Primary Latin Project Mythology Competition 2021
What another strange academic year it has been. The continued lockdown conditions meant that many of the mythology competition projects were once again undertaken in circumstances that have been very far from normal.
It has, however, despite these difficulties, been a record-breaking year for the competition, with 41 different school and independent entries, and 286 entries in total! This year we had overseas entries from two Australian schools, one Spanish school and one American school; we are so thrilled to have such a reach. It is also lovely to see many schools returning year after year.
Key Stage 2 Art was, again, the most popular choice for entry. Drama has been the most badly hit by the restrictions, with little collaboration able to take place. We hope to see Drama entries return in greater numbers next year.
As ever, we are indebted to the Jowett Trust for a generous grant to cover the costs of the competition, and to our judges, who, despite over a hundred more entries to manage between them, have been so enthusiastic about the competition and the students’ entries.
Finally, huge thanks to all of you, the staff and students of the 34 schools who took part, and all the individual entrants, who have been inspired by the myths and have produced such inspirational work.
Some of the work has been reproduced below, where possible due to formatting, along with a prize-winners list, and I have also included the general comments from the judges.
Myths for 2022 will be: Key Stage 2 - Echo and Narcissus and Key Stage 3 – The Birth of Athena, available in the Minimus books and at: https://www.primarylatinproject.org/audio-stories. Further details to follow on the Primary Latin Project Website.
I very much hope you will all be able to enter again next year. If you have any queries or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me on email@example.com.
General Comments and Feedback from the Judges
Art: It has been such a pleasure judging the art competition this year, it always makes me very happy to see the creativity and work that has gone into producing the entries. The amount of art entries that were submitted was very high and each was judged taking the age of the child into account. Entries this year were very varied including paintings, a 3D design and print out, mosaics and collages. Top prizes were awarded for originality of entries, quality of presentation and depiction of the myth.
Creative Writing: KS2 - The quality of writing this year was notably high which made judging the entries both an absolute pleasure and very difficult. It was wonderful to see such a variety of writing genres with children all showing a real familiarity with the myth of Pandora's Box.
KS3 - The volume of entries to the competition this year has been particularly high. Each entry has been of a high quality and it has been a pleasure to read each and every one of them. There are many talented writers who have shown their skills in this year's competition. It was wonderful to read so many varied versions of the myth of Odysseus and the Sirens.
Animation: KS2 - I was really impressed by the quality of the animations this year. There was a wonderful variety of skills involved – music, modelling, dialogue, narrative and dramatic speaking. A lot of thought had gone into the pupils’ creations and they were a joy to watch. Judging was not easy and everyone deserves many congratulations for entering and for producing such great films under the difficult circumstances of this year. Thank you all!
KS3 - It was brilliant to see more entries at KS3 this year and the animations were of a very high standard making it a very close call when awarding the prizes. Everyone had really thought through the message of the myth and then presented it in a wide variety of ways, creatively using music, speech, graphics, models and paintings. Well done to everyone for entering and for producing such great films under the difficult circumstances of this year.
Drama: KS2 - It was so impressive to see how inventively the pupils responded to performing their plays under the circumstances this year. Writing, acting, filming and directing themselves showed real determination and I’d like to congratulate all those who submitted entries. Well done and thank you for making me smile!
KS3 - It was so impressive to see how inventively the pupils responded to performing their plays under the circumstances this year. Writing, acting and filming while socially-distanced showed real determination and I’d like to congratulate you on a superb entry. Well done and thank you for taking part.
Prize-winners List 2021
Key Stage 2
Serena, Abbotsleigh (below)
Jacob, Beechwood Park (not reproducible)
Max, Brambletye School
Isabel, Granville School
Katherine, Brambletye School
Elcie, from Eagle House School
Jasper, Manchester Grammar School
Ruby, Manchester High School
Halo, Royal High School, Bath
Jamie, Westminster Cathedral Choir School
Maximilian, Westminster Cathedral Choir School
Krish, King Henry VIII School
Riya, Eagle House School
Amy, Beechwood Park
Ezra, Beechwood Park
Suleiman, Manchester Grammar School
Daisy, Eliza and Sylvia, independent entry
Hannah, Sheffield High School for Girls
Daisy, Granville School (below)
Sulaiman, Merchant Taylors Prep
Ottie, Thomas’s Clapham
Daniel, London Christian School
Best Set of Entries at Key Stage 2: Beechwood Park
Key Stage 3
Oakley, Brambletye School (below)
Harshini, St Albans High School for Girls (below)
Grace, St Albans High School for Girls
Thomas, Brambletye School
Ella, Eagle House School
Laylaa, St Albans High School for Girls
Paloma, St Albans High School for Girls
George, Yateley Manor
Peter, Merchant Taylors Prep
Henry, Christ Church Cathedral School
Georgia, Dr Challoners High School
1st prize - Chicago Grammar School
Alice, St Albans High School for Girls (below)
Elina, English International School
Isabelle, Dr Challoners High School
Caleb, Eagle House School
Best set of Entries at Key Stage 3 - St Albans High School for Girls
Key Stage 2 Art Winner: Serena, Abbotsleigh
Key Stage 3 Art Joint Winner: Oakley, Brambletye School
Key Stage 3 Art, Joint Winner: Harshini, St Albans High School for Girls
Key Stage 2 Creative Writing Winner: Daisy, Granville School
Sitting. Waiting. In the dark, musty, confined space jostling with the others to try and keep a small area just for myself. Cramped and curled up into the smallest part of myself I can hear the whispered conversations between the others. Feel their breath on my face. No room to breathe. No room to think.
Knowing the plots and plans that the others come up with. The change by the day but always with the same intended outcome. The destruction and ruin of mankind.
How I came to be here, I do not know. But it seems that we are all at the whim of the gods.
Muffled sounds come from outside. Everyone is silenced. We all press our ears against the walls of our confines trying desperately to pick out any words we can understand. Movement. I feel myself tilt slightly to the side and roll into the scally body of the creature next to me. Revulsed, I pull back and whisper an apology. Manners cost nothing, even if these beings make my skin feel like it’s being invaded by a thousand cockroaches.
A creaking and grinding sound as wood that has swollen over time is manoeuvred. A blinding chink of light.
My companions are all coiled energy. The silent expectation is deafening. A rush of wind as unused wings unfurl and open to meet the skies. A stampede of wailing bodies gushes out of our enclosure. Unsure, I stand and stare at out saviour. Her face is filled with terror as the realisation of what she has done dawns. It cements the thought in my mind. One last look up at her golden face I sit back down and forgive her as she closes back the lid.
True silence and now vast space. I have as much time in the world to contemplate the sacrifice I have made for them. We may have been created by the gods to remind them of their fragility, but they still have me.
Key Stage 3 Creative Writing, Winner: Alice, St Albans High School for Girls
I stood in a dusty library scanning the shelves for a book. I searched the historical section, as sunlight beamed in like a spotlight on freckles of dust, the light dappled by the leaning trees. The titles of faded gold sparkled in the sunlight, the warm air thick and vast. identical wooden shelves mirrored each other all framing bundles of books, dust seeping out of the cracks and crevasses. Ghosts of footsteps thumped on the floor and echoes of stories glided through the air. The muffled voices of the playground were weakened by the sheer number of closely packed pages and leather covers. I walked down the empty aisle deciphering the titles which had lost their letters now becoming a new language. I saw a large book labelled: 'Hercules'. I hurried over and stared at the surrounding books. Then I spotted a faded mossy green book, the raven black lettering reading: 'Odysseus’ journey'. I pulled out the book and a curtain of dust washed over me like a wave. I stared at the great ship, its sails billowing in the wind. The colours were deep and clouded. I opened the book and flicked through until I found the right page. I looked at the little black squiggles barely readable and wished that the books here weren't so old. I curled up in one of the soft plump armchairs huddling together and settled the book into my lap. Then I started to read.
I stared around me at the deep sapphire sea that lay far below. I stared at the jagged cliff edge steeply rushing down and diving into the ocean, down the endless space fading deeper and deeper until it was no more than black on black. The sea was warm and soft, beckoning me to swim. I could hear an echo of music fading in with the lapping of the sea. If I had known how to swim, I would have leaped in, but my common sense didn't want me to drown and most of the time neither do l. I walked away from the edge and looked around for a clue of where I was. The only thing I could see was twin cliffs facing each other. The grass was as green as emeralds and the sky was clear as a crystal. Diamonds were etched into the cliff. The place was beautiful and rich but there was an unsettling feeling and when the wind whispered, I flinched and my skin crawled. I stared at the ocean and watched as a large ship sailed in its sails billowing in the wind. A flash in my memory of a faded book in a library but it disappeared as soon as it came. The ship was closer now, I could see people on it, the figures were trying something to the mast. As they moved away, and the ship got closer it was clear it was another person. The crew continued to sail towards the two cliffs, and I stared soundlessly as two large birds burst from a hidden ledge on the cliff. I stared as the massive birds flew high towards the boat. They had coffee brown feathers and flecks of gold hidden amongst the brown. As they came closer to the cliff's edge, I saw their sharp claws, then one turned to face me. I saw a beautiful face staring at me. A human face. It was a woman's face nestled amongst the feathers. A small, rounded nose and menacing green eyes that twinkled with joy. The women opened her mouth a row of tiny daggers tracing her
mouth. She looked right through me and turned to face the other monster. I saw the ship
sailing closer and closer and the anticipation on the creatures faces grow stronger and stronger.
I wanted to yell at them to get out, but my mouth was glued together. I stood stuck to the ground and watched as the creatures licked their lips and got ready to pounce. Another memory seeped into my mind of the same green faded book the words siren sparkled in gold. I searched my memory for that word, and I turned to stare at the monsters, the puzzle pieces slotted together, and I looked at the monsters that had a name, sirens. The ship was so close I could see the face of the unaware people. Suddenly I heard a sound. A voice. I looked and saw the siren open its mouth and sing. I didn't worry about the ship. I didn't know it existed. All I could hear was the voice, all I could see was each second it painted another stroke. A white canvas filled with happiness. The laugh of a baby, the blossom of a tree, the lapping of the sea, the blooming of a flower. I smiled and a wave of reassurance washed over me telling me not to worry about the ship to go with then and be safe and not feel pain. The melody turned to sorrow. The cry of a widow, the ghost of a tree, the drowning of a sailor, the death of a flower. I wanted it to end. I followed the voice longing for the end. The music surged with anger. The menace of a killer, the felling of a tree, the storm stirring up water, the trampled flower. I carried on walking to the voices. The music pulled me along its sad story, I cried, I laughed, I screamed. Every time another note was uttered, I wanted more, I wanted to listen to it forever. The story was endless, note after note pulling me, crawling into my head and shutting me down, every note I became less and less human, every note I lost a memory, a desire, every note hurt, caused pain like no other. Every note healed made me stronger. I couldn't think straight, I could only listen. The music was all I could think of. Again, and again. Then once I felt the last ounce of life leaving, I feel, an empty body without a soul. Dead before I had died.
Only then did the memories rush back, the library, the book, the ship. A split second of peace where ! felt alive before I was gone. I closed my eyes to the darkness. Then I heard my name. I looked up. I saw the man tied to the mast. He looked me in the eyes and I remembered the name, odysseys. I heard my name again, but his mouth didn't move. I closed my eyes. The darkness glowed and silhouettes faded from the glowing light. The world took shape and I saw a kind face staring at me.
"Good book, eh?" she said smiling.
"Yeah," I replied. I stared at the library around me. I had never left. I stood up and walked home. Nothing had changed but now every time I heard music, I could never enjoy even my favourite songs again, nothing compared to the beautiful melody of the siren. I wondered about Odysseus. Did all music seem like nothing in comparison to him?