“The theme of resilience and hope was common in many children’s stories. In particular the word ‘bravery’ was often used, and associated with the words ‘courage’, ‘fearless’ and ‘determination’, demonstrating children’s understanding of synonyms. The ability to ‘pick oneself up’ and to ‘keep trying’ were positive motifs in some of the stories. In a number of stories from the more senior age group, the theme of hope is used in relation to various troubles besetting society today: the ability to think positively and ‘hope’ for a better future when the world environment is under pressure; and the need to ‘hope’ for a better outcome for people who are going through tough times."
“As I read through the entries in all categories, I keep returning to the Year 2 student from Regency Park Primary School who tells us, ‘We can all be brave as long as we try to be.’ Bowie describes what ‘bravery’ is in a remarkably mature way and shows how it doesn’t only relate to grand adventures but to how much we need it in our everyday lives – in singing a song or in making a new friend, for example. The student ‘s conception of bravery and its place in our lives, and his positive and mature understandings that everyone gets scared sometimes but that everyone has also been brave sometimes, is generous, positive and inspiring."
"Bravery was selected as word of the year by Bowie, Year 2, and Molin, Year 3, but also perfectly reflects other word choices students made, such as ‘determination’, ‘fearless’, ‘adaptability’, ‘courage’ and ‘perseverance’. It underpins the adventures stories, personal quests and accounts of overcoming difficulties big and small, and describes many of the writers’ attempts to stand up and be counted about issues they care about. Understanding consequences, taking ownership, overcoming obstacles and initiating action were clear themes in the submissions, speaking to the bravery and optimism of our young writers.".