups - will see their designs feature on one of the First and one of the Second Class Christmas stamps.

The Prince will be joined by Royal Mail’s Chief Executive Officer, Moya Greene, the author of the Charlie and Lola series, Lauren Child, Royal Mail’s Head of Stamp Design, Marcus James, and Tasveer Shemza, who was just six when she designed one of Royal Mail’s first ever Christmas stamps in 1966.

The judging will take place in the autumn with the two winners announced shortly afterwards.

His Royal Highness, said today: “I am delighted to be helping judge this wonderful competition which gives children from across the United Kingdom the amazing opportunity to share their creativity and have their designs on this year’s Christmas stamps.

“It will be a real pleasure to look through some of the ideas submitted and to see the final two winning stamps once they are produced.”

Royal Mail Chief Executive Officer, Moya Greene, added: “We are honoured that HRH The Prince of Wales will lead the judging in our children’s Christmas Stamp Design Competition and will help us decide which two entries will feature on this year’s First and Second Class Christmas stamps.

“We’re delighted how successful our competition has been, capturing the imagination of children across the UK, with over 240,000 entries submitted.

“It’s going to be an extraordinary tough job to pick the two overall winners as the standard of entries is extremely high. Our illustrious panel of judges will be looking to choose the most creative designs which will end up on millions of items of mail this Christmas.”

The 24 entries in the final will be shortlisted from 240,000 designs that Royal Mail has received from children who have been painting, colouring and drawing in response to the question ‘What does the Christmas season mean to you?’

In the coming weeks, judges in each of the 12 competition regions which represent the UK will select two winning designs from a in their region which will go through to the final stage of the competition.

Only twice before in Royal Mail’s history – 1966 and 1981 - have the official Christmas stamps been designed by children.

As with all Special Stamps issued by Royal Mail, both winning designs will have to be approved by The Queen.

24 August 2013

Over 240,000 entries received!

An amazing 240,033 entries have been received for Royal Mail's Christmas Stamp Design Competition which was developed and run by Family & Education and promoted through

These have been now shortlisted to just 140 regional finalists. In September, VIP Judges will select two of these designs to appear on one of the 1st or one of the 2nd Class stamps this Christmas.

5,354 primary schools signed up to the Christmas Stamp Design Competition. All participating schools were sent a resource pack which contained entry forms, plus a series of five fun lesson plans, including a great stamp game, all developed by Family & Education.

All resources were on the subject of stamps, and covered the national curriculum requirements for each country. The packs allowed participating schools to run a week of engaging ‘stamp’ activity before or after the competition.

Schools indicated that over 800,000 children took part in the activity during June and July, equating to over 14% of UK primary school children.