Magical masterpiece wins art contest

Overall Champion, Ayanna Smith from Borden Primary School, with finalists, winners, and supporters at the Perfect Packed Lunch Awards staged at The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury.

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A witch’s brew has propelled eight year old Ayanna Smith to the top spot for the Perfect Packed Lunch Awards.

Overall Perfect Packed Lunch Awards Champion, Ayanna Smith.

The youngster, from Borden C of E Primary School, Sittingbourne, beat seven other finalists to be crowned champion in the annual art and creative writing competition.

Inspired by the Harry Potter book series she created a magical concoction for the muggle-born witch Hermione Granger – complete with spiders and witchy wand. Contents included frogs’ legs sticks, crusty worms, crunchy mice feet, slug slime juice, and a potion pot.

All eight finalists were invited to an award ceremony at The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in Canterbury. They were presented with certificates and goody bags containing stationery, an oven glove, a copy of a book entitled The Curious Tale of the Dodo, and a discount voucher for Cowling and Wilcox art supplies. The youngsters enjoyed the once in a lifetime opportunity to see their masterpieces on display to the public at The Beaney.

Oliver Bramble from St Johns Primary School with Sophia Page from Wellbeing People.

As overall champ, Ayanna also received a gift basket of art goodies donated by Cowling and Wilcox featuring a Pentel Studio Set of fibre-tipped pens, notebooks, Djeco Mosaics Kit, Dot-to-dot Animals book, Dot-to-dot Machines book, and Wildlife Map colouring book.

Three other talented young artists – Oliver Bramble, Hetty Benfield, and Shani Davis – received the additional accolade of being best in the district.

Oliver, nine, from St John’s Catholic School in Gravesend, impressed the judges with his attention to detail for Tutankhamun’s perfect packed lunch. His recipe included fish caught from the River Nile, mutton baked over a fire, and bread flavoured with honey, nuts and dates.

Hetty Benfield from Platts Heath Primary School with Alex De Almeida of Three R’s Teacher Recruitment.

Strictly Come Dancing fan Hetty, nine, from Platts Heath Primary School in Maidstone, created a lunchbox for Darcie Bussell. The meal featured foxtrot crisps, apple shoe, tango cherries, and a dance bar of sparkles – all washed down with a ’cha cha drink’.

The third winner, Shani, 11, from East Wickham Primary School in Bexley, devised a packed lunch complete with instructions for looking after a little mermaid. Her imaginative entry included exotic fish for strength, shrimps for tail power, and lobsters for maintaining long hair.

Shani Davis from East Wickham Primary School. with Joanna Jones of Canterbury City Council.

Hundreds of entries were received for the contest which was staged by the KM Charity Team in partnership with Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Golding Vision, Kent Libraries, and Wellbeing People. Contestants were required to draw or paint the perfect lunchbox meal for a real or imaginary character and write about what made their creation so special.

Sophia Page from Wellbeing People said the competition was “inspiring children to be imaginative and think outside the box. We want to empower children – especially younger children – around their health and wellbeing and this is a brilliant initiative to do so.”

Joanna Jones, the director of museums and galleries for Canterbury City Council, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Perfect Packed Lunch Awards. This is about celebrating children’s skills, their creativity, their imagination, and we’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the quality of the work that they’ve done.”

Also making it to the final were Kiran Turner, nine, from the Academy of Cuxton Schools, Rochester; Emily Owen from Danson Primary School, Bexley; Freya Scott, 10, from Garlinge Primary School, Margate; and Arthur Waring, 10, from Sheldwich Primary School, Faversham.

To view photographs of the event, visit our Event Gallery by clicking this link HERE.

For more details, visit Next year’s competition will be open soon for entry at the Perfect Packed Lunch Awards website.

  • Businesses interested in becoming partners for the 2018 event should contact Sophie Wallace at or by calling 0844 264 0291.
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