Herts, SG1 1NJ
Mrs J Moore
© Bedwell Primary
Year 6 English - The Last Princess
We began our Last Princess work by exploring the way the main character, Claudine,feels at key points in the story. We discussed the reasons for her changing emotions, plotted graphs of her feelings and identified the way the author shows all of this, using clues in action and description. This also fed into our comprehension work, as we asked and answered questions on Claudine’s thoughts and actions, improving the way we back-up our responses with evidence from the text.
Building on all this, we collected ideas for similes to describe Calduine’s emotions, thinking about ways to show the strength of her feelings and the effect they might have on her behaviour. We then picked out the strongest of these similes and drew them together to create poems, first as a class and then independently. You can see a few examples of our finished pieces below...
I am scared,
I feel lonely,
I am terrified,
I am angry,
I feel determined,
Finally, after exploring the text through poetry, letter writing, action scenes and drama, and doing lots of work on the effect of complex punctuation and varied sentence length, we were ready to write our own stories. Our first task was to innovate on the original, sticking to the basic structure (including changing feelings, flashbacks, attempted escapes and a final warning of revenge), but changing the setting and creating a different reason for the kidnapping.
Over the course of the next week, with support from a model text and lots of shared writing, we all produced high-quality stories, which we presented using our very best handwriting, ready for display in the Hall. Our stories were quite long, so there’s only space for Taskia’s finished piece here, but we hope you’ll agree that it’s a fantastic example, including every grammar and storytelling feature that we’ve worked on this year...
The Last Innocent, by Taskia Comas
As I stared out of the window, I imagined once again the life I had somehow lost. Looking over the beach, I saw dolphins swimming in the shimmering sea, while the sun glinted high above, almost seeming to reach the wispy clouds... However, all this was out of reach, shut-off from me by the titanium bar that trapped me in this solitary, isolated, horrific existence.
On that late summer afternoon, I was dashing around Heathrow Airport, waiting for my flight to be called and my holiday of a lifetime to begin. Just a week earlier, the tickets had arrive in the post - with a letter that said they were the first prize for a competition I couldn’t even remember entering. I felt like I was being watched - a feeling that only seemed stronger now I was in the airport... Still, the sun was out and the airport was crowded - surely nothing could hurt me here? How wrong could I be! In a flash, someone showed a bag over my head and (before I could call for help) everything went black. The next thing I knew, I was in this room.
That was 207 days ago.
In the long days since, I haven’t once left the dim and dusty room, haven’t even spoken to a single soul. Confusingly, no answers have been given to me, no ideas as to who my captors are. Nothing. How could anyone want me? Why am I here? Why me...? Of course, I have tried to smash the door down. I have pleaded for help, however I received a letter in return and I was mystified to discover that it said, “If you ever try to escape again, the windows and doors will be bricked up!” The faceless power terrified me.
After that, I figured out that the only was to escape was to work in secret - and I had to discover my own way out. Sadly, no saviour was coming to my rescue; no dashing hero in shining armour would glide through the door. I was completely isolated. Sneaking up on me every second of every day, with cameras positioned in every room, I would never get any privacy. Every day I felt more disgusted, abused and helpless.
Which brings me to today. 207 days of trying to violently smash the cameras with a heavy book. 207 days of secretly digging out a mammoth hole under my bed. Ten minutes from now I will digt the final layer of mud away and I will have fresh air on my face for the first time in eight months. Eleven minutes after that I will finally step foot on the ground. After eight months, my life will be my own again.
And, to whoever finds this letter, whoever stole 207 days of my life: don’t every expect to catch me off-guard again. Next time we meet, it will be on my terms.