English Department News


In celebration of World Book day on Thursday 3rd March, all pupils have received a voucher which they can exchange for a free book or get £1 off a book of their choice. To find a list of the free books and participating book stores, pupils should log on to www.worldbookday.com.

The English Department is also running a World Book Day Quiz, open to all students in the Upper School.


Pupils in Years 8 and 9 are invited to take part in a BBC contest to learn, recite and perform a speech from a Shakespeare play. The aim is to give students an exciting experience of Shakespeare’s work and the chance to participate in actor-led workshops.

In April, a list of set speeches will be released and auditions will be run in school to select one student to attend a regional heat in Bristol this autumn. At this free half-day event, participants will perform their speech to a small judging panel, as well as taking part in workshops designed to explore Shakespeare’s language through performance-based games and techniques.

Nine finalists from the regional heats will receive expert coaching and mentoring before going forward to compete in a Grand Final on stage in 2012. A documentary following the nine finalists is planned, and will be part of the BBC’s Shakespeare Season in 2012.

Any pupils interested in this exciting opportunity should pass their names to Miss Shields in the English Department.


Once again, St Wilfrid’s students have been successful in the ‘Young Writers’ annual poetry competition, with eleven entrants from Years 7 and 8 having their work selected to be included in an anthology of poetry from schools in the South West of England. This year students were asked to write on the theme of ‘What matters to you?’, with topics ranging from animals and environmental issues to love and friendship. The winning entries will go on to compete for a prize as overall winner in the anthology, the result of which will be announced later this year.

Congratulations to : Matthew Heathcote, Oliver Jillings, Bijan Karkhairan, Sam Milverton, Jordan Mitchell and Emily Piper in Year 7; and Charlie Dudley, James Dutton, Hannah Hart, Aja Humphries and Laura Wells in Year 8.  

A selection of the winning entrants:

Snakes by Sam Milverton

Long Mamba slithering along the dry sandy desert,

Tasting the air as it glides along the surface,

No trouble at all.

It stops dead in its tracks,

The burning sun on its silky back,

Glinting in the sun.

Olive coloured Python twisting and writhing,

As it moves along the rainforest track.

The rain pillow patting on its shiny body,

Rain covering the brown and gold

Diamonds on its back.

Hooded King Cobra, winding its way through the wet tracks,

Its tongue flicking in and out like a dagger,

Eyes darting back and forth looking for a suitable meal,

Venom dripping off the four inch fangs –

Waiting, just waiting.

Snakes of any kind, shape and size,

Are what matter, in my eyes.

Snow in the Wood by Matthew Heathcote

The wood had leaves scattered on the ground

As they shone with the mixed

Red, yellow, blue and brown, with shots of green.

But up in the sky all white as wool secrets are soon shared

As winter dawns.

White specks of diamond flutter down,

Falling light as a feather but at its own pace.

Making up pillows of stars and trees,

Killing unknown words like

Bap, batombed, magpappins and mogs,

As they dance down like crystals,

Glowing as bright as lights.

Now in the wood all yellow and brown,

Icing is shimmering on trees.

The ice giant wears a white

Woolly raglan, woven out of magic

From a single bobbin.

Down it falls, onto the banks,

Someone’s been dropping wool.

Glass towers dangle of ice,

Full of miniscule people inside.

Footprints appear like holes in the paper

Leading to peaceful spots.

As squirrels will run, rabbits will jump

Punching more holes in the white.

In the trees a chorus of birds gather to sing in the choir,

Singing so sweet, so high and pretty.

While underground moles gather to tell their children a ditty

Under the silent snow.

The wood is still, all quiet,

Apart from deer playing leap.

As young squirrels play hide and seek

All over the wood.

The giant bright sun shines down

Upon the crystal fleece.

Sharks by Bijan Karkhairan

Sharks are wonderful silent killers,

With an eagle’s eye and a clever mind.

Sharks are swift, fast, deadly creatures,

Smelling blood from miles away –

No creature can escape.

Its brain is unique, clever and wise,

It never stops hunting until it dies.

It is the ultimate under sea hunter,

Searching the darkest depths of water.

This is the thing that matters to me,

Dare to go in the water and you’ll see!

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