Five Go To Kinneil House – and win a big prize!

Kinneil House
Mysterious (and famous) … Kinneil House

Gosh! What would Uncle Quentin say?

They’ve explored a Treasure Island and Mystery Moor. They went up Billycock Hill and found a Secret Trail.

Now The Famous Five have had an adventure at Kinneil House in Bo’ness.

It’s all thanks to the writing efforts of children at the nearby Kinneil Primary School – who devised a new story for the four famous children and Timmy, the dog.

The Kinneil kids shared their efforts using text, images and video through Microsoft’s Sway presentation program.

It was so good the youngsters’ production has won a national competition … scooping thousands of pounds worth of prizes for the school, plus praise from tech giants Microsoft and Hachette, which owns the Enid Blyton brand.

Pupils devised “Five Go To Kinneil House” – about the Famous Five’s bid to catch two diamond thieves at the historic venue. (See/read their entry here.)

Their efforts won them:

  • a Famous Five book for every child in the school;
  • a copy of every Enid Blyton book that Hodder Children’s Books has published, for the school library;
  • Five Surface Pro 4 computers for the class;
  • a Surface Pro 4 for their teacher;
  • a hamper of fun games, treats and T-shirts; and
  • a bespoke cover designed by Enid Blyton’s publisher, Hachette Children’s Group.

Kinneil class teacher Lauren Young said: “The competition was a fantastic project to take part in, and it created a real buzz in the classroom. It encompassed many parts of the curriculum and allowed the children to share their talents and learning in different ways through writing, drama, art and technology. Enid Blyton’s stories encouraged the children to read more and her style and structure gave the children a great basis to build their stories on. I could not be more proud of the children for this fantastic achievement.”

The competition was organised to mark the 75th anniversary of the Famous Five books.
It challenged children in Year 4 and Primary 5 classes (aged eight and nine) to write a story of between 500 and 800 words in the style of the classic Enid Blyton novels.

The stories had to focus on an exciting location or place of local interest, and adopt the same five-step structure that Blyton used: set up, journey, adventure, resolution, return home.

Hachette gave the Kinneil Primary entry its top prize because it was a “great story and the multimedia presentation was outstanding”.

The publishers said: “They (the Kinneil pupils) had a mix of videos that they had scripted, cast and filmed, plus recorded dialogue and photos and drawings which told parts of the story in different ways, but everything flowed very cohesively. They had clearly put a massive amount of energy and effort into their entry.”

Lucy Upton, Group Marketing Director for Hachette Children’s Group, said the firm was delighted to team up with Microsoft to run the writing competition.

Ian Fordham, Director of Education at Microsoft said: “Blyton’s books are known and loved by children and adults across the world, and we hope they inspire young people to tell some amazing tales of their own.”

Kinneil House has some fantastic real-life stories of its own to share. Visit Kinneil Museum this winter to find out more and discover the Famous Five (or more) faces associated with the House and its wider estate.

Open days at Kinneil House are due to resume in the spring of 2018.