Friday, 31 August 2007


One of the most common 11+ tasks is... Write a story entitled: 'Escape'. They're great fun to plan, because there is an obvious conflict - 'How do I escape from my cell/boarding school/evil Uncle?'. I'm sure you know that it is vital to include a problem - conflict - in your stories if you want your readers to be interested. I recently visited the world's most infamous prison, Alcatraz, and shot the following video. Why not have a go at writing a story about escaping from prison? Try to come up with the most original 'solution' you can! You can learn more about planning a story by clicking here.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Big Bond News!

Falcons girls love Young Bond! The fourth book in the series, Hurricane Gold, is coming soon!

Waterstone's are holding a launch party at Piccardily Circus on Thursday 6th September. There will be loads of activities, gold food and a reading from Hurricane Gold by the author, Charlie Higson! Cool! Why not go along?

P.S. If you want to attend you'll need to get Mum to ask for a free ticket in advance!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Year 5 and 6: Cool Descriptive Technique

In appearance, he was a series of rounds. A round face, from which sprouted a closely clipped black-and-silver beard, like a well-kept lawn; large round eyes behind round spectacles; round ears, a perfectly round button nose above a cherubic round mouth, all set upon a round body - not fat, simply round.

What a cool paragraph of description! Do you see the way the writer repeats one word - round - to build up the character description? Try repeating a word (e.g. spotty - 'he had a spotty face, and a beard spotted with flecks of grey)when you write a description of a character in one of your stories!

You can learn more about describing what a character looks like here:

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Fun stuff!

My cat, Mr Evelyn Paw, loves reading, sleeping and murdering defenceless mice.

Hmm, I wonder what he's reading at the moment...

Monday, 13 August 2007

It is Lemony Snicket week here on 'Bald Worm Squeaks to the Nation!'

Another fun video. Why not read a Lemony Snicket book this week? Enjoy!

Authorial Intrusion: Try this clever-clogs technique, Yr 6!

It is 'Lemony Snicket' week here on 'Bald Worm Squeaks to the Nation'. To celebrate, let's study one of Snickets favourite techniques.

First, though, read this (click on the web address to be taken straight to the page):

And have you read this brilliant book yet?

Got the idea? One of the tricks Lemony Snicket uses all the time is something called authorial intrusion. This is when the narrator 'talks' directly to 'you', the reader. Look at these two examples from ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’:

Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire were intelligent children…but they were extremely unlucky, and most everything that happened to them was rife with misfortune, misery and despair. I’m sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes.

It is useless for me to describe to you how terrible Violet, Klaus, and even Sunny felt in the time that followed. If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven’t, you cannot possibly imagine it.

When writing in the ‘third person’ it is possible to directly address the reader – to talk to them your reader as if they were sat on the sofa with you.

You can use this technique in all sorts of stories. Here are two examples from Year Six pupils:

The Dungeon
I hope you are somewhere safe. You better be, my friend. Make sure your door is bolted, the windows firmly closed and the cat flap shut, for you are about to learn a terrible secret…

The Cafe
Pierre waddled along the road, winking at ladies young enough to be his granddaughter. Despite being some five stones over his ideal fighting weight, completely bald and severely lacking in teeth, Pierre still considered himself something of a catch. Dear reader, you should have seen him!

HAVE A GO: Write a story featuring authorial intrusion. Don’t do it too often; perhaps save it for the opening and conclusion of your story.

Want more fun clever-clogs writing tasks? Visit to learn more! Have fun!

Thursday, 9 August 2007

You'll love this video!

Welcome, Bald Worm fans!

Welcome to ‘Bald Worm Squeaks to the Nation’, my English blog!

I’ll be using this blog to post homework tasks, extension activities, spelling lists, etc. It will build on and support the information at The website and blog are all part of the Falcons School for Girls commitment to using IT to support your daughter’s learning.

Please feel free to post a comment about anything connected with, this blog, or English in general.

Happy writing!

Mr Hitchen

P.S. The Grumpy Examiner says, "I hope you're all enjoying your holiday homework! Ha ha ha!" What a mean little man!