Welcome to Goresbrook Library

Library Re-Vamp and Competition

Dear Goresbrookians, 

I am excited to announce that our library has tried and succeeded in making itself more user-friendly!

You will now be able to locate your favourite library books much more easily as they have been arranged around based on their genre (aka the type of book they are). 


In addition to this, you can access our library's full catalogue of books, search and reserve books by logging into our library's system. 

Simply by clicking here: https://www.readingcloud.net/ and using your school email and abc as your password. 

Furthermore, allow me to introduce our new school competition. As we are celebrating Pride Month and along with it, all of our LGBTQ+ friends and family around us, I thought we could find different ways to support them. Your task, if you take part in the competition, is to create something (this could be a poster, a bookmark, a story, a poem, a drawing, etc.) to support and promote Pride Month and LGBTQ+ rights. The winner will receive an Amazon Voucher and every entry will be rewarded with 2 DTAs.


Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi

World Book Day Celebrations: The Winners

Hello Goresbrookians and welcome back to school, 

I'm here to announce the winners of our World Book Day competitions!

Connor F. has created a lovely representation of Grandpa's Greatest Escape by David Walliams! 

Lama D. made an excellent presentation promoting, coincidentaly, the very same book!

Thank you to everyone who submitted their entries to the competition! They have all been amazing!

Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi

World Book Day Riddles and Teacher Dress-Up Winners

Hello Goresbrookians, 

Long time no see! I am here to annouce the winners for our two amazing competitions!

I hope you all enjoyed World Book Day and as much fun solving the riddles as I did when I was writing them. 

The riddles were: 

  1. My last name sounds like Hannah Montana’s and last night I was talking to a young lady on a balcony, what is my first name?
  2. I sacrificed myself and took my sister’s place in some life and death competitions, who am I?
  3. The only thing I didn’t predict when I wrote my book was that people in the future would ‘want’ to be tracked down 24/7. Who am I?
  4. The title of the book whose main character rides an armed bear.
  5. My school is in Scotland and when people come close to it, they instantly turn the other way. What is the name of my school?
  6. I was never given a name by my creator but I am often mistaken for them. Which book am I the protagonist in?
  7. I am the son of a God but I am not a God. I also don’t like lions and had to complete 12 Labours. Who am I?
  8. All I wanted was some more gruel. Who wrote about me?
  9. When you read my books, you definitely want some chocolate near you. Who am I?
  10. I sparkle when I am under the sun and feel in love with a Bella. Who am I?

And here are the answers: 

  1. Romeo Montague
  2. Katniss Everdeen
  3. George Orwell
  4. The Golden Compass
  5. Hogwarts
  6. Frankenstein
  7. Hercules
  8. Charles DIckens
  9. Roald Dahl
  10. Edward Cullen

The 2 quickest Coaching Groups who got all the answers correct were:




Congratulations!!!! You both get 30CP each!

Now onto our teacher dress-up winner!

He might non have had 101 Dalmatians with him but he surely made an impact!

Mr Hirani huge congratulations! You prize will be with your shortly!

Thank you to everyone who took part in our celebrations!

Don't forget that 2 of our competitions are still running!

Make your favourite character or the setting of your favourite book.

•Use materials you have at home.

•Be creative.

•Send a picture to Ms Dimi by Monday 8th March.

•Vouchers and books up for grabs for the top 3.

Advertise your favourite book.

•Create a poster, advertisement, tik tok, Instagram reel, vlog.

•Advertise your favourite book in the most creative way possible.

•Include information like: title, author, mini plot summary (remember, no spoilers), why you think others would enjoy that book, any other information you think would ‘sell’ your book.

•Send your entry to Ms Dimi by Monday 8th March. Vouchers and books up for grabs for the top 3.

I'm looking forward to seeing your entries! 


Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi

Christmas Competitions Winners!

Hello Goresbrookians, 

Happy New Year to everyone!

I am here (admittedly quite late and I apologise for that) in order to announce the winners of our Short Story, Poetry and Bookmark Christmas Competitions!

Drum roll pleaaaase!!!

Drumroll GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

The winner of the Short Story Competition iiiis... Lillie V.! Huge Congrats!

Drumroll GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

The winner of the Poetry Competition iiiiis... Emily M.! Congratulations Emily!

Drumroll GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

The winners for the bookmark competition aaaaaare:

Connor F. for Year 7!

No entries for Y8 I am afraid...

Ana-Maria G. for Year 9!

Please read your classmates' entries here:

Christmas Story by Lillie V.

It was exactly 8 o'clock at night, the night before Christmas. I had opened the door to my bedroom and to my surprise my whole room was clean! It was like magic, as if my clothes had taught themselves to walk into my wardrobe. I then wandered towards my wardrobe to get dressed into my pygamas; even my wardrobe was neatly stacked with my clothes. I was getting dressed when I noticed that my room had been perfectly lit in a nice, warm ambience. My fireplace had been lit as well, and I still didn't know how. Now I was fully changed into my pyjamas and I looked around the room. Everything had been perfectly placed. My curtains were pulled back, showing the night sky outside of my window. My candles looked as if they had only been lit 5 minutes ago. And my blankets on my bed had been neatly folded on top of my bed. I thought that it could've been my parents who had done this. But it couldn't have been. I was in my room the whole day but the only time I left my room was to have dinner with my parents and they were with me the whole time. 

And then it hit me. The cold breeze of the outside world. My window was open. But I hadn't opened my window today. 

I looked around my room, suspicious of who had entered. I looked under my bed, in the cupboard and in the random box in my room. At the corner of my eye, I saw it.  A long leg sat on the rocking chair at the back of the room. It was a girl who wore black trousers and a blue jumper. She had short black hair, nearly like a boy's hair and glittering green eyes. And at that exact moment, I realised it was my sister! Toky! At the age of 21 she had left home to go live in New York and thankfully she came home for Christmas! Hopefully, Christmas wasn't going to be that bad after all. 

At This Time of Year by Emily M.

They skitter, jubilant,

And scuttle to the tree

They frisk, exuberant

And seize parcels underneath,

They tear them, zestful,

And embrace their dainty gifts

Gifts that they relished,

At this time of year


A dance of bliss

Snug air nuzzles a kiss,

On plump cheeks:

Flushed with glee,

And there were merry leaps:

Nearby the tree

They gave their cheer,

At this time of year


A motherly yell;

‘Dinners on the table!’

Then come the little ‘uns,

To a table, sated and replete

All then plumped into a seat,

At the stuffed amenity

And they gaped at each delicacy,

At this time of year


Cutlery settled on the plates

After a meal had been crammed

Into mouths, giving smiles of content

And they nestled together,

‘Time for a chant!’

A song of euphoria:

Chorused by a family,

At this time of year


Winners will be contacted through email regarding their prizes.


Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi

Poetry by Heart

Hello Goresbrookians, 

Another competiton coming your way, this time an even more important one that might develop into a huge opportunity for some of you. 

The Poerty by Heart Competitions takes place every year in order to celebrate the importance of Poetry in our lives. 

The whole idea is quite simple: You simply need to learn by heart and perform poetry. 

It's a chance for you to compete in a national event, step out of your comfort zone, build you self confidence and public speaking skills, improve your memory and have fun!

There are 3 different competitions organised so you can enter any of them. 

• The CLASSIC competition is for individuals - 2 poems from the Poetry By Heart website, one published before 1914 and one in or after 1914. Our school is allowed one entry for KS3 (Y7, Y8, Y9) and one for KS4 (Y10, Y11). The top 10 (nationally) in each KS will be invited to perform at a special ceremony hosted at the British Library. One KS4 student (the best one in a national level) will be invited to represent England at a student poetry reciting showcase in Canada. 

•The CELEBRATION competition is for individuals or groups – 1 poem from the Poetry By Heart website, performed any way you like. There are 3 categories - individual freestyle, pair/small group, large group/whole class. Our school is allowed one entry to each category. The top 10 (nationally) will be invited to perform at a special prize ceremony at the British Library. 

•The SHOWCASE competition is where you can perform any poem, with any number of students per poem, no theme, no restrictions. The best will be featured in the Poetry by Heart gallery. We are allowed to submit up to 9 entries. 

The Deadline for entries is the 18th of December. 

Teachers and myself will help you along your journey if you decide to submit an entry by helping you practise and giving you any help and advice needed. 

Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi

Short Story Competition Winners

The Winning Stories

Huge huge huge congratulations to our three Short Story Competition winners for Novel Month and thank you to everyone who entered, lwet me assure you, it was really difficult to choose!

Here are the 3 top stories in no particular order:


Hey there. Me name is Benjamin. I was born in Texas, California and I ain't know who me parents were... I have two brothers, Clifford and Simon, who, at the moment, aren't here beside me. We ain't children no more but grown-ups. It is the year 1870, 5 years after Lincoln abolished slavery but racism ain't stopped yet. When I were still with me brothers and me nizzles, we had adventures. There was so many like... actually let me show you one of 'em.


"Hey, nigger." Benjamin hated being called that. "Come here! Switch jobs with this 'un." He rushed forward in a hurry, in fear of getting whipped. "Run, idiot! RUN MORE!" screeched the master. Clifford was right next to Benjamin and Simon was being.... well umm... whipped. Simon had a bit of a mood; you could never change his mind and was so arrogant. The master's boy had the honours of whipping the tiresome slaves, who drained their energy. Clifford hated the boy and had a bit of a repugnance against him. “That tyrannical scumbag, he never gets enough, does he?" Simon was crying, covered in bloodstains, and caught Clifford's attention. Disgusted, he decided he had had enough. He wrestled the master's boy to the ground. "Get that, you thug!" Benjamin had to get involved otherwise they would be in deep trouble. He took Clifford off the boy and the boy lay lifeless. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!" bawled the master. Oh NO! They were dead...


What were they going to do? Who were they going to live with? They were about to find out after their whippings and three nights in the dungeons. The livid master screamed and took out his anger on them." YOU WILL BE STAYING AT ANOTHER MASTER'S HOUSE!" As they were taken, Benjamin could tell that his brothers were distraught. "It's ok guys. We'll be fine," he said calmly. They arrived at their destination. When they had got out, a tremendous figure had appeared out of nowhere.

"Hello, kiddos," he enunciated. " I'm Daniel and I will be your master from now onwards."

That was weird. A master would never be asked to be called by their name.

"Follow me."

The group of brothers, Benjamin, Clifford, and Simon, sauntered away with Daniel.


Soon, afterwards, the brothers adapted to the atmosphere around them. They did their jobs, followed their routine, made friends, and had moments of merriment. One day, as Clifford was passing by, he saw an open door. How peculiar! Due to his inquisitiveness, Clifford decided he had to discover what was in there. He walked into the darkness stalwartly. The boy moved slowly. Treading lightly, he checked the area around him, searching for any movement. Suddenly, he heard footsteps.


Clifford ran as fast as his legs could carry him. He ran like a scuttling lizard, with his legs pacing sideways and forwards. BASH! He lay unconscious on the ground and was carried away...


Clifford woke up. Where was he? He was in a room with a buzzing strip light that hung from the ceiling. Its roof was full of the bodies of deceased insects. The windows were grungy and blotched with a layer of the crawling mustiness. What was he going to do? He found a plate of bread and water on the floor. There was a note that told him to stay there. Suddenly, he heard footsteps. Fortunately for him, it was his brothers!

"Come on," Benjamin voiced. "We have to go and escape! The master is a baddy!" As quick as a flash, they had escaped and ran for their lives...


"What happened?" asked Clifford, still curious of what was happening.

It just... well happened, said Simon, "We saw you go in and we followed you and when we saw you captured, a figure appeared and... told us where you were. No lies!"

"Wow! That was the weirdest ever thing that has happened to me. Let's go."

"Where are we gonna go?" asked Simon.

"OH NO!" clamoured Benjamin.

What was going to happen next?...


"This is a very long journey!" expressed Clifford.

"WE KNOW!" the other brothers blurted.

As they continued their exhausting expedition, they finally arrived at their master's...well former master's... place. Benjamin, anxiously, knocked the front door. They awaited for an answer. One servant opened the door. As quick as a flash, the brothers ran in and went to their master's office. The master sat there as if he knew they were coming in the first place.

"Can we..."

"Yes, you can. It turns out my son was not dead anyway. I apologise for any inconvenience that I have caused you and I will treat you better from now on."

"Um OK," said the confused brothers.


So, after the brothers came back, they and their fellow friends were treated better. As for Daniel, the mysterious master, nobody knows what happened to him and how the other master knew that they were coming back. It remains a mystery but the key thing is that everyone lived happily ever after.

DAD? by Wania K. and Emily M.

"Can you stop nudging me?" Eleanor snapped at me, infuriated. 

I didn't bother to reply. She thought she was entitled, just because she was barely five minutes older than me. An automated announcement prevailed over the commotion within the plane. 

'Please ensure your seatbelts are secured,' it hollered, 'our plane to Brasilia will depart shortly.' With Eleanor staring blankly out of the window, I nudged her again. She didn't react. Both of us remained mute, which created monotony between us. We aren't the bubbly sisters that we used to be anymore. We are just Daphne and Eleanor; twins that hardly got along. I just wished she could've been nice to me like she was before her adolescence. 

No longer than fifteen minutes later, the plane made its move. 

'Welcome aboard the Airbus A350 plane, taking us from U.K. to Brasilia,' the stewardess greeted tenderly, 'I am Thalia, the lead flight attendant of this aircraft. Please ensure that you follow the safety instructions that were demonstrated to you previously where appropriate. This flight will last approximately 11 hours. Sit back, relax and enjoy your flight. We are prepared to take off.' As soon as she mentioned those last words, my stomach churned, and my heart started racing. With heights, I become inordinately distraught; thoughts of flying chill my blood. The aeroplane moved. I looked around the confined space to see my step-mother, Camilla, with her face smiling. Seething, I gave a forced smile and looked away. I never really liked Camilla. 

"Eleanor," I whispered. "Eleanor?"

"What?" she murmured back. 

"Aren't you scared?"

"Why should I be?"

"We're on a plane? We could crash at any moment. We could die at any moment. We could-"

"I don't care, and that stuff only happens in movies. Now give me some peace, will you?"

She gently rested her head on the window. Abruptly, the aeroplane started to move more swiftly. I shut my eyes, petrified. Clasped onto my armrest, I breathed in heavily. Eventually, the plane rose. I exhaled. I was so relieved nothing was faulted. I leisurely opened my eyes to see Eleanor rummaging through her pockets, trying to detect her earphones. 

"What are you doing?" I asked out of curiosity. 

"Mind your own business," she replied with arrogance. 

"Seriously? Is it illegal to ask questions now?"

"Did I say it was? Anyways, you're just annoying me. As always."

"I wish you weren't my sister."

"You know what? Yeah. Me too."

Eleanor rolled her eyes at me in wrath. She plugged her earphones into her device and began to listen to music, sitting back with a void face. Seconds later, I saw two dubious men walking down the aisle. They were clothed in coal-black leather jackets and tattered, dark-blue jeans. Their simbre hair was tousled while a silky, black mask concealed their faces. In their hands, they were clutching several sacks, which were quite conspicuous. Bizarelly, they were both approaching the lavatory. It was strange. Two men clad in the same garments, walking together. I turned my head back and thought nothing of it. Notwithstanding, I did carefully scrutinize their every move, as they sauntered along the tight passage.

Looking over to my right past Eleanor, I caught sight of the ocean-blue sky, which enthralled me with its allure. Maybe heights had their bewitching side; after all, the views astounded me. The river of blue was dappled with snowy-white clouds. Almost like a painting. It didn't feel genuine. As I was mesmerised by the scenic display, that I couldn't take my eyes off, I could hear vague shouting from the galley.

"Open the hatch, lads! Something's going on in there." commanded a husky voice. 

The lavatory door opened, causing many heads to face the rear of the plane. 

"Eleanor! Eleanor!" I exclaimed. 

"What is it now?" she retorted, grouchily.

"Can't you hear?"

A look of perturbation furrowed Eleanor's brow. As my anxiety attacks commenced, I began panting and puffing in agitation. Perspiration scuttled down my flushed forehead of tears brimmed at my eyelids. I shrieked from the top of my lungs, even though I was feeble and pale: "Eleanor, help!"

"W-what's that noise?" she interjected, not bothering to comfort me. Amazed by her inattention, I gaped at her. 

"Daphne! Bag! Diar-" cried Camilla before the stewardesses interposed; I didn't know what she meant.

"Brace! Brace! Brace! Heads down! Stay down! Brace! Brace! Brace!" Their caution unnerved the passengers. I located my roseate hands on my head and bent forward whilst my cheeks were flooded with scarlet. As the aeroplane rapidly descended, a deafening explosion created a crack in the middle of the plane. Instantaneously, I gripped onto Eleanor, but I couldn't seize the hands of my step-mother. That couldn't have been true. I felt myself drop. 

Death's door neared me until I landed hand first in an unfamiliar place. In overwhelming soreness, I stood up to see where I was and brushed off the bronzy-brown leaves of the autumn that irked me. A forest. Everything was quiet. I felt a sudden pain all around my body, but I remained: I don't know how. Flanking me, lay my sister, with violet bruises, a pallid face and ragged clothes. With tense apprehension building up inside of me, my knees fell to the ground, and I shook Eleanor vigorously. 

"Elly? Wake up, please!" I sobbed with unease. A few moments passed. 

"Daphne," mumbled Eleanor. 

"Elly? Can you hear me?"

"My arm hu-"

"Keep still! Don't move it. It'll hurt."

“You shouldn’t forgive me,” she murmured, evidently struggling. “After all of those horrible things I’ve done to you.”

“Now’s not the time to worry about that. We need to seek help: urgently.” She was inclined. There was a prolonged silence between us as I contemplated.

“Alright, you rest. I’ll try to acquire some aid; stay here.”

“Daphne. Don’t leave me plea-”

“No, no, no! Don't worry. I’ll be back soon.”

 As blameworthy as I felt for being adamant about staying and abandoning my twin sister amid a formidable forest, I had to do it. There was no other way of assisting her. Even though my feet pounded, I arose from the sage, glossy grass. Ebony trees encircled me as I sought help around the forest. Whilst I veered, I continued seeing disintegrated pieces of the plane, burning and smoking. Greenery gritted, and wood turned into cinder after the incident spread a minor fire across part of the forest. Smoke was emitted by the smouldering of the blazed plane parts. I halted to feel my cheeks, to find that they were caked in multiple layers of soot. My hands had tattoos of mauve marks all over them.

Whilst studying my hand’s bruises, I had realised that I had my black backpack: the one given to me by Camilla for my thirteenth birthday. I felt a sudden spark of remorse for how I treated her. She was so benevolent and indulgent. Beads of water started dropping down my plump cheeks: one after another. Instantly, I mopped my eyes and grasped my backpack with my grubby hands. Slowly, I unzipped my bag - hoping that my phone was where I left it.  “Ugh, where is it?” I wailed bitterly whilst scouring through my rucksack.

Unexpectedly, my hands ran past something frigid and compact. A look of relief was plastered on my face. As quick as lightning, I brought out the object, only to find out it wasn’t my mobile. A diary. All my relaxation drained and was exchanged for uncertainty. This diary was mine but I never really put it to use. My mind became vacant: I didn’t have a clue who would’ve put it in my bag. Perplexed, I blew the dust that blanketed the book off and opened it. Inside, there was a letter. Following a few tedious seconds of gazing at the floor, puzzled, I unfolded the letter to read this:


Dear Daphne,          

Hello, by the time you’re reading this, I’m probably dead. I’m aware that you’ve detested me ever since your father departed to Canada and disappeared. I’ve tried my hardest to be the best step-mother, but I just couldn’t do it. I arranged for some people to bomb our plane. I hope that you and Eleanor are both alive. I'm completely responsible for this. I’ve never told you that I was diagnosed with PTSD.  Just like you, I had a step-mother. She didn’t treat me very well. Knowing I had to be a step-mother haunted me. I felt as if I would do the same to you.  If I have ever seemed horrible to you, know that I’m sorry. I know that I’ve affected some by arranging this bombing, but there was no other way I could do it. I regretted it the moment I paid for them. I should’ve known that I risked your lives. My refund request wasn’t accepted. Please. Forgive me. I only wrote this for you since I couldn’t find Eleanor’s diary. I’m so sorry. I’ll miss you.

From Camilla.


My heart sank. How was I not attentive enough? As much as I tried to hold the tears back, I couldn't help it. The pellucid pearls started slipping down my cheeks again. A blur, the world became. My eyes were burning whilst my chest felt heavy, and my heart palpitated without pause.

Promptly, I heard blaring noises, almost like a siren. I nimbly erased my tears with my spindly fingers and took a deep breath.

‘Where are the sirens coming from?’  I thought. After a moment of pondering, I thrust the letter back into the diary and hurriedly tossed it into my bag. Addled, I scrambled at my belongings which now had mire engulfing them and scampered back towards my fading sister.

My legs were painfully cramped whilst I could scarcely move my shoulders. Suddenly, I heard a rustle behind the trees.

“Who’s there?” I bawled, bemused.

“Don’t worry child! We’re the paramedics.” a man answered.

“How did you find us in the middle of a forest?”

“Some people witnessed the explosion. We had trouble getting to you, but we’re here now.”

“Oh, just help us! Please?” 

“Don't worry. That's exactly why we’re here.” Suddenly, a group of people attired in green appeared from the towering cluster of trees.

I beamed; I had never been so relieved in my life. At this point, I did not want to lose my sister; one of the only people I had left. They hurried towards where I was standing.

“Are you alright?” a lady with lustrous, blonde hair queried, clearly out of breath. I nodded, too dumbstruck to respond.

“What's your name?”

“Uh, Daphne,” I answered.

“Alright, Daphne, is it only you who dropped from the aeroplane? Are there any other survivors with you?” I nodded, and words stumbled out of my mouth: “Yes. My sister. Eleanor.”

“Are you aware of her location? Is she well?” interrogated a tall man. Tears burst forth like a barrage. Millions of thoughts glided across my head. My hands flew to my face and wrapped my cheeks that were kissed red like a rose.

“She’s struggling. I don’t think she can make it.”

I sniffled, with my teary eyes downcast.

“May you lead us to her, Daphne?” the man requested.

“Course.” I accepted and traced my steps back to Eleanor, with the paramedics trailing behind me. I envisioned my sister in agony and flinched at the very thought of it. We walked in complete silence. Only the chirruping of the winsome birds was to be heard. As we trudged across the forest grounds, I glanced at the ragged, woollen blanket of blotched grey when I promptly realised that we had reached the grounds where I had left Eleanor. I looked down at her.

“Eleanor, I’ve got some people who will help you,” I informed her.

A fatigued smile came from her sickly face.

“Alright, guys. I need you to check her temperature, heart rate and everything.” one of the paramedics instructed, “I can tell she needs to go to the hospital, so after we’re done, we’ll take her into the ambulance.” Since it was too intense watching my sister go through that pain, I rotated myself and walked towards a severed tree. I slumped myself against its stump. Minutes crept by.

“One, two, three, lift! And again,” roared a gruff voice.

“One, two, three, lift! Good job.”

“Daphne! Daphne? You can come here now.” called a lady’s voice. Rising, I took a deep breath and swerved back.

“We’re going into the ambulance,” she continued, “do you want the seat next to her?” I nodded. I didn’t feel like replying. A flaming sensation developed in my throat as I dawdled towards my sister.

Eleanor was now sitting up, so I sat next to her.

“Daphne? Y-you didn’t leave?” she spoke with a hoarse voice. Her once immaculate, brown hair was now unkempt and greasy whilst pools of black ink were painted underneath her appealing, sage eyes.

“I was so scared that you were going to-”

“Camilla paid people to set the bomb.” I interrupted, gulping down my fright. Feeling numb, I set my backpack on the ground and unzipped it once again, whilst my fingers shuddered.  I opened my violet diary and passed the note to Eleanor. Her sallow and quavering hand took it whilst I peered around, making sure nobody was watching.

“Nobody must know about this. Alright?” She nodded with a disturbed look. I eyed the lurid sky, sealed with smoke. The concealed sun surged out its illumination onto the canvas. Seconds passed by. I looked back at her, only to see a salty stream of water flowing down her cheek. I wasn’t surprised. Eleanor adored Camilla and vice versa. I looked to my left when I saw the blonde paramedic strolling towards us, while her warm, butterscotch eyes were locked on a clipboard. Swiftly, I grasped the diary from Eleanor’s hand and shoved it back into my bag. I zipped up my bag and rested it next to a lengthy, wooden log that lay behind me.

“Give me a moment,” I whispered. I fished for something to dry her tears within the pockets of my silken sweater and thankfully discovered a spotless yet crumpled tissue.

“Here,” I passed it to her briskly. “Dry your tears. Quickly.” She dabbed the bottom of her eyes gently and buried the dense tissue into the holes of her sweater.

“Eleanor, we’re going to take you into the ambulance now,” stated her dulcet voice. Eleanor nodded. There was an awkward silence.

“My name’s Natalia,” she uttered. “In case you were wondering.” Eleanor and I nodded. There was another tense silence.

They rose from the ground as the group of paramedics encompassed Eleanor.  Just as I was about to inquire, a towering man entered my vision.

“Daphne, I think you should go in now,” remarked the man with ginger hair. I glanced at Natalia’s face and responded: “Okay.”

“After we’ve sent Eleanor into the ambulance, you can take a seat. Is that fine with you?” Natalia proposed generously.

“It’s fine,” I agreed under my breath. Taking steps back, I surveyed them as they steered her into the back of the ambulance. They signalled for me to come over. I scuttled towards them and lunged myself in. Natalia plumped herself into a seat, and I settled next to Eleanor. Concurrently, the vehicle proceeded to move. I yawned, enervated from my prolonged day. As my thoughts relaxed, I swathed myself into a profound sleep: only to be woken up a few minutes later.

“Daphne! Daphne! Wake up,” whispered a subdued voice.

I opened my eyes at once.

“Get up quickly, Daphne. We’re here.” It was Natalia. I exhaled and arose from my constricted seat, only to find that my neck twinged terribly.

“Ow!” I whimpered.

“Sore neck?” she asked. I nodded. “Alright. Come inside. It seems like you need a bit of a wash as well.” She escorted me into the hospital, whilst the affliction in my neck seemed to worsen. As we set foot inside the hospital, a digital clock caught my eye. 10:21 am. Already? I’d gotten on the plane at 8:30. I trudged through the hospital to a medium-sized room which had a tantalising fragrance of coffee. Bold letters were emblazoned on a black sign, hanging from the ceiling: ON THE GO. Baristas were bustling behind the bar, preparing sweet-scented drinks. The rich aromas of arabica coffee sedated me. Enticing savours of fresh cinnamon buns indulged me. It was almost as if I was right there, feeling the frothy milk bubble on my tongue as I drink a snug cappuccino, or biting into a crisp pastry, and letting it melt in my mouth. A sigh wandered through the air like a roller coaster. “Daphne? Come on,” coaxed Natalia, “we’ve got no time to dawdle.”

“Sorry,” I answered in a croaky voice. The corners of her mouth rose into a modest smile. She turned back around and glided through the hall like a slinking fox. Accompanying her from behind, I examined the corridor: I could notice embellishments charming me. The walls were vivified with flamboyant stickers. Layers of glossy, green paint remained underneath, leaving coats of glint. Ornaments of animals dangled and swung boisterously from the vaulting above. We’d entered the children’s ward.

“We need the A&E. That way,” declared Natalia, in a hazy voice. We weaved to the left, only to be encountered by a blue curtain. The curtain was resplendent and intrepid, along with a rupture of buoyancy: it activated my memory of the blue sky which was showered with grandeur. A tall man dressed in nurse attire stood by it: securing a surgical mask onto his face. To me, he looked strangely familiar. His eyes seemed very alike to mine: prancing freckles of gold, perched on deep puddles of sienna while his hair was like the rich loam of valleys in the wake of the spring showers. All precisely like my father’s. Maybe I shouldn’t be thinking about that; his features could just resemble ours. The curtains spread out, and Eleanor’s stretcher latched onto the wall, as she was put into place. Natalia hastened away.

“Right, girls! Before I start examining, what are both of your names?” the man exclaimed.

“I’m Daphne, and this is my twin sister, Eleanor,” I responded. An affecting quietness stood among us for sundry seconds.

“No. You’re not,” he continued with a trembling voice.

“Um. Yes, we are. Daphne and Eleanor Villa,” I replied befuddled.

Immediately, he brought his hands to his face and detached his mask.

An unrecognisable, bristly beard appeared. At this moment, I had noticed a tag reading, ‘Marcus Villa: Nurse’ on his tunic. It couldn’t be. There is no possible way. Didn’t he go to Canada? How did he get here?





They were chasing after me. I had to run. BANG. A gun was shot but it didn’t hit me. They missed. My feet were aching as I tried to reach into my arura, I was too weak. Sweat trickled down my pale cheek as I started to pant, I thought to myself what would mum say if she was still here. I couldn't think of an answer. My dad is linked to the cause of this virus and I will find him and make him suffer. I used up all my energy to looked back to see if they were still chasing me but they were not in sight, I slowed down, eventually passing out. 

Chapter 1 - Ava 

BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. It was 7am. 

“!Ava-Mae! AVA-MAE! Get up already your gonna be late for school and all,” mum shouted and there was something that sounded soothing about her voice but I don’t like the fact that she calls me Ava-Mae, I prefer Ava. I got up sluggishly and went to stand Infront of my mirror; my black curly hair seemed brown in the sun and my eyes shimmered in the morning sun.  I showered, got dressed and went for breakfast and I saw that mum made pancakes.                                                                                        

“Morning mum, those pancakes smell delicious!” I looked at her with a faint smile and she stared at me and gestured me to sit. I started to eat my pancakes. When I finished, I got up and rushed to the door.      

“Aren't you going to say bye to your mum?” her arms wide open ready for a hug and I rushed over to her and squeezed her tight like it’s the last time I'm going to see her, then I rushed out the door. 

On the way to school, I met up with Tia, my best friend, I stuck my hand in my pocket hoping I'll find one of the sweets that I brought yesterday but no luck. She looked at me like I was crazy. 

“Still looking for a sweet?” I was surprised she knew what I was looking for.                                                     

“Yeah. Hey, haven’t you heard of that new virus that started in Aberdeen? They say its deadly, the way that if you get it, your eyes change and go blood shot red and you can-” she stopped me halfway through and gave me one of her I don’t want to hear it faces.                                                                                             

“Stop. Don’t talk about it, it scares me. Like what if the virus comes here?” there was something about her face that made me feel guilty but I couldn't catch what is was.                                                                             

“Oh.... I'm sorry I didn’t mean to scare you.” The bell rang so we said our goodbyes and we went to class. 

After school, I didn’t see Tia so I went home. I got to my door step when the door mat was upside down and I could not hear the TV playing like it normally does. I used my spare key and went inside. Something wasn’t right...I could feel it.                                                                                                                                        

“Mum! MUUUUM!” there was no reply. I searched the house inside out and I just could not find her, my phone rang and I answered even though it was a random number.                                                       

“Hello.” I was worried.                                                                                                                                                   

“IHYMCAFM” The phone cut off. I thought to myself, IHYMCAFM, what does it mean? I tried to shake that feeling off - that she had gone missing, so I thought of reasons why she wasn’t in like, mum probably just went out to the shop. I was tired, plus I had no homework so it was a bonus, I decided to go and sleep and wait for mum to arrive. 

Chapter 2 - Once Gone Always Gone  

I woke up the next morning and I couldn't hear the tap running in the kitchen, I didn’t hear my name being called, I couldn’t feel the presence of my mum. I knew something was wrong. My heart pounding, I looked around outside. No one was there, not even the post man. I turned on my miniature sized TV and all the lines were cut off, my phone signal went. Where is my mum? I heard 3 bangs on the door, it was Tia. I let her in as a tear drop ran down her cheek. Was her mum missing too? Had she caught the virus?  

“Ava, my mum is missing and no one else is at home or on their street. There were some people knocking on my door last night my mum answered but I don’t remember hearing the door shut.” my lip started to shake as I scratched my head.                                                                                                                  

“My mum is gone to, she was gone when I got home, it was weird, no calls or text.” 

BANG! The loud noise shook the house we ran for cover. BANG. I peered outside the window when the brightness of the sun hit my eyes. There was this tank that looked like it belonged to the army. It probably did. They were firing rockets down the street, as they went past, I asked Tia if she had received a weird call last night and she said that she did.                                                                                                                                          

“All I heard was IHYMCAFM, since then I've been tryna find out what it means.” I didn’t know what to do but the first thing that came to my mind was find mum and find out why those tanks were shooting recklessly or did it involve the virus? It was a game of survival. 

Once the coast was clear, Tia and I had to escape but we could not go empty handed, so we grabbed the most essential things and went out the door. We walked down into the street when we saw a man lying in a wet, damp alleyway.                                                                                                                                               

“Hello, are you okay?” there was no response so we looked closer... his eyes were bloodshot red, there was blood in his mouth and he looked blue. He had caught the virus. He was dead. Tia was too shook to talk, so instead we walked on.                                        

It was evening and after all that walking I dreamed, dreamed about how I wish I could fly, mum used to tell me that dad said that one day I will fly and I will fly high. I wish I knew my dad; I wish I could see his face.                                                                                                                                                                           

“Ava, look at that! I think I see a hotel just across the road should we go and check it out?” I looked over with hope.                                                                                                                                                                       

“Yeah, I see it, let's go and check it out.” we walked over with pride like we had just won the lottery or we just become famous and saw that the hotel was empty. We stepped over the broken glass, the broken desk and the dead people, but the most important thing right now was that there was a TV. We turned it on and there was signal so we watched the news.                                                                                                  

“Reporting live from Banff in Aberdeen, the virus has seemed to reach the east side of London and there is still no cure. More than 2.5 million people have died. They say the virus was man-made in a lab here in Aberdeen but it seems as if the lab is underground. The owner of that lab, Daren Oakley, has disappeared and there is no trace of him. If you have not caught this virus or you are a survivor please turn yourself in to the VHC (virus help center) if you decide not to then-” the TV cut off, I raged, I raged because my surname is Oakly and my dad's name is Daren. That was my dad. 

Chapter 3 - Don’t Stop, Don’t Fall 

I looked at Tia, she looked at me.                                                                                                                                

“I can't believe it... That’s my dad.” I saw a flash light from outside, it got closer and closer by the second. BANG. A car came crashing inside... I couldn't see.                                                                                  

“TIA TIAAA. WHERE ARE YOU!” I repeated it over and over again. My ears were hurting... I could not cope, all I heard was “where ever you are put your hands in the air. I searched and searched frantically, finally I found Tia but she had a gunshot to her head. She was dead, another loss. I had to run so that’s what I did. 

They were chasing after me I had to run. BANG. A gun was shot but it didn’t hit me. They missed. My feet were aching I tried to reach into my arura, I was too weak. Sweat trickled down my pale cheek as I started to pant, I thought to myself what would mum say if she was still here. I couldn't think of an answer. My dad is linked to the cause of this virus and I will find him and make him suffer. I used up all my energy to look back to see if they were still chasing me but they were not in sight, I slowed down eventually passing out. 

This was the beginning of a never-ending nightmare; I didn’t know what would come next.... 

Thank you to everyone, once again. 

Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi

Christmas Competitions

Hello dearest Goresbrookians, 

It's almost that jolly season of the year that many of us love and have been waiting for. 

The countdown for the Christmas holidays has began and with it, our Christmas competitions are now running!

We have got 3 competitions running until the 16th of December and you can take part in all of them! 

The first competition is a short story writing one. Your theme is Christmas and you can write this by yourself or with your friends. You can submit your story either through email to dimitra.charalampidou@goresbrookschool.org.uk or in hand to Ms Dimi in the library. 

The second competition is a poetry one. Your theme is again, Christmas. You can again write this alone or with your friends and you can either email or submit your entry in hand. 

Both of the aforementioned competitions will give you 2DTAs per entry per person and the top 3 winners will receive an extra reward!!! 

Now, I know there are some of you out there thinking, "Ugh, why do we have to write again?!"

Well, fear not. The bonus competition involves no writing!

The third competition is a bookmark one. 

Make a bookmark (no theme) and submit it in hand in the library by the same deadline. This is a task that should be tackled by an individual and not by a team. Your entry will award you 2 DTAs and the top bookmark from each Year Group will be printed out and given to everyone in your YG to use! 

You are allowed one entry per competition.

On your marks, get set, write/draw!

Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi


National Novel Month and Competition

Hello Goresbrookians, 

November is officially celebrated as Novel Month and we here at Goresbrook definitely love our novels and appreciate the importance of reading. Reading, though, would be impossible if we didn't have all those authors and poets and playwrights writing amazing short stories and novellas and novels and poems and plays for us to read. 

As a result, my challenge for you this month is a Short Story Competition. (Please do feel free to make it a long story if you feel like writing a lot.)

There is no specific theme and there is no restriction as to how long your story should be. You can write your story by yourself or it can be a collaborative attempt at writing along with your besties. 

The deadline for submissions is 27 November and the winners will be announced through the website. 

Each entry earns you 3 DTAs and the chance to create an amazing new world. (Ok, yes, there is a reward for the top 3 stories wink )

You can submit your entry either in the library or through email to: dimitra.charalampidou@goresbrookschool.org.uk

If you need help, come to the library after school and Ms Dimi can help you. 

If you want to write your story online, you can go here: https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/ and use the classroom code: JAUCAXUD to enter Goresbrook School's Classroom. It's a place you can write your story and keep track of your writing. 

I am looking forward to reading your creations and travelling to worlds that you imagined and brought to life. 

Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi

Poetry Competition Winners!

Hello Goresbrookians, 

Before annoucing the winner of the poetry competition we had here at Goresbrook School, I would like to say HUGE congratulations to every single one of you who have submitted an entry. Congratulations not only because you took part in the competition but because this was your chance to show that you care, it was your chance to speak up and express your hopes and dreams and work for a better world for everyone. 

Thank you for your poems, all of which were amazing and I really HAVE to point out how difficult it was for us to choose the top 3 (hence we ended up with a top 4 instead of 3). All of you will be able to find your poems in a library display after half term and I want you to know we are all super proud of you and I am looking forward to seeing your entries to our future competitions!

Without further ado, let me announce the 4 winners (in no particular order)!

        Pain slips from her soul

        drops slide down her cheeks

        voice trembles

        teeth chatter


        "why, my baby" she screams

by Denaeja


          The Rainbow Society that I dreamed of...

           I had a dream…

           Where my race wouldn’t be seen as a weapon*…

           I had a dream…

           That my race wouldn’t determine my quality of life

           I had a dream…

           Where Racism’s funeral was held in this generation


         I dreamed of a Rainbow** society

         Where all colours united and became one…

         Where not a single colour left behind…

         Where not a single superior colour of inferior

         Together they formed peace for humanity

         Racism ceased


         But my naive eyes were forced open

         These dreams faded away

         They sky isn’t decorated in rainbows

         There are no rainbows in this world

         Racism is having a birthday party

         Forcing every racist person to eat a slice of its cake


         The colours are in chaos


         A storm of colours rips through the sky,

         Wetting it with is destruction

         This rainbow society I dreamed

         Is only a memory…

         And not a reality


       How I wish the rainbow society was here now…

by Praise

* in the original the word 'weapon' is written in red

** in the original the word 'Rainbow' is written in so that each letter is in one of the colours of the rainbow. 


        Our Mission

        Bang! Bang! Bang!

        The more you shoot the more you rise

        The more you laugh the more we cry

        You shoot we hide

        You enslave we betray

        The vision we see for the future is bright

        With kindness and ove other than the usual plight

        No more can we stand your hate

        No more can we be shamed and ridiculed to this day

        We stand and fight for what is right

        We show and grow the truth is light

        For we see a promise

        In a couple of time

        Where everyone is the same

        Together in one

         But No more can we repeat the same

         And leave people to blame

         Because love is our future

         Love is our vission

         On this racial mission

by Joshua


by Rayan

The winners will receive an email with their prize after half term. 

Enjoy your holidays! wink

Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi

National Poetry Day & National Black History Month

Dear Goresbrookians,

National Poetry Day is the annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages all to enjoy, discover and share poetry. Today also marks the start of the Black History Month celebrations in the UK. Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by black people in Britain and beyond.

In light of National Poetry Day as well as October being Black History Month, our library is organising a Poem Writing competition. The theme for this year’s National Poetry Day is ‘Vision’ and you know that at Goresbrook we’re all about envisioning ourselves growing and becoming better not only students, but humans as well. Thus, for this year, we're taking the competition a step further and combining it with our vision of a world where everyone is equal regardless of their skin colour.

The rules are simple: The poem has to have the theme of 'Vision of a Better World for Everyone', it may rhyme and it may not, it can be long or short, and you can write it by yourself or you can write it with your friend(s). Submission deadline: Friday 16th October. You may give your entry to me (Ms Dimi) in the library or you can give it to your coaches, and I’ll make sure to pick them up.

That being said, there are so many exciting things you can take a look at if you want to know more about poetry and Black History Month!

  1. You can access many free poems here: https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/poems/poems/
  2. Read a blog about Poetry: https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/celebrate-national-poetry-day/national-poetry-day-blog-2/
  3. Access: https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/ 
  4. Come to the library and take a look at our display board about Black History.
  5. Borrow books from our library:

Stay safe and stay kind, 

Ms Dimi 


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