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Antarctica Day Competition Winners!

A huge well done and thank you to everyone who sent in your AMAZING Antarctica themed writing – the judges had a very hard time choosing the best entry for every age group!

Below are the winning entries…

Age category 4-6 years

Judged by Ellie Turner-Wallace, Festival of Nature Team


‘Antarctica Patterns’ by Olivia Li age 4

 Runners up

‘Antarctica’ by Madeleine Whitmarsh age 6

‘How kind a Penguin Can Be’ by Diogo Brandao age 5

Age category 7-10 years

Judged by Yoland Bosiger, Assistant Producer on Frozen Planet 2


‘A Diary Entry from an Emperor Penguin’ by Meliha Azer age 9

Dear Diary, 

It’s cold. Today has been rough. 

This morning, my wife Jayla was pacing from one side of the igloo to another and had a frightened smile. She was murmuring things to herself and getting very angry. I began to panic due to the fact that she is the most positive penguin I know. I asked Jayla what the problem was. She answered saying that penguins were going missing and she had this weird theory that we were next. When Jayla gets worried, she over exaggerates everything. I put my fin onto her shoulder and reassured her that, no matter what happens, our families will be safe. I am the King of Antarctica and no penguin will worry! It is my job. 

This pacing thing went on for another 10 minutes, until Jayla decided that we should just stay hidden and we will stay safe. My Mum and Dad (Lakia and Stan) were going round to every igloo making sure they had enough food and drink for a couple of weeks. My Mum and Dad are very over protective, they do this every month so everyone feels loved. Quite regularly, a strange object, just like the one we are attempting to avoid, would visit for reasons that no one understood. All that I knew, is that when the object came, my Mum and Dad would go over to igloos to ask if everyone is ok. However, every time they say to me that there were a few missing penguins, so I don’t know what happens. I always considered it being one of our predators such as giant petrels, skuas, leopard seals or maybe a killer whale. I know about this because my Mum and Dad studied our predators, so they told me to be very careful and, so far, I haven’t got eaten…Yay! I’m very lucky since only a third of the juvenile penguins make it to their first birthday. 

It’s the chicks that we worry about the most; their names are Bella and Damian. I love that we got a boy and a girl because Damian is going to grow looking up to me, which is great. They are both adorable and are very well looked after, helped by my sister Thia. They are 14 months and left home just a few weeks ago. I miss them both very much but my sister was my best friend growing up so I trust her. 

Ky is my best bud. We always go to the ‘coldvenient’ store together. The ‘coldvenient’ store is the shop where we get other food. We normally catch fish, krill or squid but sometimes we feel like a sandwich or other liquids not water. The bullies of Antarctica are P, B and J. Also known as Pak, Bill and Jake. P, B and J is a nice sandwich (peanut butter and jam) but also the name of their group. It stands for Penguin Bully Joke. They are very dumb, but very popular for some strange reason. They always pick on my name, Fin. They think that the name Fin is stupid because fin is also a part of our body. I love the name Fin and there is nothing wrong with it. 

An hour later, the strange buzzing noise grew louder and we thought that it must be coming closer. I started to get incredibly apprehensive because I didn’t like anything that was moving and I didn’t know what it was. I have a big fear! The noise came to a pause. I peered out of the igloo door and spotted in the mist, a huge object that I’d seen before. It floated on the water and made a terrible noise as it dropped huge nets into the sea. We were scared. I bellowed to everyone that we need to run. Every penguin slid down the ice we all sculpted. I made sure that all my family had heard and were skidding to safety with the rest of the group, they all were. So I made a run for it……..

…….sorry, that was all very dramatic. Turns out this peculiar object was a boat and was the reason penguins are dying. The boat catches the krill, which is what we eat, and gives it to those greedy humans. I wasn’t the biggest fan of those krill eating monsters but I wasn’t against them much either. This is a game changer. I feel much different about humans. We are dying because they are taking all our food and keeping it all to themselves. I hope that all the humans stop. Do they want their children and grandchildren thinking it is fine to kill wildlife? We want all the humans to care about the animals no matter how big or small but we need the change to happen soon otherwise, future generations of animals will not exist. Please help us! 

Good night.

Runners up – We had so many entries in this category, that we have chosen 3 runners up!

Untitled by Becky Finlayson age 7

‘Antarctica’ a poem by Nate Dare age 9

‘Little Penguin’ by Ellen Carr age 10

Age category 11-13 years

Judged by Felicity Perera, secondary school English teacher


‘Antarctica’ by Elizabeth Hanley age 11

Ember ran up the hill to her house, where her father was. She fumbled with the keys, as she was wearing big, woolly gloves. She entered the house, took off her earmuffs and slumped down on the sofa next to her father. The fire was big, devouring the logs and coal. A few sparks came spitting out, and floated down to the floor. Ember’s father went through to the kitchen, where he started making hot chocolate, Ember’s favourite drink on a cold winter day. 

When the hot chocolate was made, he brought it through to Ember, where she gladly took the cup, and they both sipped in comfortable silence.

‘We’re going to Antarctica,’ said her father.

 Ember stopped sipping her hot chocolate.


‘We’re going to Antarctica.’

‘But… That’s absurd! We can’t go there, it’s too cold! What about food?’

‘It’s all been booked. We’re leaving tomorrow. There is a small cabin where we can stay. We have food there, stored safely in a cupboard, from the last people that were there. It will be great. A new experience.’

Ember rushed up to her room and got her suitcase. She started packing lots of clothes; she was going to need warmth if she was going to antarctica. 

When she had finished packing, Ember ran down stairs to her father. 

‘I’ve packed my suitcase. Have you?’ She said.

‘Not quite yet. The flight leaves tomorrow at noon, so we should be fine.’

The next day soon came, and Ember ran into the car, strapping herself in. They drove to the airport, talking excitedly about their trip. When they finally arrived at the airport, they bought some food and put it in a box for later. They ran to the plane, Ember jumping with excitement. Antarctica!

The plane moved forward, speeding up, getting faster and faster. Then up it went, lifting up into the sky. Ember stared out of the window in amazement. Everything looked so small. She ate her lunch and fell asleep.

She woke up when she felt the plane landing, and looked out of the window. She could see snow and ice everywhere. It was like a dream. The plane landed, and she hobbled out, as she was still quite tired from just waking up. They drove to their cabin. It was a small, wooden thing but it looked cosy enough. She went indoors, where she sat down on her bed. It was really comfy. She unpacked and stored her things in the drawers underneath the mattress. She looked around at the big room with two beds, one her’s and the other her father’s. There was a toilet to the left and on the right a kitchen, with a table that you could fold out of a drawer. There was a window towards the back of the cabin: Ember looked out of it and saw thousands of penguins squawking on rocks. She put on her earmuffs and extra layers and went outside. It was freezing. She went round to the back of the cabin and saw the penguins. They were so loud! It was too cold so she went back inside where her father had just finished unpacking and was making soup.

When it was ready they sat down at the fold out table and ate. It wasn’t the best soup. They went outside and gathered some snow in the bucket. They took it to the stove and melted it so they could drink it. It was cold and refreshing. They brought in more snow and this time put it in their water bottles for it to melt and stay cool. 

Night came and they tried to sleep but it was quite hard sleeping in an entirely new and different place, where everything was snow and ice. But they eventually managed it.

The next morning Ember and her father went out to a frozen lake nearby to go fishing. They checked the ice to make sure it was stable to walk on, then made a hole in the ice. They put the bait on the end of the rod and waited. Soon there was a small tug. They reeled the fish in. It was a nice big one. They put it in a bucket of ice. They wanted to find another place to fish in, so they walked on the ice a bit longer until… CRACK! Right where Ember’s father had stepped. The crack was getting bigger, so her father carefully placed down his other foot. Then there was a loud crash, almost like shattering glass. Ember’s father had fallen in!



Ember grabbed a rope and pulled her father out of the water. He flopped on the ice, freezing and limp. Ember helped him back up and they made their way back to their cabin, where they had more hot chocolate by the fireside.

The next day, they went out for another walk, a backpack on their backs with snacks in. They strode through the snow which crunched underneath them. After some time they saw a flat bit of solid ice where they sat down and munched on their snacks. Suddenly, they heard loud banging on the ice, getting louder and louder, sounding closer and closer. They turned only to see a leopard seal charging towards them. They ran. The seal’s tail was smacking the ice and lashing about. Ember and her father ran into the knee-deep snow which slowed them to a walk. Soon they were safe, and back at their cabin.

The next day Ember woke up to the sound of drawers opening and closing. Her father was packing for the flight home. It was the most exhausting three days of her entire life. She too started packing, and soon after they drove to the airport to get the plane home. When Ember finally got back she slumped onto her bed tired and exhausted but happy. She couldn’t wait to tell her friends about her adventure.

Runners up

‘Antarctica’ a poem by Mark Scholes age 13

Untitled – a poem by Luke Tucker age 13

Age category 14-16 years

Judged by Jackie Rogers, Associate Dean of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience at the University of the West of England

Winner: ‘A Penguin Diary Story’ by Jake age 14

Dear diary,

It is cold again today. My friends think I enjoy the snow as they do, which I do actually, but it’s just far too cold. I’m sure I should have somewhere warm to go! My colony is quite big and this helps us to keep warm. I saw some people recently and one of them, they didn’t see me, had a paper on some of their species’ houses in a snowy place called Igloos. I want to build one of these igloos so our colony can live in a large village full of igloos. We could have shops too and we have a wall big enough to keep our enemies the leopard seals out.

Dear diary,

I went out to the icy pond to get some krill. It’s my favourite and don’t worry diary,  I had a few penguin guards with me whose job it is to protect all in the colony and they have been protecting all penguins from the leopard seals for a long time. Young penguin chicks who are strong are chosen to join the guard and are trained especially. 

Dear diary,

The paper is actually quite interesting and I have lots of ideas. I will sneak away tomorrow and try building an igloo I think.

Dear diary,

I have enough snow to make my house into an igloo, I started by looking at the igloos that the people have built. I have the base of the igloo now, I had to make some glass for the windows and placed them and put more snow around them.

Dear diary,

I’ve finished my igloo, my friends came round and were looking very amazed.

Dear diary,

It’s getting dark so I decided to go outside and watch the sunset, it’s very beautiful and I’m noting the colours while writing this entry before I get into my warm bed and go to sleep.

Dear diary,

Good morning diary, it’s a beautiful day today. I got up early to watch the sunrise and it was so beautiful. I went to Taffy’s house and I saw him building an igloo, I think he was inspired by my idea, Milo and Fred were inspired too.

Dear diary,

I went to the icy pond to get some more krill, then went back to my igloo and put it in the chest. The other penguins are ice skating at the icy pond, I decided to build a castle outside the village.

Dear diary,

I’m taking a break from building my castle, it’s looking good so far. I’ve done the towers now, it took me a while though. I started building the walls until I was suddenly attacked by a leopard seal! I’m playing dead so the leopard seal doesn’t eat me. Luckily, two penguin guards were nearby and came to help me. They started attacking the leopard seal while undulatingly wiggled away from the village.

Dear diary,

Some time has passed and I’ve recovered well from the leopard seal incident. I continued building the castle. It’s now finished and the penguin guards that saved me are in the front towers.