Holbeach Fen schoolgirl Jasmine has a prize-winning tale to tell

Jasmine Walton of Ayscoughfee Hall School, a prize-winner in the 2016 Independent Schools Association Essay Competition, with her mother Chantal Wellavize.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Jasmine Walton of Ayscoughfee Hall School, a prize-winner in the 2016 Independent Schools Association Essay Competition, with her mother Chantal Wellavize. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • Ayscoughfee Hall pupil comes in first three for story contest
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A pupil at Spalding’s Ayscoughfee Hall School has a tale to tell her family and friends after coming in the top three of a national story competition.

Jasmine Walton (11) impressed judges enough with her “confident” writing and “superb descriptive skills” to finish joint second, out of hundreds of entries, in the junior girls’ category Independent Schools Association (ISA) Essay Competition 2016.

I never expected to win anything and after I found out that I’d won a prize, almost every single teacher congratulated me

Jasmine Walton (11) of Ayscoughfee Hall School, Spalding

The youngster’s story about a girl who wakes up on the day of a maths test and looks in the mirror to see a 
reflection of herself with ”wolf ears, a tail, claws and fangs” won Jasmine a certificate and book voucher.

Jasmine said: “I entered my story in the fantasy category where you needed to write about somebody who woke up one morning having transformed into something else overnight.

“I wanted it to be based around someone who hated maths having to go through a maths test, adding into it my fascination with wolves.

“But I never expected to win anything and after I found out that I’d won a prize, I was coming down the stairs at school and almost every single teacher congratulated me.”

Jasmine was one of a class of pupils from Ayscoughfee Hall School who visited the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian office last month to mark National Book Week.

The youngster ended up writing a story about the week’s activities at the school for the Free Press on March 8.

Jasmine said: “I did enjoy visiting the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian office, even though I was really nervous to start with.

“People in my class know that I’m quick at typing so everyone pointed at me when one of the reporters asked if someone would like to type up the story for the newspaper and I enjoyed the experience of doing so.”

Jasmine’s mother, Chantal Wellavize of Holbeach Fen, said: “Jasmine’s writing skills first became clear to me after I went to a parent’s evening and read some of her stories.

“I asked myself then ‘how does somebody of my daughter’s age write like that?’

“But the first I knew about the ISA prize was when she came bouncing in from school with a certificate and it was pretty amazing, as well as a fantastic achievement both for her and for the school.

“I’m really, really proud of her and now, Jasmine is writing another story for fun and she’s up to about 10,000 words already.”

Class teacher Nicola Laud said: “We are really proud of Jasmine’s achievement in this competition where there are thousands of entries from across the country. She has always been a gifted writer and has an amazing natural way with words.”

Despite her success and visit to the Free Press during National Book Week, Jasmine is still open-minded about her future career path.

She said: “I don’t really know what I want to do as a job, but I’d like to do something that either involved gaming or music because I play the piano.”

Brian Duffield, one of the ISA competition judges, said: “There was an excellent range of imaginative writing, including from Jasmine who is a confident writer, especially when describing a scene or character. Her descriptive skills are superb, sustaining interest with sophisticated language.”

Amazing world of adventures at Ayscoughfee