Derby Grammar School’s House Writing competition always produces some excellent pieces, and this year was no exception. But after a tough round of judging, Blackton House have made a clean sweep, winning both the Lower and Senior School competitions.

This year there was an Upper School and Lower School competition. Upper School entrants were asked to write the bridal speech for Meghan Markle’s upcoming wedding to Prince Harry, and Lower School entrants were tasked with a description of their favourite character from a book, film or TV programme.

House Prefects ensured a good range of entries from each of the four Houses, and the judging fell to Sarah Green who works in our Admissions team.

Sarah commented: “I really enjoyed my experience as a judge. All entries impressed me, but particularly the level of research into Meghan Markle’s background, her advocacy and charitable causes and the way this was woven into rather romantic wedding speeches.

This year I simply had to include ‘Best Blunder’ which went to a pupil who inadvertently confused Prince Harry with the Prince of Wales – with hilarious results.”

The winners were:

Lower School (Years 7 to 9)

Joint first place:       Ethan and Sajid (Blackton)
Second place:            Saevuk (Bemrose)
Third place:               Sam (Atkinson)
Fourth place:             James (Derby)
Commended:             Sami (Derby), Jacob (Atkinson), Ted (Atkinson) and Alfie (Atkinson)

Upper School (Years 10-13)

First place:                  Abigail (Blackton)
Second place:             Chris (Atkinson)
Third place:                Freya (Derby)
Fourth place:              Thomas (Bemrose)
Commended:              William (Blackton), Elliot (Atkinson), Sean (Bemrose)

The winning entries

Meghan Markle’s Wedding Speech – by Abigail, Year 12

Good evening. I want to thank you all for coming today. I know it is not traditional for the bride to make a speech at her wedding, but for anyone that knows me knows how hard it is to keep me quiet and today is no exception.

I am excited to use my new platform to bring knowledge and awareness to many projects I hope to invest my time in, such as being the advocate for women’s rights and display the view that a wife is equal to her husband, a sister to her brother – not better, not worse, they are equal and hopefully by being in the public eye, I can successfully address this and hopefully then help those who struggle with severe inequality and follow the footsteps of Harry’s late mother with work with families in the remnants of war. His mother seemed like such a caring soul who strived to help people in every way she could.

I wish I could have met her as she carved Harry along with the rest of his family to become the human I have come to love over everything. Today, I have gained a whole new family and from the first day I met the Royal Family, I felt so welcomed and accepted. I am exceptionally lucky and beyond grateful to have such an amazing new
family who I want to thank for raising Harry to have the most beautiful soul.

I promise to look after him and love him endlessly.

My Favourite Character – by Ethan, Year 8

“Chug Chug Chug Toot Toot. I grew up with him around me. My bed, my toys, my clothes and my life all revolved around this one thing. The iconic theme tune would start and I’d be ready. I would watch, dream and think about him every day.

He was as blue as a Caribbean sky with his friend being a leafy suburban green. He would zoom around Tidmouth collecting wood, coal, and people as he huffed and puffed across the island. He was so polite and would say good morning to everyone he saw. It was what I wanted to be even though I knew it was impossible.

He was the greatest toy in my life. I would get face paint and get my mum to paint him on my face. He was, and still is the greatest train in the world, of course that is – Thomas the tank engine.”

The Boy Who Lived – by Sajid, Year 7

“He has lustrous, jet-black hair. Mesmerising emerald eyes. An unquenchable thirst for danger and a focused, pursuing stare. All this and a lightening-shaped scar left as an artifact of his past.

His name is Harry Potter, the boy who lived. The character is loved for many noteable reasons, like how he numerously bested his greatest foe, Lord Voldemort, in battle. Or how he valiantly fought his way through the melancholic scene of the Chamber of Secrets. Maybe his unfailed quest for the triumph of good.

Personally, what gives me true passion for every single book is the amazing character of Harry which imports feelings of such finesses in the writing leaving no page unturned. It is hard to neglect the fact that Harry is an orphan, but this further builds to his complex past. This is what brings Harry Potter for me to the top tier of the totem pole.”