Opinion Former

NASUWT: Birmingham pupils win arts & minds competition

School children from Birmingham are celebrating today after their artwork was crowned overall winner of the 2012 Arts & Minds competition organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union.

Arts & Minds is an annual, UK-wide competition aimed at promoting race equality and diversity in schools. Children and young people from primary, secondary and special schools are judged in two categories: art and creative writing.

The group of Year 4-6 pupils from Beaufort Special School in Hodge Hill were already winners in the primary special school category for their entry entitled ‘We Are All = Equal’.

In addition to this success, TV presenter and Arts & Minds competition judge Gok Wan chose their entry as deserving of the overall prize, scooping them £1,000 for their school and gift vouchers for every winning pupil. They picked up their prizes at the national awards ceremony in London today.

Gok Wan said of the winning entry:

“It is not only very clever and also very simple, it is not only beautifully written and constructed and composed, it is also hugely inspiring in terms of the message.

“I think we sometimes take for granted a phrase like ‘We are all equal’, we over use the term, but sometimes we can forget the strength that comes from behind these words.

“This piece really does reinforce the strength of that.
“Diversity and being one is so simple and so elegant and so necessary.”
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Huge congratulations must go to the pupils and staff at Beaufort Special School.

“Their fantastic entry really summed up the competition’s message of celebrating equality and diversity in a very clear and striking way.

“The standard of entries throughout the competition was very high and I know the judges had great difficulty in choosing the winner. The quality was strong throughout all of the age groups and categories.

“Pupils and their teachers have evidently worked very hard to produce such highly imaginative entries, which came up with new responses to the issues of diversity and equality.”

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