Year 6 pupil accepts invitation to Buckingham Palace

Angelie, 11, places in the top 50 of the UK’s largest children’s story writing competition

Staff and students at Northampton High School are celebrating Angelie (Year 6) for her fabulous entry in BBC’s 500 Words competition, which led to her once-in-a-lifetime visit to Buckingham Palace!

Entering the largest children’s story writing competition in the UK, Angelie received news that her submission ‘Nira and the Sphinx Adventures’ had placed in the top 50 of over 100,000 entries. The BBC contest encourages children to write a story they would love to read themselves, and naturally, Angelie constructed a powerful narrative about girls in coding.

In a beautifully written piece, Angelie combined her interest in computer science with her knowledge of the wider world and the perception of women in society. Her story follows the protagonist, Nira, an 11 year old coding-enthusiast who feels isolated and ignored as the only girl in her coding club. After Nira simulates Ada Lovelace, history’s first computer programmer back to life, the 19th century mathematician discovers that Charles Babbage has been credited for her work. The characters – nearly 200 years apart in age – connect over their struggles to be recognised in a male-dominated field.

The striking entry, conveying an impressive understanding of gender inequality and feminism across the centuries, won Angelie a sought-after invitation to Buckingham Palace for the 500 Words final.

During her visit to the palace, Angelie was ‘buzzing with enthusiasm’ and shared her delight to be amongst the other finalists. Angelie met a number of famous faces at the event, including Queen Camilla, who can be found standing beside her in the picture!  The final took place on Wednesday 28 February and was filmed for a special 500 Words programme with The One Show, which will broadcast on Thursday 7 March to mark World Book Day 2024. We are looking forward to watching the programme next week with the hope of spotting Angelie on our TV screens!


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