GIRLS from a leading independent school are to become published poets, as part of a scheme recognising talented youngsters.

Sixteen pupils from Polam Hall School, in Darlington, are having their sonnets - written in English lessons last term - published in the Great Minds of County Durham book.

The Young Writers organisation is producing the regional anthology, which attracted more than 35,000 entries.

The year nine pupils will also be entered in a national poetry competition later in the year.

Headteacher Marie Green said: "I am thrilled that 16 of our pupils were chosen and know that they are all proud of their achievements."

The successful girls were Lucy Watson, Jade Clark, Abby Glass, Jessica Crawford, Lucinda Thompson, Rebecca Harrison, Lucy Downes, Polly Enevoldson, Lydia Burnside-Hughes, Kate Sayer, Vicki Pugh, Emma Shakeshaft, Dominique Forrest, Hannah Dent-Noble, Harriet Bradshaw and Sophie Villiers.