Given this week celebrates WBD, and we continue to celebrate the amazing progress our children make with their reading and writing, I will step into the wings and give centre stage to our Head of English to share with you all the adventures of the week. My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen….. Mrs Dziedziela.

When we think of our school learner powers, communication is the natural partner to English.  How we speak, listen, write and respond impacts our daily lives and often determines how successful we are in our professions.  However, to do this successfully, all our other learner powers need to be developed and encouraged.  Even for us adults, writing reports and emails requires us to be resilient, independent as well as an effective communicator.

Being able to read and write has always been a core part of the primary curriculum and we are incredibly proud of how well our children progress in English.  It is not only on World Book Day where you will find a love and passion for reading at school.  In assembly, you will see children standing with pride on receiving their ‘Word Millionaire’ badge or ‘Reader of the Month’ certificate; or in the library when a new set of books have arrived for children to read; and in the classroom where children are enjoying the next chapter of their class reader.  A love for books is literally everywhere.  In Year 6 Raahul stated, ‘In prep, having book quizzes and Word Millionaires help us to be more engaged with our reading and progress’.  Further down in the school, pre-prep have said ‘ ‘

We also know that if we are to communicate, we need an audience.  Whether that is a spectator or reader, understanding who or what we are writing for is imperative.  I am always amazed at the level of writing from our children and their awareness of audience and purpose.  I hope many of you have seen the wonderful examples in our School Hall showcasing our ‘Writer of the Month’ or in our school corridor with our Year 5 and 6 ‘StorySLAM winners’.  Our recent winner’s story, by Albert in 6D, can be found below for you to enjoy.  It was only last week that our visitors from other UL Independent Schools commented on the strength of writing in our school and the high standards shown.

World Book Day is another opportunity for us to celebrate and revel in language and literacy.  This year we explored the works of Shakespeare, enjoying workshops with ‘Shakespeare 4 Kidz’ or finding out about his plays and legacy.

It was Shakespeare who wrote, ‘Be not afraid of greatness.’ At Banstead Prep we know sometimes greatness is a work in progress and that all children will take their own journey. We also know that with support, encouragement and the right help and resources they will achieve it by the time they leave us.


A sword, not a scythe

There was once a myth in foreign folk lore that a great sword of almighty power was once crafted in an ancient blacksmith’s wooden shack in the heart of a dense labyrinth of trees that formed a forest.

One dark night, a strange figure arrived and took the sword for his own. A great (but terrible) event occurred; he became the grim reaper we know today. Most consider it folly, but who knows what this strange event would have looked like if it really happened.

There it lay, shimmering in the faint light of the flickering flames of the forge. Hammers and tools lay blunt and scattered from the life of toil the blacksmith had led. The creation of the sword had cost blood, sweat and tears. He would need a great reward to part with such a creation.

Three sharp knocks came at the door and as quick as a flash, he drew the sword and held it aloft in an act of noble braveness and said in a clear voice,

“Who’s there?” No answer came.

A loud creak of rusty hinges announced the opening of the old, wooden door and with that the flames in the forge and the candlelight vanished in a swirl of smoke; dim-rays of glittering moonlight peered into the room, looking through the cracks in the wood. The blacksmith tried to shout out but found himself un-able to do such a thing! The sound of a long, rasping breath filled room, which seemed to tremble at the sound of it.

It raised a long rotten hand that seemed to crumble before his eyes. Suddenly, the dim rays of moonlight fell upon the sword in his hand, illuminating it so that the old shack was cloaked in immediate darkness. It was so terrifyingly dark that the blacksmith’s vision didn’t even reach his spare hand. He understood.

The figure longed for the powerful sword and would stop at nothing to retrieve it.

The atmosphere had changed from tension to fear. He could sense powerful sorcery charging towards them, heading through the air at an undetectable speed. CRACK! A puff of smoke announced the disappearance of the figure and the sword. The man found himself able to move once more and the candles flickered faintly again.

Now, most think the grim reaper wields a scythe but the myth states, as clear as daylight, ‘a sword not a scythe’. And as for the blacksmith…nobody knows. But most who believe say he still lives in the same old shack waiting in isolation for the figure to visit for one last time.

And if that is true, the blacksmith welcomes death with open arms as he finds no point in life except to long for his old, prized possession…..the sword.

By Albert