Work of the Month
The English Faculty are proud of their students’ achievements and we are continually impressed with the quality and effort they make. In order to recognise their creativity and flair we have decided to publish a ‘Work of the Month’.
Students will be invited to submit any piece of writing (film or book review, poetry, short story, etc) to their English teacher on a monthly basis. The winner will gain the spotlight for the month, allowing you at home to enjoy what we as English teachers get to do every day!
by Deanne, 9EF
Black and white, white and black
Bent over at the back
Sit alone every day
On my own I fade away
Dream a dream of the past
My white chickens waddled past
I hope I'll be treated fair
Then I could live without a care
But I am not a fool
I know that the world is cruel
Isolation, tears, pain
Every day is the same
People come, people go
I've seen it all before, you know
I cry alone in the night
White and black, black and white
Describe a mysterious building
Dawn broke. The dismal grave faces that commanded the skies stared; eyes that had seen too much, eyes that never forgot. Slowly, they were pushed aside, as a greater force overcame the atmosphere. Its nostrils flared as the bright amber beast threw daring, angry fireballs left and right, destroying whatever laid in its wake. Yet, the building still sat, breathing quietly, the sound echoing throughout the freezing damp alleyways. Leaves marched to the slow pulse; a drum beat, sending prisoners to their death. Darkness flowed throughout the building; dancing and weaving. Its ruby red eyes glistened demonically. Beautiful, barbaric; brutal. He roars. No-one hears. The sound of silence swallows the building whole – suffocating everything within.
The Church. Everyone knew it was there. Everyone had a reason to ignore it. Children scurried past quickly, their eyes fixated on the ground, their breath appearing in short bursts before them. Chatty housewives walked a pace quicker when passing the building, their laughter turning to whispers as a sickening uneasiness overcame them. Even the strongest of men felt it: the ambience of control and power the Church emitted. Danger, darkness, death.
The Church stood unaccompanied at the end of the street; eyes open and staring, breathing in the words of others, never sleeping. It was framed by a silhouette of cold blooded looming trees, glaring down at whoever dared pass their shadowy gates. Their long winding fingers beckoned the innocent forward, muttering swift promises under their breath. Promises of warmth, promises of love, promises of pain. The stench of mould and rot lingered in the air, yet the scent was masked by something different, something unknown; alien. The walls were cracked and decayed, starved of attention and care; they deteriorated at the slightest touch, the slightest breath. The exquisite mosaics that once decorated the walls were now scratched and dying, victim to years of abuse from the elements. Miraculously, the Church still stood its shoulders upright and head tilted back. It was derelict and dilapidated, yet the building still dared the world to do its best, using words that dripped with malice.
If you were to open the mouth of the creature, the first thing to hit you would be the smell. The odour of desperation was overwhelming, it powered through your veins, replacing your soul, becoming everything you are; your entire entity. The door creaked slowly, like an animal waking from a deep sleep- sensing it’s pray. The Church tensed; alive and ready.
The Grand Hall was pitch-black, hiding secrets that had been imprisoned within the darkness’s grasp for many years. A stairway to hell dominated the centre of the beast’s belly. It squirmed and writhed, hissing, venom showering the blood red carpet. Paintings hung lifeless and limp, their audiences no longer present to admire them. They no longer had any soul within them. Any passion. They didn’t live, they just existed. Books littered the floor, creating a path of destruction and torment. Their pages once containing tales of joy and courage, now wept; torn and alone. Words ran off the pages, dashing for shelter. A lustrous, gleaming piano stood at the back of the stomach, grumbling, gurgling and groaning. It screeched for food, whilst the keys danced like fingers, edging ever closer towards you. The instrument stood on all fours, a haunting chord echoing throughout the air, speaking to the rotten cavities of the chamber. The walls crumbled softly; disintegrating, after years of knowing secrets almost impossible to keep. They absorbed every mutter, every snide remark, every laugh; every tear. The walls were the voice of the Church. The harmony. They represented every story that had ever been told within the hallowed halls and smiled grimly at what they knew.
The Church still sat; isolated and abandoned. Everyone knew it was there, everyone had a reason to ignore it. The Church breathed a sigh. It knew all too well that time can be a cruel mistress. Yet, as the building relaxed, it smirked wickedly; the only one aware of what it was truly capable of. Knowing that its time would come. Soon.
Have you ever had chills down your spine? Not the chilly, shivery ‘it’s getting cold’ chills. Not the chills you get when you see something horrible on television and a part of you shivers at the thought of it. No. Real chills, real uncontrollable, foreboding shivers that tell you something is coming. Something bad is coming. You don’t know what. You don’t know when. All you know is it is something so significant to your life that even your unconscious mind is scared for you, that unbeknownst to you, your body is reacting already.
I got those chills once. I awoke from a terrible dream; gut wrenchingly frightening, with a feeling. A feeling that something was in my house. Not someone. Something. Something was lurking in the shadows of my dark home, tainting my dreams with fear, waiting for the moment when I opened my eyes from dreaming and realised I was not alone. It was nothing specific that I could place my finger on. Some could call it a fragment of my imagination, although what followed could not be called anything but proof of pure supernatural existence. In my own house. For a moment, I froze, letting my eyes adjust to the darkness, trying to get a sense of what I was really feeling. Then I heard it.
My eyes raced across the room, trying to pinpoint where the noise was coming from. A sinister, deafening scraping reverberated in my ears, making my whole body shudder in disgust, like nails on a chalk board. It set my teeth on edge. Raising a shaking hand, I lifted the covers off of my body and fumbled for the lamplight. To my complete despair, it turned on dimly and a few short seconds later died. In fumbling for the switch to the lamp, I had lost my glasses that lay on my bedside table. Where were my glasses? The noise filled my head. I wanted to curl up into a ball, to put my hands over my ears and wait for it to stop, wait for daylight to come, but I couldn’t. My glasses, I needed my glasses. I found myself scrambling on the floor, feeling for them, frenzied. My frozen fear was now replaced with a fearful desperation. I couldn’t see past finding my glasses and putting them on. Then what? What would I see? What would I do with this, this thing that was making such a bloodcurdling noise in my room? At last I found the cold metal edge of the glasses and gave a short sigh of relief, putting them on lopsidedly. I could now see exactly where the noise was coming from.
I had always been called a coward. Well there you go, I thought, inching my way towards the window. All of those bullies, they were wrong. Here I was, facing whatever it was that was scraping at my window, scraping louder and louder until I stood at the window and contemplated opening the curtain. My heart beat like a frenzied bird, desperately trying to be free of my ribcage. I could hear nothing but this noise, this unbearable noise, and now a movement through the light fabric of curtain that separated me and whatever was behind it. A shadow of movement, back and forth, back and forth, that was scraping slowly, agonizingly across the window. In a burst of courage, I ripped back the curtain and stood to survey what awaited me. To my surprise, I saw nothing. I peered through the glass, at the road, the houses next door to mine, my fingers gripping the windowsill. Nothing. So why had the feeling not left my bones?
I stood at the window, looking out. I was perfectly visible to any passers by. Then my brain dragged my eyes to the one place I was dreading to look. The park opposite my house. I scanned the darkness, the trees silently still, unnaturally so. A figure stood, directly opposite my window, in that park. A hooded figure, I could see neither face nor body clearly. But I knew it was looking at me. I could feel its inhuman eyes boring into my skull. I could not absorb what I was witnessing. My hands gripped the windowsill so tightly that they went an unearthly white. I could not pull my eyes away from this form that stood in the park and stared up at me menacingly. I could not move. Finally, my body made me blink. As I reopened my eyes, it was gone. Just like that. Now do you understand the type of real chills I’m talking about?
The words are dancers. The page, the book. Each word and letter hugging your heart. The rolling hills of page 1,2,3...until I see 'The end'. I don't want it to end and something tells me it won't. Not now anyway.
I watch the dancers piroette between punctuation and paragraphs and feel myself becoming one of them. That satisfying rustle of the page accompanying their waltz. They dance.
'You' jumps up. 'I' jumps up. 'We' jumps up. All harmoniously announcing the secret links between words and meanings, mysteries and answers that contain themselves within their grey limits. Awaiting a brave hand to prise those crisp sheets open. Should I be the first?
I've made my decision.
With my hands tingling and my heart racing, I gaaze my eyes over the first performance. I cheer and clap. I love it! (I cheer and clap inside my head though because I do not want to spoil this diamond moment). They stop dancing and my eyes stop dancing aswell. They are hibernating.
All tucked uo, despite being convered. Waiting for my next 'Hello'.
Wow. All this emotion and...and...contemplation about the next adventure of those words. They are my friends and sometimes I feel as though they are my only aquaintances. I don't really mind. I shut their world once again.
Eyes up and attention regained, I try as hard as I can to find what 'x' is equal to. That's all I can do. Try. The dancers have flooded my memory. I prefer it like that...now, 'x'.
I Need You...
A class poem by Ms Ridout’s Year 9 English class
We read John Hegley’s “Declaration of Need”, then every student wrote one or two lines in the same style.
I need you like a basketball needs a player
I need you like London needs the right mayor
I need you like an eye needs an apple
I need you like a ticket needs a raffle
I need you like a boat needs to float
I need you like caffeine needs coke
I need you like a window needs a pane
I need you like a rainbow needs the rain
I need you like a leaf needs a tree
I need you like two needs three
I need you like a clock needs tick-tock
I need you like a key a lock
I need you like an ear needs a ring
I need you like a film needs cling
I need you like a banana needs a split
I need you like a hand needs a mitt
I need you like a Prince needs a Princess
I need you like the sun needs summer to show up
I need you like a lunchbox needs food
I need you like a bogey needs a nose
I need you like Homer needs Marge
I need you like Towie needs Arg
I need you like a bird needs a wing
I need you like a microphone needs someone to sing
I need you like Mickey needs a mouse
I need you like a sofa needs a house
I need you like ice needs cream
I need you like sleep needs a dream
I need you like a cow needs a farm
I need you like cookie needs milk
I need you like a dog needs a bone
I need you like my mum needs a phone
I need you like stars need shine
I need you like dogs need the blind
I need you like Birken needs a stock
I need you like cuckoo needs a clock
I need you like someone dumb needs blonde hair dye
I need you like girl needs a friend
I need you like the world will never end
I like words that....
I like lazy words that mope around like roomy, spooky, oozing and gooey chop suey.
I like hissing words that slither across the page like sachet, science, Mississippi and sausages.
I like chunky words that you can eat like chocolate, chipolata and chickens.
I like happy words that jump across the page like ecstatic, sparkling, lively and cheerful.
I like difficult words that impress people like antidisestablishmentarianism, juxtaposition and hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia!
Students were asked to write a parody of Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” but entitled “To her Teacher, upon Being Given Homework”. They had to follow Marvell’s argument. Chloe chose to write in Marvell’s 17th century style, incorporating his vocabulary in terms of phrase.
Had we but time enough, and no revision
This tempting homework, I’d take it
I’d sit down, and think how
to solve this, and meet the deadline
Should I have to knowledge find, I easily
So easily, would
think hard ten years before the flood;
And if I fail, if you wish, punish me
‘til the end of the world
My homework love should grow
Vaster than rainforests, and more diverse
An hundred years should go to
the style and on the context,
Two hundred to adore each method,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
A century at least to every part
And the last century should show my praise
for you, teacher, deserve it
for providing me homework
But at my back I always hear
Exams’ angry voices in my ear;
And although time before us lies
There is not enough
Thy homework shall no more be found
And your fine expectations turn to dust
and into ashes all my pride.
The single desk is a fine and private,
But none dare to visit unprepared.
Now therefore, while my diary is free
from plans, and deadlines
And while my body rests
from hard work and tests
Now let me be free while I can
And now, like bears in winter
Let me hibernate
And not exert energy in work
Let me curl my tired head,
eyes, and sweet heart into one ball;
and sleep soundly
through the movies of my imagination.
Thus, though we cannot make our time
Stand still, we can slow him down.
Book Response- ‘The Hunger Games’
Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
‘The Hunger Games’ is a book set in the future where South America no longer exists and North America has now been turned into a place called, ‘Panem’ Panem consists of of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts; which each specialize in different areas. The story starts in District 12, which is in charge of coal. The heroin, Katniss is born and raised here. Unfortunately her father died when she was very young, and her mother completely shut out the outside world. This left Katniss to raise her younger sister ‘Prim’ .As food is scare in the district Katniss would often hunt using the skills her father taught her, although illegal, she found it was the only way she could feed her family. There was once a district 13, however it rebelled against the capital and was then destroyed. As punishment for this rebellion, every year, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by lottery and forced to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised event in which the participants, or "tributes," must fight to the death in a dangerous, outdoor arena, controlled by the Capitol, until only one remains. Unfortunately, Prim’s name is chosen in the lottery, yet Katniss can’t bear to see her sister die and therefore volunteers in her place. The boy chosen is Peeta; someone who Katniss has never talked to, yet later on discovers is deeply in love with her. After a lot of training, her and Peeta finally arrive in the arena and begin the battle for life or death. They are told that, ‘Winning will make you famous, but losing means certain death.’
She is small, has brown hair (usually braided), olive skin, brown eyes and main talents include: archery, trapping and hunting. She is very independent and tough, after having to take care of her family for most of her life. She is a very gifted singer, however doesn’t like to sing in public, as it reminds her of her (now deceased) father. She has a wild spirit and will do and say whatever she pleases- hardly ever following orders. She is an survivalist, lethal, but good at thinking outside the box. She can often come across as cold and calculating, yet still likeable.
I think she is very realistic and hasn’t been made to seem perfect; her flaws are very obvious!
Katniss is a bit of a stereotype; having been given dark hair and dark eyes for such a cold personality. However in some ways she is completely different to her description, being small in stature and light for her age.
She is really important in the story, as it is all told from her point of view. Without Katniss, none of the story would take place.
Peeta has blue eyes, is medium height, stocky build, and has ashy blond hair that falls in waves over his forehead. Towards the end of the book, he has to have his leg amputated after receiving injuries from another tribute in the arena. He therefore was given a plastic replacement. He is gentle and kind, but has lots of hidden talents, including: wrestling, camouflage and hand to hand combat.
His is likeable and approachable and has a talent of making anyone that meets him, fall instantly in love. He is hopelessly in love with Katniss and will do whatever it takes to protect her. He is selfless and generous.
I think he is very realistic and responds to things how a normal person would.
Not only this, but he is not stereotypical at all. Whilst sweet and kind, he has a fierce temper and will do anything he can to protect the ones he loves.
Peeta is really important as he brings a more gentle side to the story, he is very optimistic and can always see the good in people. In some ways; he is Katniss’ other half.
I love the characters as I think they are very relatable, interesting and always humorous. Each character has a different personality and when you bring them together, the end result is a great story line full of twists.
There are 3 main themes within the story: government control, ‘big brother’ and personal independence. The whole story is based around people rebelling and protesting against the government and how the ‘Capitol’ responds. The Capitol makes choices for the whole of Panem and don’t care how it will affect people in other areas. This is quite relative to modern times and relates to how a lot of people may feel about our government. The book also deals with the idea of ‘big brother’ as fighting in the arena is a lot like being on reality TV. However, the story is mostly based around personal independence. Each character has suffered in their own way and is forced to take care of themselves. It really makes you think about how lucky you are to have family and friends there to support you.
I have really enjoyed this book, as I think whilst it has such an original story line; it is also realistic and has a way of drawing you in. The book really made me realise how lucky I am to have so many people to care for me. A lot of characters in this book have had problems in early life and have been forced to survive on their own. Katniss for example was put in charge of feeding her entire family after her father died. And even resulted in breaking the law, to do so. This book was a real page turner and I found it almost impossible to put down. I understand how Katniss felt when her younger sister was nominated for ‘The Hunger Games’ as I have younger brothers myself, who I would give up my life for.
By Holly, 9JEL