"The most gifted child I have taught"

9th June 2006 at 01:00
(Photograph) - Jemma Leech has won a trip to London as a finalist in The TES's Write Away competition.

The eight-year-old from Penarth, south Wales, is severely disabled with cerebral palsy and cannot speak or walk. But she is studying A-level standard literature.

Jemma impressed the Write Away judges with an essay entitled Autobiography.

In it she writes: "Many people cannot imagine how there could be a brain in this body. They see a broken child like a broken toy. Few people suspect a city of people lives inside my fractured case with artists, musicians, politicians, teachers, priests and spacemen all vying for airtime on Jemma FM."

Her teacher Melody Jones, language co-ordinator at Palmerston primary in Barry, said: "Jemma is the most gifted child I have ever taught."

Jemma communicates by pointing to letters which are typed onto a computer.

Teacher magazine 8-11. Photograph by PAUL BOX

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