Institute of Education


IOE academic sponsors Rina Bottai Creative Writing Award celebrating hometown primary school teacher

5 June 2019

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) academic, Dr Roberto Filippi, pays tribute to the lasting impact of primary school teachers with a new creative writing award in Livorno, Italy.

Rina Bottai award

Primary school teachers play a crucial role in the formation of children’s cognitive and social abilities, says Dr Filippi, a researcher in multi-language acquisition and cognitive development.

To celebrate the pivotal function of primary school educators, Dr Filippi has established a creative writing award named after a former teacher, Rina Bottai from the Carlo Bini Elementary School in Livorno, Italy.

“After many years, I still feel the impact of primary school on my personal growth,” says Dr Filippi. He explains that, along with his family, Ms Bottai, “was the architect of my individual development, giving me the tools and fundamental values to face life: education, self-confidence and respect for others.”

For the creative writing contest, pupils aged 9-10 years old from the Carlo Bini Elementary School worked in groups to stimulate cooperation rather than competition.

Rina Bottai award entries

The winning pieces were announced at a ceremony at the school on 5 June 2019.

The first place prize is a collection of books for the winning group, with additional books donated to the school library for all students to use. 

This competition is intended to become an annual event, with plans to involve UK primary schools in the future to promote multicultural collaboration between teachers and pupils.

Roberto Filippi is an Associate Professor in Psychology and Special Educational Needs and the director of the Multilanguage and Cognition Lab (MULTAC). He is also a member of the Centre for Educational Neuroscience research group.