I'm so delighted to be able to share more stories by one of my Year 6 students Ava.
Previously she was quite a reluctant writer but when she was given the freedom to write anything she wanted, rather than work within a strict format or asked to put in certain parts of speech at certain times, she felt able to spread her wings and find her voice. Which is surely what writing should be about!
This is the picture I gave her as a prompt (from the website Pobble365).
And here is her story:
The house in the dark
We finally got to our holiday site but it looked different from the pictures on the website. It looked older and torn apart. Inside it was pitch black so we had to feel around for the light switch.
"Here we are," said mum and she turned on the light.
A shock came on to my face. There was a cat on the bunkbed. It was a tabby cat and I know this because I have been wanting one for ages. I run over to the cat but the cat wasn’t on its own. It had four kittens with it.
"Be careful Poppy".
"I’ll be fine mum".
"Ok" sighed mum.
I put my hand out to the cat so it could smell my hand and then I stroked it.
"This cat and its kittens must be wild and were looking for a safe place to be and that’s why they're here," said dad. "This cat must have had its babies here. Come on Ben do you want to see them?"
"Yes." said Ben in excitement.
Ben’s my younger brother. I’m four years older than him which means that I’m 12 and Ben’s 8. Now back to the actual story.
So there we were stroking these adorable kittens and their mum.
"Dad," I said, "I think we should take this family of kittens to the vets. They look poorly".
"I think that that’s a good idea. Let’s take them to the car and we can be on our way."
When we finally got there we took them into the vets. When the vet came out to see us he did a scan on their necks and then we found out that they had an owner but she had died a long time ago.
"So what will happen to the cat and its babies?"
"Well we will need to rehome them."
"Wait a minute," I said, "we should adopt this family."
Mum and dad grinned at me.
"Ok" they said.
So we got to take the kittens home and they grew up happy ever after.
Now if you wanted to know the names of the kittens they are: Willow, Elvis, Otis and Marvin.
What a happy ending! And I love the names of the kittens!! (By the way, I know that Ava actually DOES have a cat called Otis!!)
‘Twas the night before Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas when Santa would be on his way. He would glide across the sky going town to town. He would bring presents for the children stuffing their stockings with toys. Then he would whizz up the chimney in a flash and jump back into his sleigh flying through the night sky.
Then he would be gone. The sky would be plain so you go back to bed dreaming of Christmas Day. You would dream of the presents and the dinner and the snow that will fall outside. You would imagine yourself sitting by the Christmas Tree watching the twinkling lights shine.
Before you know it, it will be Christmas Day so go to sleep now and dream of the sweet day.
Ava's next story is called Shipwreck.
We focussed on speech marks in this one and the fact that with every new speaker you need a new line. We also got quite sophisticated with Zoom and Ava shared her writing on the computer so I was able to help out with the editing in our lesson. This story went over about 3 weeks and is her most ambitious yet.
“Alex, Rose, come and get your shoes on,’’ shouted mum.
“Why, where are we going?’’ asked Rose.
“For a night time walk,” exclaimed dad.
“Oh ok!” said Rose.
“Can I bring my toy pirate on the walk?’’ asked Alex.
“Sure, now come and get your shoes on,” sighed mum.
The two kids got their shoes on and ran out of the door. They walked along the cliff tops watching the sun go down.
‘’It’s so dark and cold out here,” said Rose.
“Don’t worry, we will head back soon,” replied mum.
“Guys look at that,” shouted Alex.
“Wow,” whispered dad “that’s an old shipwreck.”
“Let’s go down and see it,” Alex said excitedly.
“No Alex, it’s too dangerous,” said dad. “But we can do this walk tomorrow so you can have a better look at it when it is light.”
“Ok,” sighed Alex.
The family started to walk back to where they were staying. Alex took one last look at the shipwreck but then he saw a figure walking along the ship. The figure had only one leg with a pirate looking hat. It also looked like he had a parrot on his shoulder. It looked like a pirate . . .
“Come on Alex,” called mum.
So, Alex ran back to his family. Looking back, he wondered if he had seen a pirate or not . . .
That night Alex couldn’t sleep no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t stop thinking of that figure he saw on the shipwreck.
“Rose,” whispered Alex.
“Do you think that that shipwreck was a pirate ship? “
“A pirate ship, there’s no such thing as a pirate or their ships.”
Rose frowned. “Why do you think that that was a pirate ship?”
“Well when you guys started to walk back I saw a figure walking along the ship,” replied Alex.
“But it could have just been people walking along the shore and went to have a look at it.”
“But the figure also had a pirate looking hat and one leg with a pirate on his shoulder.”
“It wouldn’t have been a pirate,” exclaimed Rose. “Now can we please go to sleep I’m exhausted.”
“Fine,” sighed Alex.
The next morning Rose and Alex got out of bed and went to have breakfast.
“Yes,” they both shouted.
Dad walked into the kitchen.
“What’s the racket?”
“We get to have coco pops today,” Rose said excitedly.
Dad yawned. “So that’s what you were shouting about!”
“Yes,” replied Alex.
“Why don’t you two go and put the tv on and I will get your coco pops ready.”
“Yippee,” they both shouted while running into the tv room. Soon after, Dad came in with the coco pops.
“Dad,” said Alex.
“Yes,” replied Dad.
Are we going to go and See that pirate ship?”
“If you want to,” replied Dad.
“Yes, I would,” Alex said excitedly.
“What makes you think that the ship wreck was a pirate ship?” asked dad.
“No reason,” replied Alex.
Later on, the family got ready for the walk and headed out of the door. When they eventually got to the place where they saw the shipwreck they were confused.
“Where’s the ship wreck gone?” questioned Alex.
“I don’t know,” replied dad.
“Maybe it was our eyes tricking us,” suggested mum.
“It must have been,” agreed dad.
“Maybe you were right” said Rose nervously.
“I told you,” replied Alex.
“It was a pirate ship with a pirate on board I told you,” Alex said while grinning.
“This place is strange,” said Rose.
“Can we go home,” asked Rose.
“Sure,” replied Dad.
“Why don’t we go to the beach for a swim?” suggested mum.
“Yes please,” they both shouted while jumping in the air.
So, this is how the story ends - with a pirate or with no pirate . . .
Ava's family got a new kitten during our sessions - her name is Willow. She's so cute! Her older (step) brother Otis seems to be keeping an eye on her and showing her how to be a grown up cat. This is a poem inspired by the lovely book, The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig.
We’re so happy that you came to live with us.
You have your ups and downs getting used to us all.
You have played with toys, some big and some small.
You have jumped over Otis,
While following a bright pink ball.
You have started climbing up trees, some tall and some small.
You will find Otis even if he is in a brick wall.
As you can see you have had lots of adventures, but there are more to come.
When you are outside you can hear the birds hum but you’re not sure what it is because you’re still so young
You hide in the grass among all the flowers
But we’re so happy because you’re still ours.
When you are asleep you look so cute.
For you there is no substitute.
You are curled up in a ball.
And I can hear you snore.
Willow, I could not wish for anything more.
In the final weeks of Year 6, Ava went on a residential trip with her school. This is her account of the time she spent there.
On Sunday 13th of June 2021 I went on a three-day residential with my school. I did lots of fun activities like abseiling, which is where you have a tall tower normally made of wood. There are a lot of stairs that you have to climb up and then you get harnessed up and you abseil down.
My second favourite activity is called crate stacking. It is where you have thirty crates and you’ve got to stack them up in the shape of stairs. There are going to be two people that will be climbing the crate stairs. When the crates fall over you don’t just fall over on to your bottom because you are wearing a harness. A piece of rope is hooked onto the back of the harness so when you fall you will just be floating in the air, which is great fun!
The last activity is called snow tubing (see picture) which is where you have an inflatable donut with a plastic bottom. You get pushed down a steep hill and the material on the bottom of the donut has a slippery carpet feel but either way it works very well!
I loved my residential experience.
It was lots of FUN!!!
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Created and written by Hilary Burt.
All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.