Category Archives: MBA

Buffalo Soldier

What a book! I chose this from the Carnegie Prize shortlist, as the title attracted me and I love history. A dozen year 9s are reading it this week. It’s a bit gritty, to say the least, with every kind of inhuman atrocity witnessed in the plain narrative of a black girl during and after the Civil War. Charlotte, the narrator, is freed from slavery, but the prejudice and rough justice that is the aftermath of this bloody conflict forces her to fight for her own survival by dressing as a soldier and joining the US cavalry in its first  black company. (And it’s inspired by a true story where this happened!)

About halfway through, I was becoming disappointed in the lack of typical characterisation and in-depth relationships – it seemed to be ‘a series of really unfortunate events’ – things just got worse and worse for the protagonist. The narrative voice is authentic, but the lack of choice given to the main character is frustrating and painful. But the last 20 pages are magnificent. What a powerful book! What a story! It’s hard to bear at times, but it comes on really strong at the end, and it has to be one of the best Young Adult books I have ever read, but be warned, with burnings, beheadings and rape, it’s not for the faint-hearted. Be ready to re-live an experience you would never want to suffer!


Year 11 – MBA

The whole set needs to be ready to be brilliant in their Controlled Assessment on Wednesday. Those who have yet to take their creative writing assessment need to plan a 1,000 word story ‘Long Gone’. I’d either set it in the past and write about Easter Island or set in the future and write about Vanuatu after their civilisation collapsed and everyone deserted the island. It could be post-apocalyptic, empty and desolate, asking questions about humanity. You want to be descriptive about the place, include all the sense, drop in some symbolism and be reflective – it’s the contrast between what was and what is.
5EH03 (Summer 2015 – November 2015) – Theme C Somewhere, Anywhere

Year 7 – Mr Bakewell’s Home Learning

Dear Year 7,
Sorry this was not posted last week! Looking at Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales, we saw how there was a focus on natural landscapes and the emotions of the key character (usually negative). Your Home Learning was to re-draft the opening of your story to include some nature imagery and have the protagonist (main character) unhappy at the start. By Monday please – I hope to see you in the library!
Mr Bakewell.

Year 11 – Of Mice and Men Revision

Hi Class,
Please do some research on the Great Depression, have a look at the current drought in the midwest of the USA (and Mexico) and write me an article on whether you feel the world could return to a Great Depression any time soon. Have a look at these awesome photos:
Looking forward to reading your well-researched and strongly supported thoughts,
Mr Bakewell.

Year 11 – Mr Bakewell 17/10/14

Hi All,
We have another CA next week on poetry – you should have planned your points and practised your writing. I’d like you to send me or bring in on Monday 3 conclusions – what are the thoughts and feelings about relationships of the poets? Do they think relationships are difficult? Changeable? Painful? Pleasurable? Worth working on?
By Monday please.

Year 11 – Mr Bakewell – for Wednesday!

You should have been working on this from last week after you had your feedback on your practice, but you need to polish up your plan for your story ‘The Journey’.
I always structure my stories like this:
what’s about to happen
exposition (drop back in time and tell us how we arrived at that moment)
action – what happens!
climax – how does it turn out?
reflection – ‘looking back at that moment, he realised what an idiot he’d been’.
Put in your wide vocab and ideas. Spend an hour on it tonight and be ready!

The Woman in Black for MBA

Due: Monday 29 September

Finish the chapter and then choose a quotation that describes London and find (or draw) an image that describes the scene. Write a brief piece about the effect of the description to go on the wall. For the GCSE, we need to understand the background context as well as analyse the writer’s techniques and ideas!

B grade – well chosen quotation and apt picture with explanation

A grade – well chosen quotation with detailed analysis and atmospheric picture

A* – well chosen quotation with varied interpretation and several pictures to show the interpretations.