Spooks star and Anthony Horowitz back 'heroes and villains' schools contest

Former Spooks actress Miranda Raison is a patron of Home-Start in Suffolk

Former Spooks actress Miranda Raison is a patron of Home-Start in Suffolk - Credit: Mike Blackett

Spooks star Miranda Raison and author Anthony Horowitz are urging children to create their own heroes and super villains for a Suffolk schools competition.

Children in Years 4 to 6 will watch Horowitz read a short story from his famous Alex Rider series, before creating their own villain suitable for one of his tales.

Meanwhile, reception to Year 3 pupils will see Miranda read Suffolk author Vibeke Flatman's At The End Of A Rainbow. They will then be tasked with drawing the hero, Alvin, or creating a character who could be his friend.

The contest is being run to raise money for Home-Start in Suffolk, which aids parents struggling with a range of challenges so children enjoy the best start in life.

Participating schools will get a full video recording of each story, along with a downloadable entry form.

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Anthony, who is a patron of Home-Start in Suffolk and lives in the county, said: “Creating the villains (and killing them in the last chapter) has always been my favourite part of the Alex Rider books, so I hope children in Suffolk will enjoy this assignment.

“At the same time, Home-Start in Suffolk are real heroes for organising this. What a great way to keep young minds occupied during these troublesome times.”

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Raison, a fellow Suffolk resident and also a patron of the charity, added: “There are some amazing prizes, and this is such a cheerful story, very apt for the spring and summer months ahead.

"We hope that lots of Suffolk schools sign up and agree that it's a really positive way of engaging the children and encouraging a love of reading.”

Prizes include signed books, gym bags, bookmarks, printed t-shirts and mugs, bookstore vouchers, board games, stationery and much more. 

The top 20 schools with the highest percentage of entrants based on their total population of students will win signed books for their library too.

Schools have until April 30 to sign up.

The first 10 schools to sign up will receive specially-designed bookmarks for every pupil from Ipswich Embroidery and Print.

The deadline for all entries is May 28 for judging. Winners will be announced mid-June, when prize presentations will also be arranged.

To find out more about the competition, click here.

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