About 2015 Art Competition

Each year our Management Team selects a 'theme' that reflects children issues.

The theme is matched and linked to established personalities who we invite to judge the entries and select winners, whose artwork is then incorporated into our annual calendars. We are currently in our seventh year of the competition; previous themes have been:

1.             Environment 

2.             Health and Fitness 

3.             Anti-Bullying

4.             Ideas and Inventions

5.             Olympics Legacy

6.             Fostering

2014’s theme – ‘Art, Media and Fame’

As we all know children and young people are impressionable. Having good role models is a crucial part of any child’s development. Many of our children / young people aspire to become like their role models.

The objective of this year’s theme is to get children / young people thinking about the lives of famous people who they consider to be their role model. We encouraged children who may wish to follow the career paths of their heroes to think about the positive and negative aspects of fame and see that with wealth and celebrity also comes responsibility.


Long Close School Children from years 3 to year 10

We are delighted to be able to work with the Long Close School and to have the support of Mr Pavey, Head Teacher, Gavin Lacombe, Head of Art and all the staff, who generously donate their time, effort and resources to support this Art Competition.

The school was established in 1940, originally as a boys' boarding school. Long Close has evolved into a co-educational day school, for pupils aged 2 16 years, with a well-established reputation for friendliness and achievement.

Occupying a large and attractive site, Long Close admits children into Little Close Nursery through to preparing pupils in the Prep School for 11+ entrance to grammar schools and for GCSE examinations in the Senior School.

The school aims to provide every child with the best opportunity of transferring successfully to the next stage of his or her education and endeavours to support each child by maintaining a happy, caring and friendly family atmosphere. Staff give independent attention and guidance in small classes, by providing stimulating environment that encourages the pursuit of high standards and nurtures all the facets of the pupil's education.

The school is dedicated to achieving outstanding results by employing teachers who prepare each child for the demands and challenges of the outside world, by providing opportunities to grow in confidence, self-reliance, self-discipline, responsibility and consideration for others. It is very keen to cultivate and broaden the interests of each child through exposure to a remarkable variety of learning experiences, which include music, drama, sport and a wide range of extra-curricular activities.

Foster children from the Local Authorities (Looked after children)

Some of our children have special needs, health and developmental concerns. They may also present with emotional or behavioural challenges. However, regardless of individual circumstances, all our children and young people are encouraged to take part and showcase their talents.

Children Whose Families Foster

We feel that it is important that every child is treated equally, therefore, we invite all children to take part in the Art Competition and gain recognition for their specific contribution, including those whose parents foster, as they have developed remarkable insights into various life situations by virtue of their unique position as members of the fostering household.

Last year’s theme - Fostering

Last year’s theme was 'Fostering'. This was a high priority for the government as significant changes had been made to the care system. We invited all the children and young people who took part in our competition to express their thoughts, feelings and views through a piece of art work or poem.

We invited Dr. Roger Morgan who at the time was the 'Children's Rights Director' Ofsted to judge the competition. Mr. Morgan was ideally placed to judge our competition, he spent most of his time listening to and responding to our children and young people's views and concerns.

Dr Morgan felt judging our art competition was a real challenge, he wrote…

"I saw a really great range of different artwork and poetry.  I found lots of what people had drawn and written very moving indeed - and there were lots of ideas that really made me think.  Some of the entries that didn't make it to the calendar did that.  There were more entries that deserved to win than there are months in the year for the calendar - so the calendar has now got more pictures and poems than the number of months in it!  Some of the entries were brilliant but I thought needed to be used as posters rather than in the calendar, so some are going to be turned into posters. Some entries had such good ideas in them that they will be quoted as brilliant ideas quite apart from how they did in this competition.  The cover picture for the calendar was the out and out winner - I can honestly say that I have never seen before such a powerful and moving picture about care. Thank you to everyone who took part - and my especial thanks to those of you who wrote so movingly about your own lives and thoughts".

This year’s judge, Nina Wadia

To judge this competition, we invited international personality ‘Nina Wadia’, best known on British T.V as Zainab in ‘EastEnders’. Nina first came to prominence in BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, playing characters such as Mrs "I can make it at home for nothing!" and one half of The Competitive Mothers. She later starred in sitcom All About Me alongside Jasper Carrott and Natalia Kills and has made several guest appearances in various British comedies and dramas. She won 'Best Comedy Performance' at the 2009 British Soap Awards. In 2004 she won the Chairman's Award at the Asian Women awards and in April 2013 she was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Television Award at The Asian Awards.

Nina’s comments about the entries were:

“When I was asked by Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency to Judge their Annual Art Competition dealing with the subject of famous people, I thought I would be bombarded with posters of pop and reality stars. When I was told that their theme was to choose both the positive and negative aspects of fame or perhaps just people who inspired them and they felt were role models I was intrigued…

On the judging day itself, I was very pleasantly surprised. I saw so many posters that brought a smile to my face, because they made me feel like the children had really thought about their presentations and why they picked the people they did. I was particularly impressed with those who chose inspirational figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa. Like previous judges, I too felt that there were more entries that deserved to win than there are months in the year for the calendar – so the calendar has now got more collages and pictures than the number of months in it! I feel honoured to have been part of this very special calendar and I wish one and all a wonderful year filled with love and laughter.”

Nina Wadia

We would like to thank all who took part in designing this calendar, especially the children and the judge who made it happen. We wish you Good Luck and Best Wishes for the New Year.

Bridging Gaps Fostering Agency, 2015