SCHOOLS across Hampshire have taken part in a creative competition to teach children about issues around forced migration.

The scheme is based on a book, The Boat Story, written and published by academics at the University of Winchester and illustrated by a local artist.

It is aimed at primary-aged children and sets out to challenge perceptions and cultural attitudes towards refugees with a fictional account of a baby who sets sail to find a better life.

Using The Boat Story as a starting point, children were asked to submit ideas on what could come next in the story within the themes of welcoming and inclusion.

They did this in the form of narrative writing, poetry, painting, artwork, drama and animation.

Andrew Melrose, professor of children’s writing at the University of Winchester, said: “As a University of Sanctuary, in recognition of our work to welcome refugees and asylum seekers, the University of Winchester is a passionate advocate for inclusion and we believe it’s important to encourage open dialogue with children on the subject of forced migration.”

The competition attracted over 200 responses.

Winning entries came from the following schools:

• Upham C of E School, Upham;

• Springwood Infant School, Waterlooville;

• Langrish Primary School, Stroud, Petersfield;

• Liss Junior School, Liss;

• Cherbourg Primary School, Eastleigh;

• Breamore C of E School, Fordingbridge;

• South Farnborough Junior School, Farnborough;

• Grayshott C of E Primary School, Hindhead;

Winners were given a copy of The Boat Story and a framed limited-edition screen print, signed by the illustrator, Stephanie Morris, at a prize-giving ceremony at Breamore School in Fordingbridge.