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English - What the Dickens?

What it's all about

This year marks the bicentenary of Charles Dickens. To celebrate, the National Schools Partnership, a TES content partner, has developed a resource programme called "What the Dickens?" It aims to inspire creative writing, introduce his work and explore the issue of copyright, for which Dickens was a passionate lobbyist.

The programme includes a resource website containing six comprehensive lesson plans and activity sheets; an assembly presentation introducing Dickens and his novels; videos from contemporary writers about his influence on modern fiction; and a digital writing competition.

The competition calls for pupils to create an original, imaginative story. Moving literature into the modern world while celebrating genius in the past, the stories will be submitted online via a digital book.

Prizes for pupils includes a new Kindle, pre-loaded with books to entertain and inspire, and Amazon vouchers worth up to pound;100. Prizes for schools include a visit from a leading author, a class trip to the Charles Dickens Museum and a presentation by a Dickens expert, or pound;1,000 worth of books for the school library. The competition closes on 27 April.

Calling all young journalists

Amnesty International UK, a new TES partner, is looking for the Young Human Rights Reporters of 2012. This competition encourages young people to engage with human rights issues by writing a news story.

The story can cover any issues - from bullying, to the death penalty, to being a refugee. It can also be a response to world poverty or another human rights issue pupils feel passionate about. There are four categories: upper-primary, lower-secondary, upper-secondary and sixth- form. The competition closes on 31 January.

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