Storytelling chair unveiled following Leicester pupil’s creative writing win



Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust hands over top prize in story writing competition

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust has given pupils of Christ the King Catholic Voluntary Academy in Leicester the chance to get imaginative in nature for years to come, following the unveiling of a new outdoor storytelling chair.


Year 6 pupil Phoebe Wade won the fantastic prize for her school after her tale about a squirrel in her garden was awarded first place in the trust’s inaugural story writing competition. Key Stage 2 pupils across Leicester were challenged to combine their creativity with their love of nature and come up with a story featuring UK wildlife. The competition formed part of the trust’s Wild Forest School project, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.


Phoebe found out that her story, A Day in the Life of a Squirrel, had won during a live broadcast on BBC Radio Leicester. The chair has now been installed in school grounds and was officially unveiled by Phoebe and her family during a special ceremony.


The storytelling chair was crafted by Peter Leadbeater, a chainsaw sculptor and the ‘bookends’ behind it were designed and painted by Emma Sheppard, a Leicester-based artist. These feature iconic wildlife-themed books such as Charlotte’s Web and The Jungle Book alongside Phoebe’s own tale.


Kate Taylor, teacher at Christ the King Catholic Voluntary Academy, read out the winning story on the new chair before Phoebe and her classmates were taught how to make bird feeders by the trust’s senior education officer, Martha Rose.


Annie Carter, Headteacher at Christ the King Catholic Voluntary Academy, said: “We were so proud of Phoebe when we found out that her story had won first place. The chair is not only a wonderful way to celebrate Phoebe’s creativity and imagination, but also a beautiful legacy for her to leave in the grounds of the school which will be used for years to come.”


Second prize in the competition, a bespoke wildlife-themed story trail, went to Leicester Preparatory School, while third prize of 12 wildlife-themed fiction and non-fiction books went to Sparkenhoe Community Primary School.


Tim Graham, Chief Executive of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, said: “We know that Leicester children are both incredibly creative and passionate about wildlife. The judges were delighted to give first prize to Phoebe and it’s fantastic that her classmates are now making the most of the beautiful storytelling chair. We’d like to thank all those who took part in the competition, as well as players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their support of our Wild Forest School.”


The winning stories can be read online here.

Watch the Competition video here.

For the latest news from Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust visit here.