Farrell Society Picnic – by Grace L (Y13, Dn)
On Tuesday afternoon, the Farrell Society gathered in the Hall Garden for one final picnic of the academic year.
This time, our theme was a celebration of the 4th of July, led expertly by Jillian who took us through ‘The Scarlet Letter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne. We then heard from Mr Crombie as he explained and read parts of his favourite American novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald (which I also highly recommend). With the American bunting behind us, we also dived into a few of the Common Room’s favourite quotes, including Mr Bradley’s intriguing choice of “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt”, by Abraham Lincoln.
In between these soundbites of American literature, everyone enjoyed some American ‘candy’ provided by Mr McNab, which seemed to all be rather sour, much to some people’s surprise.
To end a wonderful evening, Gilian, Anastasia, Alice and Miss Pentelow read a poem by Robert Frost called ‘The Road Not Taken’, alluding to the year 13s who are leaving Farrell society this year. We heard a few impromptu words from Alicia and Tayla-Daisy, as well as some others, with one reference to the iconic Farrell quote: “Come for the food, stay for the mood”.
As someone who has been at Rossall for seven years, I can say without a doubt that Farrell Society is one of the things I will remember the most. Whether it be the company of the English department and other students, the fantastic refreshments, the continual literary explorations, or the creation of several of our own events, I will definitely look back to my time in this society fondly.
And as the English teacher John Keating once said, “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
Year 7 & 8 Creative Writing
All year 7 & 8 pupils recently wrote an imaginative story, poem or play script which was inspired by their study of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in year 7 or The Tempest in Year 8, using the settings of the forest and an island respectively. This was not only really enjoyable but also useful practice as imaginative writing remains a core component of the English Language GCSE course. The teachers compiled a short list of 18 entries, 3 from each class in years 7 & 8, from which the sixth formers of Farrell Society selected the winners. Their feedback is included below.
Congratulations to best year 7 entry Charles Cohen (Pelican), Trees of the Forest
The trees of the forest whisper a sound,
A sound in which nothing else can be found,
The sound of trees of gold and tranquility,
The trees know my secrets and all my complicities,
The leaves of the trees know things about me so true,
Some leaves tells my story so dark and cruel,
The trees have knowledge beyond the human heart,
Every bad I do I create a monster’s piece of art,
Every friendship I break,
Every love I tear apart,
I create a crippled leaf of sadness and shame,
On my tree of life which I am setting slowly aflame,
Every bad I do, every spark which flies,
Another tree burns and cries,
But every gift I give,
And every kind thing I do,
I help other trees to develop like my tree does too,
And in a forest with many trees that care,
It is important for the trees of the forest to share,
A blossoming kindness of which none could compare,
A kindness where every branch is treated fair,
Because in a forest every tree may be different,
But in the end we all end magnificent,
But remember with every bad word and spark which flies,
You will be burnt and “others” as a reply,
The trees of the forest whisper a sound,
A sound in which nothing else can be found.
An interesting use of rhyme applied throughout with a variation in lines, rhythm and tempo for a dynamic effect. There is a mature use of metaphor and imagery throughout with a nice application of circular structure in the opening and ending lines. The message is positive, but with a subtext of danger throughout which hooks and maintains the reader’s interest, a method used by established poets in popular pieces.
And to Y8 winner Nancy Holyhead (Dolphin), Beauty
I was beautiful. Once, long ago, I was blossoming with love, life and prosperity. Laughter filled my atmosphere, joy radiating from every crevice, every spot, every inch of my form. Colours spilled out at all angles as if I were a painting of pure grandeur. Music and birdsong united on my shore, each wild animal living in harmony. No one was afraid. I was a gem, hidden from the aristocracy who would plague my crystal waters, slaughter my children, exploit my body. I was beautiful. I was safe. Was.
They arrived at once, thousands of them. They were bearing no visible weaponry, however a cloud of malice was eminent around them. My people knew something would happen, the gods had warned. Our first hurricane in years, but the damage of the Western was more than any tropical storm could ever inflict.
First they took my children. They were loaded upon the water vessels and taken away. I tried to stop the thieves. I shook, exploding with rage and agony but it was too late. My skin burned, the only damage was dealt unto myself.
Next it was the trees. They were merciless, flattening all greenery and any animals in the way. Homes, food and lives lost, at the click of a button. My beauty was stolen, I was bare. The slaughter of the animals was inexorable, their lives flushed away like nothing. Species, lost. Forests, eradicated. Life, gone.
When the first lot of ships had left, I had been stripped of everything I had loved. Nothing could hurt me more than what they had put me through. Or so I thought. The vessels returned, this time bearing immense machinery, pieces of large metal, and.. my children? Something was different. All the joy and love I had bestowed onto my people had vanished, this time being replaced by despondency and despair. They looked ill, as if they had not been fed in years. What happened to my children?
I do not wish to recall what happened next. The pain I felt was excruciating, and I would not wish it upon anyone. They burned me, stuck things in me, placed substantial sized buildings upon me. They built new roads and great twisting snakes of metal, with carts that stream in and out of what should have been my immersive tree line. They gave me a name, “temple of fun”. They built a port, constantly bringing in children that are not mine to me and infesting me with strangers.
I was beautiful. Now I am an urbanised wreckage of an island. My crystal clear waters turned a murky grey. My gorgeous shore is now littered and damaged. My trees burnt. My people, stolen. My identity, gone.
I am a slave to the people who claim their grandeur to be superior. I am nothing but a placemat to the humans who claim me. I am nothing. I was an island. I was beautiful.
Skillful use of literary techniques which creates a mature and well developed narrative. Especially the extended personification, which tells the story from nature’s perspective, enables the reader to sympathise with the environment and feel connected to the lyric character. Using the island itself as a first person narrator was an alternative, interesting and successful use of the narrative voice.
Year 7’s Film Trailers
Concluding their study of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ 7B enjoyed the opportunity to create a short video promoting a new film version of this celebrated comedy. Working in groups of four, pupils assumed the roles of actor, director and editor to produce their film trailers. Their videos are attached for your viewing pleasure – we think you’ll find them most entertaining!