Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Trenches

15th January 1916

My name is Adam Scott. I live in Regent Street, London. I am 17 years old and the youngest in my family. My father and my two older brothers are fighting on the Western Front and my older sister is a nurse in a military hospital in Malta. They are the heroes of the family while I am left here with my mother.

24th January 1916

Today I decided to take a stand. I went to the recruiting office and lied about my age. I told the officer in charge that I wanted to join the war effort. He said that I could start on the 1st of February and that I would have to go to Cardiff. Then I thought of the horrid part - telling mum! I went back home and told her. She wept buckets. She told me not to go but I said it was for my King and for my country.

I sent a letter to my father at the front telling him that I was joining in.

1st February 1916

I took the train to Cardiff. It seemed like a very long journey. When I told the officer that I was a new recruit he put me with a platoon in Hut 6. I got a big welcome. The soldiers in my hut were called Danny, Charlie, Seb, Karl, Beppe and Luke and we soon became the best of friends.

28th February 1916

I heard that they're fighting in Verdun. Everyone wants to go to the Front.

29th February 1916

We are finally going to the Front. We marched to Plymouth, thinking that everything will be over by Christmas. We travelled to Belgium by boat and a lot of people got sick, including me. The sea was quite choppy.

1st March 1916

We arrived at Chattencourt and got sorted in. Luckily, I am with my friends.

2nd March 1916

Today we went to the trenches. I was horrified by what I saw. There were rotting bodies and carcasses and lots and lots of mud. This wasn't what I had imagined. So this is where I'm staying for the next few months. I took my position and started shooting. One time I saw my bullet fly into an enemy soldier's stomach!

9th March 1916

Finally I am back at camp. I was all dirty with mud, tired and deaf because of all the explosions. I rushed to be the first to have a nice hot shower.

4th October 1916

Today I went on a secret mission. I had to protect some engineers from an attack. I was trapped in a cave. My whole body was burning.

7th October 1916

I came to in a strange place. Karl was there. "You're in hospital."

"How did I end up here?"

"You were trapped in a cave with mustard gas. You broke your arm and you couldn't move."

A nurse came to see me. I asked her how long do I need to stay in hospital. "Two months," she replied.

7th December 1916

Today I returned to camp. My friends were overjoyed to see me. I realized that three of them were missing. I asked after Charlie, Danny and Seb. Beppe told me that Danny was killed by shrapnel.

"We realized it was Danny because of the ring on his hand."

Charlie was hit by a piece of metal and Seb got shot. I wept for my friends.

25th December 1916

We can hear gunfire again.

16th January 1917

The battle is over. I made it home with a broken leg, having tripped over barbed wire. My mother hugged me tight. With tears in her eyes, she told me that my father had been killed. I came home alive but I now know the devastation that war brings. Not the glory that we had been promised.
Adam - Grade 7

The Cruise

We woke up happy yesterday,
my mum said "Boys let's sail away",
on a big cruise ship we will go,
and plenty of pleasure and food will flow.

Departing from Valletta on a sunny day,
we headed to Spain, stopping at Palma on the way,
we laughed, we sang, we danced and played,
and it seemed like my parents had a date.

Whilst crossing at high speeds the open sea
after the unfortunate migrant tragedy,
one would ask "Why we?
Why are we so lucky?"

The days rolled by and slipped away,
we headed back to Valletta on a Wednesday,
after visiting Spain, France and Italy,
we ended this holiday happily

Beppe - Grade 6

Horrid Henry Falls in Love

Horrid Henry was at school. Ms Natasha, Henry's teacher, was announcing that a new girl was joining the class. Ms Natasha also said that her name was Jelly Jessie.

When Jessie came into the classroom Horrid Henry nearly fainted. Horrid Henry had never seen such a beautiful girl. Henry and Jessie became close friends. After school, when Henry was home, he couldn't stop thinking about her.

The next day Henry actually fainted. He couldn't believe his ears. Jessie had asked him out. They went to a fast food restaurant. After eating a pizza, Henry burped. Jessie laughed. "Henry, you're so funny," she said.

Quickly, Henry said: "Let's have some dessert."

"Ok, my little pumpkin," she replied. Henry had a triple scoop of chocolate ice-cream and Jessie had a triple scoop of strawberry ice-cream. They had a great time together, chatting and laughing all through the evening. But when the waiter brought the bill, Henry looked worried.

"Do you have any money on you, Henry?" asked Jessie.

"No. How about you, Jessie?" he replied.

"I don't have money with me. I have my clips, a brush, some string, chewing gum and my glasses."

"Why on earth do you have all those things in your pocket?" asked Henry.

"I'm going to my grandmother. What do you expect?"

"Jessie, you stay here while I go and get some money from home." Henry ran it all the way home and asked his mum for some money. She gave him €1. "Can you give me a bit more?" he asked.

"You're going to have to pay me back," she said.

"No problem," said Henry and his mother gave him €20. He sprinted back to the restaurant. Jessie was waiting for him. He paid the bill.

When they left Henry and Jessie decided not to date anymore but remain good friends. But the following day, Ms Natasha announced that another girl was joining the class and when Henry saw her...

Georgina - Grade 5

My Teddy Bear

Morgan - Grade 4

Friday, April 24, 2015

World Book Week 2015 - Guy Bass

Guy Bass took San Anton School by storm as he entertained the Grade 5 students with tales of his younger years, mighty frogs and... yes, sheep.

Mr Bass, the award-winning author of the popular Mighty Frog, Dinkin Dings and Stitchhead series, did a fantastically energetic routine of epic proportions. He spoke about the times when he was a baby, the way the experienced a world of 'giants' and how all this boosted his imagination.

As far as the students are concerned, they enjoyed every second of it. They laughed all through the session without missing a single beat of Mr Bass' performance. A day later, the children were still excited about the visit, flocking the library to borrow his books.

Truly, it was a great experience.


Visit Guy Bass's site HERE.

Guy Bass' visit was made possible thanks to Audio Visual Ltd.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

World Book Week 2015 - Rita Antoinette Borġ

Children's author Rita Antoinette Borġ visited San Anton for a story-telling session with the Grade 3 students.

After a brief introduction, featuring Pepito the Parrot from the Amazon, Ms Borġ dove right into the story of Meg, the tiny chick that didn't feel like hatching at all. It turns out that little Meg's reluctance to leave her cosy egg is rather fortuitous because her decision allows her to save the day.

The Grade 3 students were rather curious about Ms Borġ and after the story-telling session they inundated her with questions. They simply loved her story and they wanted to know as much as they could about the author!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

World Book Week 2015 - Rita Saliba

Rita Saliba, whose award-winning Inżul ix-Xemx is the Grade 10 set text in Maltese, visited San Anton School to speak to the students.

She delivered a very interesting presentation about how to construct a character. It is not easy to give life to a name on a page. It involves a lot of careful observation, looking at real people, trying to figure out what makes them tick.

An interesting exercise is to try and concoct a history about a person you've never met before, someone you come across at the supermarket for instance. You try to assemble a profile by looking at the way he or she acts, by taking note of the kind of clothes that he/she is wearing, by peeping discreetly at the contents of his/her supermarket trolley!

Ms Saliba was pleased to notice that a lot of characters from Inżul ix-Xemx resonated with the students. Even minor ones, who might appear to be inconsequential, were the subject of queries from the Grade 10 pupils.

It was a very positive experience for the students, meeting the author of a book that they're enjoying so much.



Monday, April 20, 2015

World Book Week 2015 - John Bonello

Author John Bonello inaugurated this year's World Book Week at San Anton School by delivering a talk to the Grade 8s.

The students were very excited at the prospect of meeting Mr Bonello as some of them had either read his fantasy trilogy Il-Logħba tal-Allat or his latest book, Irvin Vella: Investigatur Virtwali.

Mr Bonello spoke about his love of books and how this inspired him to become an author himself. Writing a novel is a taxing job that involves a lot of planning and hard work. However the end result is worth the effort.

The students asked him many questions - about his favourite authors, his favourite films, where he gets his ideas from and, also, whether or not he believes in ghosts! They had a wonderful time.

Thank you John!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Favourite Books: The Alchemyst

The Alchemyst is the first novel in the popular series "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" by Michael Scott. It revolves around twins Sophie and Josh Newman, who after a battle between two immortal magicians find themselves flung into a world of magic. They race across America, encountering monsters, fighting the dead, seeking refuge in shadow realms and much more.

I  found this book to be extremely enjoyable as Michael Scott incorporates a magnificent blend of mythology and fantasy. Ranging from Greek and Roman gods to Norse, Egyptian and Irish myths, this novel is brimming with surprising twists and turns. The author also deals with elemental powers, colourful auras and legendary and historical figures. Most important of all the book sees us through the complicated relationship and frequently changing emotions and views of the twins.
by Andre' Buhagiar

Friday, February 20, 2015

Wonder by R J Palacio

A new addition to the school library is R J Palacio's bestseller Wonder. It tells the story of August Pullman, known as Auggie, as he struggles with his first year at a mainstream school. Auggie was born with a facial deformity and therefore he needed a lot of care that involved frequent (long) trips to the hospital. But now that he's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, Auggie is scared because he knows that it's going to be difficult being the new kid in school, especially because of the way that he looks. But despite appearances, Auggie is a normal boy, just like his classmates. Will this make it any easier?

What others have said of Wonder:

"A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder."
Kirkus Reviews

"Wonder's story unfolds through a series of point-of-view jumps, beginning in Auggie's head, then shifting to his sister, his friends, his sister's friends, and then back to him. It is through this device that Palacio manages to produce a story of intense action and intense introspection, a series of interiorized monologues that show the frailties and foibles behind each of Auggie's trials and hurts... it's a beautifully told lesson in empathy that requires that the reader find sympathy for each of the principle actors in the story."
Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

 "Palacio has an exceptional knack for writing realistic conversation and describing the thoughts and emotions of the characters. Everyone grows and develops as the story progresses, especially the middle school students. This is a fast read and would be a great discussion starter about love, support, and judging people on their appearance. A well-written, thought-provoking book."
School Library Journal


Book Trailer