WITH articles ranging in subject matter from the TT to the sinking of the Ellan Vannin, the entries for this year’s Junior Journalist of the Year competition made for some fascinating reading.
Sponsored by Celton Manx, the primary school-age competition’s winners were announced last week, with St John’s year five student Isabelle Barber scooping the overall honour of junior journalist of the year for her fluid and illustrative piece on the Isle of Man’s strengths as a tourist destination.
See all the winning entries in the special 12 page pullout in this week’s Manx Independent
Isle of Man Newspapers sports editor John Watterson greeted the assembled winners and guests to the presentation in the studio theatre at Ballakermeen High School. We really were impressed – the entries were tremendous. If you have who, what, when, why and how, you have the ingredients of a good story,’ said John.
‘I always had an ambition to be a journalist, and the job is very busy, but very enjoyable.
‘We believe at Isle of Man Newspapers we’re at the heart of the community, and competitions like this help find the journalists of the future.’
The Department of Education and Children’s Jayne Adamson explained how important she felt challenges like this were to young people.
‘It’s crucial we encourage our children to leave primary school as confident writers,’ said Jayne. ‘This competition takes writing beyond the classroom. The briefs are open- ended, so children use their thinking skills; it gives problems to solve rather than teaching answers. When children enjoy what they are writing about, they tend to write more and write better.’
The winners were: in year one, all from Marown School, Jack McCurrie and Erin Rooney were highly commended, and first placed was Libby Ben-Chetrit for her description of her ideal house. In year two, highly commended were Sebastien Sgouraditis and Illiam Sumner and the winner was Kewaigue School’s Darcey Bateson. In year three, Toby Irwin and Aoife Morgan’s efforts were highly commended, and Amelia Brockbanks of Kewaigue School took first place.
In year four, Corrin Leeming and Matthew O’Neill were runners-up to Ashley Hill’s Robert Russell and his article on Horatio Nelson. Year five runners-up were Jessica Hales and Sam Corlett, behind overall winner Isabelle Barber, while in year six it was St Mary’s student Mark Gorman who took first place for his account of the Summerland disaster, ahead of runners-up Cyprian Sciana and Harry Roe.