Schoolgirl from Oakhyrst Grange School is the South East Region’s Winner of Royal Mail’s Young Letter Writer of the Year Competition

8th February 2016

A schoolgirl from Oakhyrst Grange School in Caterham, has been named as the South East region winner of Royal Mail’s Young Letter Writer of the Year Competition. Sophie Hobbs, aged nine, won in the under 11s age group and wins £200 in vouchers for both herself and her school.

Sophie’s entry, which was one of almost 100,000 submissions from children aged 4-14 years old, will now go through to the final stage of the competition where it will compete as one of 24 regional winners for the UK-wide crown. Entries were received from one in five (18.8%) secondary schools and one in five (22.6%) primary schools. Children were asked to write a letter in response to the question: ‘What is your dream job?’

Sophie wrote that her dream job was to become a Thought Process Engineer. In this role she would develop a device that could be implanted in someone’s ear to enable them to instantly get the answer to any question via the internet without needing to use a computer, smartphone or tablet. In her letter, she explained how she had already built a robot that could create music, draw, write and direct films. She outlines how this experience may help inspire others to be creative and even build their own robots.

The judges for the London region included:

Caroline Wright – Director General Designate of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA)
Claire Spreadbury – Head of Features at the Press Association news agency
Tony Fox – Royal Mail’s Operational Director for the East region (which includes London and the South East)

The judges considered Sophie’s entry to be very creative and demonstrated a vivid imagination as it was set in the future. Her letter was well-written and very engaging.

Claire Spreadbury said: “This is a great letter with lots of vibrant language and relevant details. I loved the confidence of Sophie’s entry and she clearly put a lot of thought into the letter and the experience she would need to show to secure her dream job.”

The South East region’s other winner, in the 11 – 14 years age group, was Ben Cooksley, aged 11, from Cranleigh Preparatory School in Cranleigh.

The submissions were assessed by a panel of regional judges on a range of criteria, including: correct letter layout and word count; good use of vocabulary; accurate grammar and well-constructed sentences; correct punctuation; strong and engaging content with originality and a compulsion to ‘read on’.