Here are just a few examples of written work produced during their lessons by pupils I have tutored: 

Story opening

The boy is stumbling through the wood when he comes to a house. The house windows are cracked and broken in two. There is a light shining from the top window in a tower as tall as Everest and as slim as a broom.  On the end of the house is a conservatory with steamy windows, many cracked or broken. Above, dark clouds materialise and the rain pours down like arrows piercing through the wind. At the side of the house, the gnarled and twisted trees are vultures ripping the house up like meat as their claws burrow beneath it. Bats circle the house like mad dogs chasing their tails. From the main path, muddy blood-covered footprints stretch across the grass.

The boy is sure that one of the trees is moving, like a monster creeping. The door is open and creaking with the wail of the wind.

(Year 5 child)

The Viking Lands

Jotunheim – the land of the giants

The icy winds blew past the faces of the giants as they froze instantly. The glistening ice was slippery and slidy. The mountains, sharp as swords, rose from the lakes. The mist blinded everyone as it flowed through the air.

Midgard – the land of the humans

With a single blow, Odin created a mystical world for the mysterious creatures called humans. Suddenly beautiful flowers appeared and gigantic mountains. Holes in the ground were filled with ponds and lakes. Trees stretched out and the gentle wind, blowing through the leaves, made a loud but peaceful harmony.

Asgard – the land of the Gods

The glittering sun shone off the majestic, golden buildings. The points of the towers reached up to the heavens. The cities were full of fun, enjoyment and huge palaces.

All that remained to do was for Odin to create a spectacular, colourful rainbow bridge, which joined the land of the humans to the land of the Gods.

(Year 4 child)

I should like to ….

I should like to touch the cold, blowing wind, as it pushes me back,

   the soft feeling of love in a romantic film.

I should like to hear the warm, pretty candle dancing to and fro,

   the beautiful daffodils standing on a vase on the table.

I should like to see the transparent air floating around the garden,

   the pretty sound of the dark, wooden guitar in the old theatre.

I should like to paint the hurt of a wolf’s bite

  and the speed of the eagle’s thoughts, as it swoops down on its prey.

(Year 6 ESL pupil)

The Footballer’s Story (from 'The Dreams of Seaville')

It had been a great season so far for Melton Marvels. They were top of the Premier League table and had a Champions’League final to prepare for. The team they were going to play was Eintracht München, who were top of the table in their own country of Germany.

Zak Barclay had scored thirty-eight goals during the season so far, including five hat-tricks. He was in the form of his life. Life at Melton Marvels was great but it hadn’t always been like that.

Zak had attended Hardluck Secondary School and he hadn’t been the brilliant student his parents had wanted. There was one particular incident he had never forgotten. He had been sitting his Maths GCSE and had fallen off his chair. He bumped his head, rolled across the floor and knocked two tables over where his two best friends were sitting. The face of the teacher invigilating the exam, Mr Powell, became red-hot and he looked like steam was coming out of his ears. He grabbed Zak by the ears and yanked him out of the school hall, marching him to the Headteacher, Mr Bell. Mr Bell opened the door and yelled, “Didn’t you read the sign? I’m busy!"

“This child, Mr Bell, has disrupted the learning environment and what’s more he has disturbed all of the other children, not to mention me!”

“Right, young man! How did all this happen?” screamed Mr Bell.

Zak cowered. “I f-f-fell off my ch-ch-chair sir,” he spluttered.

“Well, young man, I think you deserve a punishment for this horrific behaviour. I’m going to call your parents this minute and tell them what you have done!”

Zak shivered as he remembered what had happened.

First of all, when Zak got home, his parents had been red-hot angry, just like Mr Powell, although they weren’t as mean as him. Zak was sent to his room for three hours and grounded for a week. He wasn’t allowed to play computer games or use any type of screen. All he could do was sit in his room or read a book, although he hated reading.  Meanwhile, Mr Powell was also punished with a verbal warning for leaving the students on their own in the hall.

That was all in the past. Now, Zak was getting himself ready for the big match – the Champions’ League Final. He had never yet played in a Champions’ League Final, or, for that matter, even seen one.

The match began and Melton Marvels took the lead with a soft goal headed into the top corner of the net by the unmarked Lawrence Hawke.  Eintracht stormed back into the game with a long-range free-kick from Hans Weber, which flew into the bottom corner of the net. It stayed like that until full-time and so the match went into extra time. The match was nearly over, with both sides still trying their hardest to win. All of a sudden, Lawrence Hawke found himself in the penalty area and he was hacked down. The player who fouled him was given a straight red card for violent conduct. It was Melton Marvels’ chance to win the Champions’ League.

Zak Barclay took the ball confidently and put it on the spot. He had never missed a penalty for Melton Marvels.

However, as he walked back from the ball, all of the crazy thoughts from his childhood flashed back to him. As he ran up, he remembered that time he had failed his parents. He skied the ball over the bar.

Zak was distraught. His manager was incandescent with rage, waving his fists in the air, astonished that Zak had missed. Zak sat on the floor, his hands over his face. He had never failed his manager like that before.

Kümmel, the German goalkeeper, booted the ball in relief to the other end of the pitch. Ashley McKenzie, the normally reliable central defender for Melton Marvels, attempted to head the ball back to his keeper, but the keeper, Fred Figglehorn, was caught off balance and accidentally pushed the ball into his own goal. No sooner had the ball gone into the net than the referee blew for full-time.

It was an astonishing win for Eintracht München, but it was a desperate disappointment for Zak Barclay, Fred Figglehorn and the rest of the Melton Marvels team.

That was the end of Zak Barclay’s career as a footballer. He was never able to forget that horrible moment and his career plummeted. Now he lives on his own in an ordinary house in Seaville, dreaming of the rich life he once had as a footballer.

(Year 6 child - from a related series of stories and descriptions entitled 'The Dreams of Seaville')