West Midlands pupils vie for dream family holiday prize

Eight excited Year 7s from schools across Birmingham and Solihull are vying for a dream family holiday prize worth £600 after winning through to a regional competition final.

But they need your help – because a public vote will now decide which pupil will be whisking their loved ones away for a bumper British family holiday courtesy of local online agency specialists Everywhere Travel.

Two pupils each have been selected from Perry Beeches II and Perry Beeches III Free Schools on Newhall Street and Langley Walk in central Birmingham respectively, plus Alderbrook Secondary School on Blossomfield Road, Solihull and Smith’s Wood Sports College on Windward Way, North Solihull – and you can view each of their excellent entries via this web link and vote (just the once mind!) for your favourite.

The eight finalists (all age 11) are Aaron Pedley and Micaela Cappelli, (Perry Beeches II), Ashaea Tweede-Waite and Kai Thompson (Perry Beeches III), Liam Barron and Mia Whitehouse (Alderbrook School), plus Kirsty Duggins and Rachel Casey (Smith’s Wood).

The brief was to describe their perfect holiday week in just 150- 250 words, highlighting factors like location & travel, how would you spend your time, the weather and cuisine, plus the attractions and activities available?

Everywhere Travel managing director, Stephanie O’Reilly, explains: “Both teachers and pupils have really embraced the competition and the quality and quantity of entries has been very high. A lot of thought has obviously gone into all the hundreds of entries we received, but the eight we’ve chosen as finalists just had a little bit more about them and certainly got the team and I wishing we could visit the places described.

“The eventual winner will enjoy their once-in-a-lifetime dream family holiday – hopefully combining the elements described within their entry – and we’ve made it a UK based prize on the basis we have lots of untold gems here within the British Isles and they should get a lot more holiday for their prize money.”

Grant Jones, Head of Performing Arts and PE at Perry Beeches III, says: “This fantastic competition involved the majority of our year 7 students writing about their dream holiday during extended literacy sessions. It clearly sparked the imagination as they described their most desirable locations and activities in a creative and entertaining piece of writing.”

Finalist Ashaea says: “The school was very happy that Kai and I got into the final round, so I hope one of us wins the holiday because I don’t think I’ll ever have so much fun in my life again. Everywhere Travel rules!

Kai adds: “Being in the final round of the Everywhere Travel competition makes me feel ecstatic. The support from everyone has made me feel stupendous and I now feel like I can do anything.”

John Jarrett, Year 7 Deputy Head at Perry Beeches II, says: “The Everywhere Travel competition is a brilliant way for students to express their imagination and ability to write. They were able to contextualise skills they had learnt in their lessons and I was delighted to see the amount and quality of entries from our school.”

Finalist Aaron says: “I’m extremely happy to represent the school, plus if I win I get to spend quality time with my family”. Micaela adds: “I feel nervous and excited at the same time because I’m a finalist. Arriving at this stage is scary but makes you feel proud and happy too. I hope to win!”

Laura Usefnia, English & PE teacher at Alderbrook School, says: “It’s created a real buzz amongst our Year 7s and it was very pleasing to see them all on tenterhooks during assembly when our two finalists, Liam and Mia, were announced. They both seem really proud to be representing the school in this very worthwhile and engaging competition.”

Finalist Mia Whitehouse says: “I was really pleased to make the shortlist, then shocked to be picked as an actual school finalist, so I’m going to ask all my family and friends to vote for me. I’d like to win but I’m just glad I had the chance to take part, as I love creative writing.”

David Sims, Key Stage 3 Progress Manager at Smith’s Wood Sports College, says: “My students were really excited about the possibility of winning an amazing prize like this, thanks so much to Everywhere Travel for such a brilliant opportunity. This competition both encouraged pupils to develop their literacy skills, their persuasive writing skills, and their imaginations, all with the potential of winning a life changing holiday”.

Finalist Kirsty says: “I’m really excited. It feels amazing to be representing the school in the competition and it’s a privilege to be chosen from the year group.” Her friend Rachel adds: “I’m proud of myself for entering in the first place and now having a chance to go up against other schools in this fun competition is brilliant.”

To view the entries and vote visit http://everywheretravel.co.uk/competition.aspx

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