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Sea. Sea. Sea. Nothing but sea on all sides. I was on an island. I was alone.

I walked up to Hardy Monument this weekend and enjoyed a picnic with my dog sat on a tumuli looking out to sea. Miss Thomasson’s Form 5 and 6 class have been studying Kensuke’s Kingdom this term, and the quote above seemed quite fitting.

Michael Morpurgo’s story is based on the survival of a ten year old boy Michael, who with his parents, sets off on the “Peggy Sue” for the sailing trip of a lifetime. They soon get into trouble however, and Michael and the ship’s dog, Stella, are washed overboard at night finding themselves alone on an island. I won’t spoil the ending but in the story, Michael throws a coke bottle with a message in it into the sea.

To the great delight of pupils, Miss Thomasson asked children to re-create this message in a bottle! They had a number of options as to what perspective it was written in, either stranded on an island and to their family, or to someone that they are not seeing and missing at the moment. In a time of lockdown, this is rather poignant. It could also be a Mother’s Day message (which is rapidly approaching on 14th March).

The children had fun using timeless techniques to ‘age’ paper at home. Do you also remember ‘setting fire’ to a sheet of A4 paper as home-work then sprinkling coffee granules on damp paper to create age marks!

The class showed great empathy by writing poems to reflect on how they might feel if they were Michael, abandoned on an island. I have included some of these ‘All Alone’ poems for you to read.

The same class can also be seen outside with Mrs Telfer and Liz, our Head Gardener studying the plants.

Tomorrow, I will be sending a letter detailing my plans for a full return to school next Monday. I am really looking forward to us all being back together again in school, rather than having to live on our separate ‘islands’.

Nancy Sewed

Author Nancy Sewed

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