Learning during the CV-19 Emergency

We would like to thank all of our teachers and support staff for their hard work over Summer Term. They have worked to make virtual lessons an exciting and enriching experience for our students and to support those students who have attended school throughout. We also thank our students for engaging so well with the new way of learning and for showing independence and self reliance in their work, in spite of all the difficulties this term has presented.  

As the term has now ended and we are looking forward to welcoming our students in person when we return in September; we thought we would use this page to celebrate the winners of the Key Stage 3 Short Story Competition. There is one  Year 7 winner and two winners in Year 8. Congratulations to them and to the runners up for some superbly imaginative offerings; all set in the time of Coronavirus 19.  

We thank all of the students who submitted a short story for the Summer 2020 Competition, there was a fantastic mix of genres and some very original interpretations of the theme making it very hard for the judges. Prizes will be awarded in September.    

Year 7 Short Story Competition Winner   

The Summer of the Cursed Lovers by Eloise Coleman

In the not so distant past, on one side of the village, there lived a young man who went by the name of Cole, his nickname was Co. Co was lonely and had no friends, this was because he was cursed. Wherever he went many people would fall ill, but they would never die. 

On the other side of the village lived a young woman called Vidalia. However, she preferred it when people called her Vid. Vid, like Co was also lonely and cursed. Wherever she went, a few people would become ill and die. 

One day Co decided to take a leisurely stroll through the market.  As he sauntered down the steps, he saw her, a pure beauty; he was fixated by her light glossy brunette hair and her hypnotising green eyes that sent him into a daydream. Their eyes met, she smiled. 

He took a deep breath and walked towards her, having gained the confidence to approach her. Before he could speak, she introduced herself and they started to talk.  Hours had passed, they felt like they had known each other for years. Vidalia explained her curse to Cole and told him how it caused her to become unsociable. She also told him of her 19th birthday coming up. Co was already 19. 

The next few weeks had passed by with Co and Vid never spending a day apart. They were falling madly in love, not knowing that when the two curses combine, they will mutate causing a deadly virus. Both Co and Vid, now being 19 years of age, created the curse otherwise known as CoVid 19. 

Whilst in town, strolling through the market arm in arm, many people around them started to cough, sneeze and some fell to the hard, stone floor struggling for breath. People started pointing at them, the only two in the crowd not ill. Co and Vid were confused. They ran and ran until they reached Cole’s apartment, where they hid for the rest of the day. 

The following day, Inspector Vaccine and his team barged into the apartment. They were wearing shiny white gloves, plastic white gowns and giant masks that would protect them from illness. His officers rushed over and grabbed Co and Vid, dragging them out of his apartment. Crowds pointed, shouting “CoVid19”, “they are the cursed lovers spreading their deadly virus, kill them”. 

They got locked away in separate cells. Grieving for each other in pure pain and isolation from being torn apart. Inspector Vaccine had ordered them to be hung the following morning. 

Both Cole and Vidalia stood in the centre of town, cold and wet from the storm, standing side by side, noose around their necks. The crowd continually chanting CoVid19 must die. Their fingertips entwined, their eyes met, she smiled. The rope tightened around their necks, a single tear run down each of their cheeks.

Year 7 Runners up

Summer 2020 by Nahum Solomon

They say home is where the heart is. But I have hole where my heart is. It's all a paradox. I thought she was meant to stop people from getting it. But she ended up infected herself. Well... Happy Birthday to me. It’s hard to have a birthday without your family. I’m stuck in a hospital. I see an endless wave of sick people come and go. I know I’m not sick, but I soon will be If I don’t get out. 

I began to scan the area, aquiver of the fear that another sick wave would come close to me. I analysed the room and everything inside it. I saw a CCTV in the right top corner of the room, and a door in the left side of the room, hospital beds all around the edge, and the lights are on the top right and left of the room. I took a snapshot in my head. 

Another wave of sick people came near me, and I began to hyperventilate, until a mellifluous sound soothed my stress and tension in the air. It was the signal made before an announcement. They said that they had to stop taking in patients because they were full, and they had to transport the next patients to the next town. 

I hid under my bed while the doctors focused on the other patients and I began to recall sentimental memories of my mum when she was here, and rounds of ineffable memories leading to it. “Mum why did you have to be a doctor!?” I screamed in my head. 

I crawled under the curtain separating me from the patient on my left, and crawled under his bed, I repeatedly did so until the last bed. But this time I wasn’t gentle enough. My head hit the curtains, making the curtain move, and the metal at the top clang against each other. The doctors came, to inspect the area. I took deep, but quiet breaths, hoping that they didn’t check under the bed. My heart burnt, as it beat rapidly, and hiraeth consumed me. 

 She moved on; I gasped in relief, I ran as fast as I could, through the door, making a loud noise on the way out, but a doctor grabbed me. Fear penetrated my layer of hope, and disbelief infiltrated my happiness. It was like a clear nice, white tender slate floating in the air, then getting all ripped up, pieces everywhere, all on fire, that’s what I felt like. 

She eased the grip trying to talk to me, then I burst into tears, I just wanted to get out and meet my friends for my birthday. I didn’t want to catch the virus from other patients. I just had to get outside, and just breathe some fresh air. I haven't had any in a week, I broke out of the hug the doctor got me in, and I bashed out the door out of the way, and the moment I stepped outside was like never before, I felt like a hero, I hid in the bushes and took a supine stance, but I saw members of staff looking for me and shouting my name, I was about to run, until I felt a firm grip around my hand.....

 

A Horror Story by Charis Ahiable

My story is a revolting one to tell. By the time you’ve finished reading this, all that will be left of me is a deceased corpse and some ashes. 

‘Get ready to leave!’

Babysitters are like dentists, some people like them and some don’t. But I had an intense animosity towards them. It was summer so mum and her boyfriend, Toby were going to Hawaii. I guess it was something about his unshaven face and dishevelled shirt which made him sceptical. I wasn’t coming because I assumed that being 12, I would be able to stay home alone. But I guess I was wrong. Since they were leaving, mum found a new babysitter for me. 

When mum dropped me off, the first thing that met my eyes was the cramped, grubby dumpsite which the babysitter called home. The flowers were as dead as a doornail and crows were eyeing me as they circled around the house, making it more horrifying than it was before.

‘Be nice and here-’ Mum handed me chocolates, ‘-Give these to her.’

I rolled my eyes unpleasantly and headed towards the house, the path was sinuous and I could feel it start to drizzle. I rang the doorbell and took a deep gulp. 

The door unlocked and I saw a small, elderly woman hunched on the doorstep. Her hands were pruned and she wore spectacles which teetered on her nose.

‘Nathaniel, what a surprise. I’m Lily, come in.’ Her voice was welcoming but sinister. The interior of the house looked much better than the outside.

‘You must be starving-’ I was starving, but I was a little dubious where her hands had been.

‘No thanks-’

‘- I’ll make us some spaghetti bolognaise.’ 

Afterwards, I went up the creaking stairs, cautiously and took time to admire the picturesque aspects of the house. Just then I looked up to the ceiling and heard muffles coming from the loft. I climbed up the stairs leading to it. But much to my dismay, two children were hanging from the ceiling with ropes strangling them tight. Their muffles grew louder and just as I was about to help them.

‘Dinner’s ready!’ Lily came looking for me and saw me scrambling down from the loft. She didn’t say a thing but went to the dinner table grinning menacingly. 

The aroma of food filled the air but I still couldn’t get what I saw in the loft out of my head. Lily served some spaghetti to me and I scoffed it down as quick as I could. However, the sauce was… different? Maybe I was being picky but it was actually a deep red and almost tasted metallic.

‘What’s in this?’

‘Just meatballs, pasta and my secret ingredient-’ Sweat trickled down my forehead.

‘Children’s Blood.’

I could’ve almost died on the spot but then the next words that escaped her mouth were paralysing me; she sounded psychotic!

‘But, I’m running out and I really do need some more.’ 

A shred of hope remained that my life wouldn’t have to be cut so short…

Year 8 Winner for Story Structure and Interpretation of Theme

Summer 2020 by Lola Platt-Quintana

It was nearly one o’clock in the morning and I was still talking to her, even though I knew I shouldn’t have been. The house was silent other than the sound of me typing. I had been chatting to ‘Summer2020’ online since October when she’d messaged me on the game and we had become good friends. In her profile I saw that she had blonde hair and two different coloured eyes and she owned a Yorkshire Terrier. I wished that I had a dog, but my parents wouldn’t allow me. 

Summer2020 sent another message that said, “You’re my best friend.” A huge grin was planted on my face like a sticker. I thought about it and I realised that she was mine too. I didn’t have any other close friends since nobody really liked me, so I was so happy that I finally had a best friend. It was at that moment I decided that I wanted to meet Summer2020 in person and told her in a message. To my excitement and delight she did too, and we settled on a date. 

The day that we were supposed to meet eventually arrived, and I couldn’t wait to see her. As I put on my favourite jeans, I saw on the news that a girl and her parents had died in a terrible car crash. They showed a picture of the girl and my heart dropped like a bowling ball; it was a picture of Summer2020. Tears flew down my face and my mum comforted me. I realised that I had to face the devastating reality that my best friend had passed away and that she was never coming back. ‘I will always remember her’ I promised myself. It was strange as I had never met Summer2020, but I still mourned her. 

One year later I was at home on my own one sweaty afternoon. During a break from my Science homework I was playing the game that Summer2020 and I used to play together when I received a message in the game. It said “Hello, Jenna. Long-time no see.” I glanced at the username and, to my horror, it read ‘Summer2020’. 

I was paralyzed with shock because I was so terrified, how could it be Summer2020? How was it possible that someone who had died a year ago was

chatting with me?! With my hands shaking, I hesitantly typed a message, “Summer? Is it really you...?” 

Even though I knew that it was probably someone with the same username, I was still petrified. She said “Yes, of course it’s me. I love the blue t-shirt you’re wearing.” 

I felt a knot in my stomach as I didn’t have my webcam switched on, how did she know? 

I leaned back in my chair feeling nauseous and in my peripheral vision I saw a face in the window. It had blonde hair and two different coloured eyes. 

My laptop beeped and on the screen I saw a message, “Summer2020 is offline.”

Winner Year 8 for Use of Language and Imagery

A Creepy Story by Cheryl Ahiable 

Liam inhaled the sharp, frosted air into his lungs while surrendering his thumbs as they started to freeze against the harsh winds. He went about his day mindlessly kicking his football on the front yard when a shiny, burgundy Ford skidded on the thin blanket of ice covering the driveway. Curious to see who had arrived, Liam shuffled a bit closer and when the car door opened, a girl smothered with thick locks of golden, radiant hair jumped out and gave a subtle smile to Liam. The girl walked towards Liam and stuck out her hand as a way of giving a warm welcome. 

“Hi, I’m Summer and you are?” her voice was a soothing symphony. 

“Liam,” shaking her hand vigorously, “you moving in?” 

“Yes, I’m here with my mum but she’s inside unpacking,” her tone ever so enchanting. “Do you want to go play in the forest over there?” she suggested while pointing towards the distant blur of pale dark greens and deep browns. Distracted by Summer’s warm hair flying gracefully in the wind against her sun-kissed skin, he instantly agreed to the question with a nod. 

As they approached the forest, the distant greens and browns became clearer; dark, slender trees spread out for miles and the inescapable sent of rich earth and moss was the forest’s signature scent. Scared though he was, he glanced at Summer and felt a little bit warmer inside. 

“How about I chase you?” asked Summer. 

“Yeah, okay,” trying to hide the trembling fear under his breath. 

The sound of heavy pants and rustling leaves began, burying the silence. Playful screams were scattered but the sound of little legs shuffling through the moist leaves was constant.

Liam came to a halt to give him and his lungs a chance to gain strength but when he called out for Summer, a deafening silence responded. 

“Summer! SUMMER!” he wailed. 

“Over here Liam,” interrupting his yelling, an eerie voice called out instructing Liam to pursue the mysterious whisper. He was a moth drawn to a flame, but instead the flame was a ragged, bottomless pit; dark, dark as death’s eye. But that wasn’t what was so alarming, it was what was inside – a pile of brittle, human bones lay there helplessly. 

His heart was jumping out of his chest as tears tumbled down his flushed cheeks, wishing he hadn’t saw what he had just seen. If ever his mind were to play tricks on him, then would’ve been the time. 

However, what he didn’t know is that he would soon be joining them. A sudden force plunged him into the hole and crimson red blood dripped from his head, it was like every bone in his body had been snapped effortlessly like a twig and every movement caused him inexplicable suffering. He knew there was no point in screaming ‘help’. Terror ate him up inside and his head pounded endlessly. Hoping for some sort of saviour, he looked up to witness… 

…Her and her golden blonde locks smirking at him. 

Something sinister engulfed her. 

“Bye,” she chuckled. 

Year 8 Runners up 

Summer 2020 by Amy Baudrey

This summer was going to be the worst summer yet. All of us were stuck inside. Everyone who lived in a house with a big garden or in an exotic country would post it all over Instagram for people like me to look at while I sat in my small garden and dreamed of Spain and Mexico. 

“Um.... hi.” I looked up and saw a woman standing at my fence holding some type of machine in her hands. She looked kind of familiar, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. I was about to go and get my mum to talk to her, but she said, “Wait, stop!” I turned around, “I know that you won't believe me but I’m you. Well, you from the future. Look, I’ll prove it to you.” She started naming a bunch of facts and secrets that only I would really know. I’m sure my face looked hilarious as I stared at her in shock. 

She kept going until I put my hand up and said, “Ok, ok I believe you, I mean me, I believe us? Anyway, why are you here and how?” 

She explained to me that in her time they had just invented a time machine and she was one of the first people to test it and she remembered how bad this summer was and she (or I?) vowed to make up for it, so here I was making up for it. 

She continued, “Anyway I don’t know how long I have so we have to go,” She opened the gate and walked towards me. The machine in her hands started beeping and she shouted, “Quick grab on or you’ll be left here!” I quickly grabbed on and shouted back, “Where are we go-” 

I sat up feeling dizzy and saw that I was in what I would imagine to be an abandoned house. I looked to my left and saw future me. She was already walking around muttering things to herself like, “Is this right? I guess it looks the same. Only one way to find out.” She walked to the door and flung it open. 

Outside was a paradise. There was a golden beach and a crystal clear, sparkling, blue sea. Perfect palm trees were dotted around outside, and the beach was completely empty. I wanted to rush out there and have fun but at the same time I didn't want to ruin the picture-perfect scene. 

“Welcome to the future.” Future me said. In the minutes I had been looking at the beach I had completely forgotten that she was there. She gestured to the door and said, “Well go on then, go explore.” I ran out the door and spent the next few hours playing in the sand and sea. 

When she returned me home, I realized that no time had passed since I had gone and that’s how the worst summer turned into the best one.

Spending the summer in Fortnite by Hayden Cook 

I was sat in the middle of my room surrounded by red bull cans, dirty plates, empty crisp packets; under all the junk you could barely make out the size of my bed.  In the corner of my bedroom stood a 5-foot 1 batman figure. In one hand he holds the keys to the front door and in the other he has his grappler. On the door a clear sign to everyone on the outside read “Keep out enter at your own risk this room is contaminated”. 

I sat on the edge of my bed, my hair a mess while wearing my camo pj’s. My eyes had gone blood shot and I remembered the story my mum told me “that your eyes go square from staring at a screen for too long”. I tried to grip my sweat covered controller but failed because my hands were trembling because of too much red bull. 

I ran out of food in my room, it started to effect how I played so I called out to my mum to get me some food but got no reply. I shouted out this time hoping she would hear and bring me some red bull and a piping hot chicken burger. I needed to get my first and probably last solo win. Then out of nowhere a guy started to attack me and tried to build battle me. My build battle power was weak from the lack of food and I ran away not looking back and hid in a bush. I could feel the eyes of the batman on me saying you are weak. Without hesitation I ran downstairs and grabbed a red bull and some snaaaaaaks. I ran back upstairs only to find I was on one hp, so I did a commando roll and grabbed the controller. With a quick build and a 50 Cal head shot I obliterated my enemy. I looked back at batman and he slowly clapped with a small grin on his face. 

As It went down to the final five people, I whipped out my mouse and keyboard and cranked some 90’s, killing one with a 360 no scope and the final four with a pump to the head; it was like blowing dust off a table. 

This was my first fortnite win.