Last half term, Year 8 have been reading Michael Morpurgo’s novel “War Horse” in order to focus on their reading and analytical skills. In particular, the pupils have been focusing on Morpurgo’s use of descriptive techniques and using his methods to inspire their own writing. As we are a lucky enough to have our very own stables and riding mistress (Wendy Bulmer) on site, the pupils were able to visit one of our most impressive horses, Gary, for some ‘hands on’ inspiration.
The pupils were encouraged to look closely at all aspects of Gary, and with Wendy watching on, were able to stroke and feed him, take in his distinctive aroma (!), watch the way he moved and look carefully for signs of his unique personality in the expression of his eyes.
Year 8 were then charged with the task of writing a piece of description ‘showing’ (not ‘telling’!) readers about Gary. Wendy was given the difficult task of choosing the description that she felt best captured Gary and his character. All pupils produced some excellent writing and were clearly inspired by their visit to the stables. Even Wendy was inspired to write her own description of her beloved Gary! The winners were presented with rosettes and chocolate treats, kindly brought in by Wendy, during the last lesson of half term.
1st Place: Lola Wilson
2nd Place: Archie Robinson
3rd Place: Evie Wallis
“Effortlessly he moves, his power hidden under his glossy, dark oak hide. Deep in his sorrowful eyes, a spark of mischief lurks. He is the gate opener, he is the latch lifter. He holds his head with majestic dignity. Poised, handsome and distinguished, he stands with the suave demeanour of an Irish gentleman. When you are close to him, you can feel his friendly warmth and smell his earthy scent.
He turns his head inquisitively and nuzzles you with his nose, like soft suede. If you lay your head against his muscular flank and his breathing sounds like waves pounding on a beach.
As he walks, his huge polished hooves rise and fall rhythmically, moving his mighty body forward as his head bobs like Morse code.
It is a privilege to know this wonderful horse.”