A TALENTED schoolgirl has won the chance to have her poem published, despite only being able to speak English for three years when she wrote it.

Mariam Hassan, 11, beat thousands of entries to be included in the Big Green Poetry Machine which will be published next year.

She wrote the piece, entitled The Cost of Litter, in class last year at Horsenden Primary School in Greenford.

Born in Somalia, Mariam only came to Britain in 2005.

The pupil, of Drew Gardens, Greenford, said: "I was really surprised to be chosen for the book. I didn't expect it at all, it was the first poem I'd ever written."

Elizabeth Walton, headteacher at Horsenden Primary, said: "The school is very proud of Mariam's achievements and we hope her writing will continue to flourish."