Annabel Noyce, a Year 7 pupil at The Royal High School in Bath, has been recognised nationally for her wonderful tale of Reggie the lion in The Big Bang Problem, awarded first place in the Gift of Reading competition. Second place in the creative writing competition was also awarded to the Royal High, with year 7 student Emily Whitely’s story Finding Bramble.

‘The Gift of Reading’ competition is set up by United World Schools with whom the Royal High School have set up a school partnership with Keo Ropov Village, Ratanakiri, Cambodia. Annabel beat off competition from the charity’s 140 other partner schools to win the prestigious competition, The Big Bang Problem will now be translated into Khmer (the native language of Cambodia) and will be added to UWS libraries in 93 village schools.

Stories from the Year 7 students have already raised over £200 from sales at the school’s Christmas Bazaar; to purchase a copy of Annabel’s story please contact the Royal High School.

The Royal High School has a 14 strong expedition team set to visit Keo Ropov in the summer and the girls are constantly meeting and coming up with many ways to support their partner school through fundraising. Mr Hadrian Briggs, Deputy Head Academic at the Royal High School and UWS project leader, explained, “The amounts needed are small, but the impact is huge. £1 will educate a child for a week, £15 provides safe drinking water for an entire classroom and £80 will stock the school with a library’s worth of Khmer books.”

In the forest of Northern Cambodia, 300 children from ethnic minority groups are now receiving education for the first time due to the project which is vital as their traditional way of life in the forest is under threat from deforestation. Girls from the Royal High School are quite literally, changing lives.