The Announcement of War – 3rd September1939 by Mr Wild

Posted in WW2

As the dying coals in the grate flickered, father tuned the wireless to the BBC Home Service and it crackled into life. The inevitable broadcast that the family had been dreading had finally begun.

Neville Chamberlain’s solemn voice announced the terrible news: “I am speaking to you from the cabinet room at 10 Downing St…”

Arthur and Jimmy, sitting side by side on the cramped, threadbare sofa, stared aimlessly at the wireless while Patricia sat opposite them, chewing her nails, anxiously. Camberlain continued:

“… The British amabassador handed Germany an ultimatum, that unless they withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us…”

Mum sat in an armchair by the fireplace, in an absent minded daze; she knew what the Prime minister would say next and she hated him for saying it:

“… I have to tell you that no such undertaking has taken place and as a consequence, we are now at war with  Germany.”

‘Not again,’ she thought, ‘how can this happen again?’ She remembered all too well how the last Great War had torn her family and her country apart. How her father had been killed and her mother had struggled to raise her young family on her own, and she remembered the terrible hardship that followed. Her thoughts now turned to her own children: what would become of Jimmy? If the war went on for as long as the previous one, he would certainly be drafted. And what about Arthur? He was too old now to join up, but what if Hitler started dropping bombs? Arthur was an ARP and he’d be in firing line.  She stood up and walked to the window, looking through he leaded panes at Avril and Patricia, who were playing innocently with their dolls in the bright September sunshine. She knew that these peaceful childhood games would soon come to end.

The familiar drum roll of the National Anthem disturbed her from her reverie. She wiped a tear from her face, straightened her apron, and turned to towards the wireless, beside which, father and Jimmy were already beginning to stand, tugging at their tank tops and arranging their ties. They began to sing God Save the Queen, but all the while, Chamberlain’s words rang in her mind: ‘There will be dark times ahead…

The National Anthem finished and the wireless fell silent. A eery quiet filled the parlour.  “Turn it off now love,” mum said softly to Arthur, as she pulled her handkerchief from her apron pocket and walked, head down in the pantry.

Leaving Buenos Aires by Mr Wild

Posted in Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, Writing we do at school

26th October 1914:

Today has been an extraordinary day; a historic day that will be indelibly etched in my mind for eternity.

The Endurance, and its twenty-seven strong crew of Britain’s finest, departed Buenos Aires early this morning on the first leg of our expedition to the last outpost of civilisation – South Georgia. Our sturdy little boat, freshly painted and beautifully turned out, left the port under steam accompanied by a throng of jubilant well-wishers. The Argentine navy’s silver band played a rousing military tune, and as we untied, the Endurance sounded her horn which made the dogs on-board break out in a cacophony of riotous barking; there was nothing we could do to quiet them until the sound of cheering and music diminished as we ventured further from South America’s shores.

All is quiet now – thank goodness; the dogs howling has ceased (most are asleep) and all the men are hard at work about their chores. Hurley, our ship’s photographer, is very excitable. One moment he can be seen shimmying up the mast with his moving picture camera in hand, and the next moment he can be seen edging out onto the bowsprit, filming porpoises as they ride our magnificent bow-wave, whooping with joy like an over-excited schoolboy. Worsley is doing a fine job; the men all admire him and I am confident I have chosen a solid captain.

It is a fine afternoon for sailing. A favourable southerly wind fills the Endurance’s sails and we are making a good 7 knots progress in a south easterly direction. At this rate we should reach South Georgia in 7 or 8 days God willing.

Iceberg Acrostic by Mr Wild

Posted in Frozen, Poetry, Writing we do at school

In my poem, which was written in a shared/modelled writing session, I drew on words generated by the children in Tamar Class to create an acrostic poem.

Acrostic poems are an interesting poetry form as they can sometimes force the writer into making intersting vocacubulary choices which can often result in some exciting imagery.

I tried to convey a passage of time in my poem by making it a narrative about the birth and death of an Arctic iceberb

Meeting Pip – by Mr Wild

Posted in Making Waves, Writing we do at school

The summer that Pip Staffieri first rode the waves his colossal wooden surfboard is indelibly etched in my mind. My memory isn’t quite what it used to be, I’m an old man now, but I think it was way back in 1938 when he made surfing history and inspired a generation.

I recall it was a roaring, red-hot humid summer in Cornwall; temperatures had reached a record high and there was a consistent, solid swell rolling in from the Mid – Atlantic and breaking cleanly on Towan Beach. There were throngs of tourists in Newquay that year and the perfect waves were full of eager belly boarders, prone surfing on their coffin lids. Perched above the beach on the low cliff was the now legendary Pip Staffieri, in his rusty old aluminium ice cream van, and he couldn’t sell his ice creams fast enough!

I can still picture the long queue of sweaty holiday makers, hankies on their heads, waiting for one of Pip’s famous 99 cones. Everybody said he sold the finest ice cream in Cornwall and Pip said the Italian recipe was a secret he would take to his watery grave. I was stood in the queue, mouth watering, and waiting, when Pip suddenly stopped and stared out ahead towards the clean lines of swell rolling in; it was as if he had an epiphany, like he had suddenly ‘seen the light’. He put down his scoop, undid his apron, wiped his brow and smiled. Hurriedly, he closed the ice cream hatch and rather apologetically exclaimed: “Sorry folks – shop’s closed!” I couldn’t believe it! I was outraged! I was next in the queue.

A few moments later, Pip emerged from behind the van wearing nothing more than a knitted woollen swimming costume. He was small in stature, with a swarthy Mediterranean complexion and a mop of flawless, jet-black, brill-creamed hair. It was then I noticed for the first time that one of his legs was shorter and weaker than the other. He pulled out a vast wooden board from underneath the van. At first, I had no idea what it was, but soon I would learn its purpose. It looked heavy; the thing was vast – at least 13 feet long and six inches deep. It was highly polished and it gleamed in the August sunshine. Pip stroked it lovingly before putting it onto a rusty old sack truck. It was a strange sight to see Pip struggling with it down the winding coast path toward the briny blue, followed by a procession of about twenty people, myself amongst them.

When he final reached the water’s edge he manhandled the board off the trolley and pushed it into the lapping waves and climbed aboard. Everybody waited with baited breath to see what would happen next. Pip began to paddle out to sea before long, we lost sight of him intermittently as he paddled each dropped down the crest of each wave. Nobody expected what they saw next.

Suddenly Pip dropped in from the top of a wave, which must have been at least 4 feet high, and plummeted downwards at an unearthly speed. And then, unexpectedly, like a Hawaiian God, he popped up, stood on his feet, put in a bottom turn and rode that wave its whole length back towards the shore to the sound of rapturous applause. Cool as a cucumber, he pushed his board back onto the beach and declared: “Ice creams are on the house!”

That summer of ’38 was the first wave I ever saw being ridden like that and it made a lasting impression on me. I watched Pip perfect his art over the course of the year and I observed his style closely and even built myself a board just like his.

I’ve been surfing ever since, thanks to Pip Staffieri.

Trapped! by Mr Wild

Posted in Frozen, Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, Writing we do at school

18th January 1915

The day we have all been fearing these last five weeks since entering the Antarctic pack ice has finally come. The Boss called all the men to a meeting only a couple of hours ago and told us that it was official: The Endurance is entombed in ice and we will be spending the Antarctic winter in the middle of the God forsaken Weddell Sea.

You can imagine the feelings of the men when they learned we were trapped, but the Boss told everybody to keep their spirits up, to believe in God and to believe that we are going to make it through this. Shackleton is such an inspiration that not one man doubted him.

I suppose I knew that this was coming – we all did really, it was inevitable. After all, for the last few weeks the ice in the Weddell Sea has been becoming increasingly densely packed and our sturdy little ship has battled and barged and smashed her way through with courage and determination. We have tried to free her with pick axes and saws, but to no avail. The sea has wrapped its icy fingers around our little ship and has trapped her in its vice-like grip.

The Boss has ordered the engines to be turned off to conserve coal and now all that’s left to be done is to wait and to pray. We are trapped like sardines in a tin with only the spring to look forward to.

Frank Wild


Grendel by Mr Wild

Posted in Beowulf, Writing we do at school

grendel_by_karza_76The mead hall was filled with merriment. The smell of roasting meat and wood smoke lingered in the air, while shadows flickered and danced on the walls. Hrothgar raised his tankard and toasted the good fortune of his clansmen.

But outside lurked a toxic terror…

With malevolent intent, the demon of darkness stole through the shadows and stealthily approached the hall. He waited… All at once, the creature flung the mead hall doors aside. They splintered into a thousand pieces. The smell of human happiness made the night-prowler writhe in fury. His foul eyes scanned the room. There was a moment of deafening silence before Grendel unleashed his rage.

He struck out with hideous arms, killing eleven men in an instant; their lifeless bodies lay limp on the ground. No sword could stop the huge adversary as he killed, mercilessly. Again and again he struck until all life but one had been extinguished. The soul stealer stopped and stared deep into Hrothgar’s eyes, then turned towards the door and returned to the depths from which he came.

The mighty Dane fell to his knees and wept.

Shared Writing by Tamar Class – Shackleton’s Diary

Posted in Frozen, Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, Writing we do at school

After days of perpetual toil, we have now realised that we have made no progress at all. In fact, we are further from Paulet Island than when we started to row four days ago.  We are all exhausted and my men are utterly without hope. Our hands are blistered and frost-bitten and our lips are cracked and bleeding; we are all in agony. Our clothes are like icy armour, stuck to our frozen bodies. Antarctica has enslaved us in its frigid grip with little chance of escape. We are in the heart of hell.

Our ordeal began as soon as we left Patience camp. The rowing was difficult from the start: pack ice continually obstructed our oars and we had to pick our way through a jigsaw of frozen sea ice; the constant rocking of the James Caird made my men feel sick to the core; our hands would freeze to the oars and the ocean currents were constantly pushing us of course. Eventually, Worsley sighted an ice floe that was large enough to make camp and wearily, the men dragged the boats ashore and fell to the ice in sheer desperation.

Will these three sturdy little lifeboats (now our only hope now of salvation) withstand these treacherous conditions or will they crumble and sink into the icy abyss, like the Endurance? I fear the worst is yet to come but I still have faith that by the grace of God I will deliver all 27 of my men to safety.

A Class Poem About Glebe Gardens

Posted in Poetry, Wonderful woods and fabulous forests, Writing we do at school

After a recent visit to Glebe Gardens we wrote a list poem together. We tried to keep the structure of each line the same: adjective phrase, noun, verb phrase.


On my journey through Glebe Gardens:


Deadly poisonous hemlock lay in wait,

Sweet and sour sorrel made me cringe,

Colossal sequoia soared taller than mankind

And circular shaped heliotrope sat upon my head.


Sticky green goosegrass clung to my skin,

Vanilla scented wood anemone brushed the air,

Spiky stems of gunnera scratched my fingers

And sweet tasting primroses tickled my taste buds.


Pungent smelling bay invaded my nostrils,

Rambling stitchwort crept through hedgerows,

Tightly curled lady fern delicately unfurled

And magenta rhododendron carpeted the floor.


Finally, our journey came to an end and we left the gardens in peace.


The First Tripod by Mr Wild

Posted in The War of the Worlds, Writing we do at school


I’ll never forget that day. The day we realised that we were not alone in this universe; that beings with intellects and technology vastly superior to ours had planned our extermination centuries ago. That day was the beginning of the end. The day the first tripod came.

It was a busy shopping day in Manhattan – the day before Thanksgiving. Like everyone else, I saw the meteor fall to earth and disappear harmlessly into the road, leaving almost no impact crater on the tarmac. There was a small, insignificant explosion – nothing more. I approached the crater and bent down to examine it more closely, hoping to find a piece of the meteor as a keepsake. I wrapped my sleeve around my fingers and tentatively reached to pick up a piece of rock.

“Strange,’ I said to a man standing nearby, “I expected it to be hot.” The fragment of rock was freezing cold.

At that moment a groan rumbled beneath me and I felt the ground vibrate – almost imperceptibly – beneath me.  Again, another rumble – louder this time. I heard an NYPD officer tell everyone to get back but nobody listened. Then things started to happen all at once and chaos erupted.

By now there were hundreds of people crowding around the crater, jostling to get a better look. Small cracks, about 3 or 4 inches wide, began spreading out from the crater in all directions, like a giant spider web. The cracks raced along the road, through the sidewalk and up the side of buildings like sinister snakes. The ground rippled beneath us, knocking many of the spectators of their feet, People began to scream and run for the safety of nearby buildings. Suddenly, the road around the hole seemed to sink, making a giant bowl about 50 feet across in the road. Then it heaved upward and exploded. That’s when the panic really started. Water mains burst, car alarms went off, windows shattered and building crumbled as desperate people ran for their lives.

The first tripod rose ominously out of the pit, rubble and dust falling from its alien metallic shell. Up, up, up… it must have towered at least two or three hundred feet. Once it reached its full height it stood stock-still – like a sentinel – watching and waiting through unseen malignant eyes. Then the gas came – foul, pungent and deadly – sinking to the road below. At once people began to grab at their throats, coughing.

I wanted to run, wanted to hide but I was transfixed. I couldn’t take my eyes of the thing. My legs were glued to the spot. Then the terrible machine made the most hideous of noises; a long, piercing cry which resonated through the whole city. Everybody froze and looked up at the terrible tripod and that was when the heat ray blasted from it tentacular legs, scorching everything in its path.

I ran for my life!

London Blitz by Mr Wild

Posted in Writing we do at school, WW2

Marching through solid walls of fire,

A roaring furnace surrounds me.

A snowstorm of sparks rips through London’s heart.

The city is a murderous inferno.


Fiery comets devour the streets.

Incendiary bombs dive.

Skeletal victims of Hitler’s rage

Crumble and twist and die.