Wiki Wars!

14 Oct

Hello Year 11!

Yesterday saw the first successful trial of a Wiki War. I hope you are not too bruised, and that you have thought about how you can improve your chances of victory next time around. Round two will be coming soon!

I have been reading through your battles, and am pleased that so many of you were getting so heated about the poems. Keep using it as a resource – it’s there for you, remember.

I’ll try and stay out of it, unless you say something I really disagree with, in which case you better be ready to face the might of Mr Neville. Victor has already tried, and I definitely won that battle.

Click on the image below to be taken straight to the Wikispace.








Mr Neville


Soar Valley Library Blog

2 Sep

Hello everyone!

In case you weren’t aware, big things are happening in the library at the moment. Very big things. Firstly, the Carnegie Medal book awards will be hosting their shortlisting meeting here later in the year. This is massive news for the library and the school as a whole, and means that there will be lots of exciting activities happening around the library all year.

(Click on the picture of Neil Gaiman, holding his own Carnegie Medal, to go to their website.)

Secondly, the library now has its own blog, just like this one, where you can suggest ideas, comment on books and even request the books you would like to see in your library. Click the picture below to go straight there!

That’s all for now!

PS: I almost forgot… Welcome back!

Blog Relaunch!

17 Jul

Hello SVC students!

You might have noticed the blog has had a little bit of a redesign. I thought it was beginning to look a bit dated, so I’ve given it a fresh new look! Let me know what you think!

There will be much more content on here soon, so keep checking back! Book reviews, homework, useful links, cool things to read and loads more and will be available, starting now! I’ll also be publishing some of your work on here to a global audience, so check back soon to see if your work has been featured!

Make sure you add this to your favourites or bookmarks at home. Forget YouTube and Facebookthis is truly the place to be!


Mr Neville

Year 7 Mini Sagas!

15 Jul


Here are some of Year 7’s mini sagas. The rules were simple:

  1. Your story must have a beginning, middle and end.
  2. It must be exactly 50 words (or plus 2 either way!)
  3. It must be excellent!

So, here are some efforts!

Cautiously, I surveyed the desolate house. Cobwebs brushed against my skin as I trampled over the flattened boxes. Shivering with dismay, sweat poured down my face. Why had I come back? My heart was pounding ferociously. The room illuminated. I froze. From the shadows a sneering clown lunged at me…

– Komal

I could not stand being here,
But I had to take my punishment.
Everything is so lonesome in here.
I remember how I killed my parents, my brother and sister in the deadly fire.
Being the only survivor I was to blame,
I never meant to kill them,
Or me…

– Shivani

Completely inseparable, the four puppies always played together. They were friends and the owners were friends too. One day, they went to walk in the park releasing the puppies to play. They played together. Happy together, the owners went to buy something. When they returned, the puppies had disappeared… forever?

– Shiam

It was the hottest day of the year, but no one noticed the sun was not there until it was too late. The time had come; the explosion was only a few minutes away. Everyone was preparing, NASA and the army have made a bomb to stop it.

But do they?

– Ryan

“Please, help my daughter. Anyone!” Katherine darted through the hospital doors with Emily in her arms. She had been shot in the head and the doctor pronounced her death at 2:36pm. Katherine staggered back to the forest. There was a loud bang; nobody ever saw Katherine again. Where is she? Nobody knows…

– Roshni

“I’m not normal…”
“Don’t say that. Just remember, up is never where you are now. Those who think that sky is the limit have limited imagination”, the boy whispered. “After all, you are truly beautiful.”
The girl smiled innocently. “Really?” she mumbled.
“More than you will ever know.” And he vanished.

– Monica

It was time. Our team stepped onto the pitch. The awe-inspiring match had started. Germany snatched the ball immediately, but failed to score in the first half. A corner! It was time to make history. The ball flew furiously. Puyol was charging in from defence to header it. Would he score it….?

“£10 Spain to win!”

– Milan

Centuries ago in the town of Hampshire lived an evil dragon called Draco, who raided the town. However a man came to offer to kill the dragon for fifty gold coins. He was successful, the dragon was slain but was he really? Draco and the slayer were working together. Beware!

– Manpreet

Amy heard an echo from somewhere. What was that? Amy entered the haunted, spooky mansion.  There were eary noises, glowing spider webs and hollow traps. Suddenly, the windy storm appeared. Flashing lights. LIGHTNING! Her eyes were turning blood red! She screamed for help! The hollowed trap opened and she vanished…  

– Jessica

I sat beside him on the park bench. Leaning over, he gently whispered’’ I will never leave you’’. Then closed his eyes and fell back on the bench. I continued talking to him, he didn’t reply. I touched his hand desperate to hear his heartbeat. It didn’t. He was dead…

– Jenny

The fight started. People cheering… the bell rings. They started circling and the fat guy started shouting his mouth off. One lunged in! The fat guy got floored, and everybody laughs. It was pure humiliation, but he had it coming to him. He got too cocky; serves him right! Knock out!

– Jason

The place mankind thought was a legend. The key to… what was that? Something huge glared its luminous eyes at me. My hands shook with fear. I saw a door. I ran in and slammed the door. I picked something divine off the floor. “Can I buy this video game?”

– Hoshil

“Wow” he whispered. He was unsure of this thing. What could it be? It was gigantic. It was taller than any skyscraper, and it was alive. He cautiously approached this ‘thing’. Suddenly, a burst of light punched through the darkness. Following a squeal it shrank, leaving nothing but a crystal.

– Ellie

As Clare walked into her apartment door a huge gush of wind sent shivers down her spine. The door slammed shut! She paced to her window, and just when she was about to close it she saw a figure. Then she heard a voice.

“Your fate will be decided today.”

– Dhara

Damian Marley horrifically strangled his opponent Mr Neville. He tried to escape but Marley’s dreadlocks were too strong. Neville’s face went purple and Marley panicked. As he loosened his dreadlocks Mr. Neville got him into a submission. The crowd were going crazy and the commentators were too, then something surprising happened.

– Jamie

I sat there waiting. Slowly the seconds ticked; it seemed endless. Agony! Patience was fading away. I soon started staggering. Halfway, the waitress announced, “coffee is ready!” I raced towards the counter then I saw him. We both reached for the coffee. TWO lovers, ONE coffee.

Love at first sight.– Ankita

“This is what a match is” bellowed the commentators. “A match with two awe inspiring teams” he excitedly said. As the players were waiting for the loud whistle approaching, they were feeling shaken because these teams have had great history.

– Akash

As the whistle is blown both teams march onto the pitch and the match had begun. Holland had the ball “No Slovakia overtook it” but they managed to get the ball back!!! Holland has scored. Then 2 minutes to go can they manage? After 32 years the cup is finally theirs.– Abdi

Year 10 – Christmas Homework!

21 Dec

Greetings Year 10.

Here’s your homework for Christmas. Sorry it’s late – my laptop died an inconvenient and untimely death over the weekend and it’s been a struggle for me to get online. Anyway, click the link below to download the file to your computer:

POCAT Chart – Homework

You should begin by filling in the first three columns on Attitudes and ideas, Language and Structure. The fourth column, Concerns, should only be filled in if you think the poet expresses a clear concern ( – an example of this would be John Agard’s concern at the use of an offensive term in the poem ‘Half Caste’).

The fifth column is where you should link the poem with others from the sheet. Make you sure make notes on your reasons as well as listing the poems you think would be fit for comparison.

Any questions you have, leave a post on the blog and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

A very merry Christmas to one and all. I hope Santa is kind.

Ho ho ho.

Harry Patch

9 Aug

harry-patchLast week saw the funeral of Harry Patch. Harry was the last surviving soldier to have fought in the trenches during the First World War (1914 – 1918). He was also, at the age of 111, the oldest man in Europe at the time of his death. Harry was 16 when war broke out, no older than many of you at Soar Valley, and a mere 20 when it finally ended.

After fighting in the First World War, Harry returned to normal life. As he was too old to fight during the Second World War (1939 – 1945), he helped people by working as a part-time fireman, fighting the fires caused by German bombing raids over Britain. For decades Harry kept silent about what he had experienced during the First World War, and it wasn’t until 1998, when Harry was 100 years old, that he was persuaded to tell the world of his experiences.

In his book The Last Tommy, Harry recalled one particular moment when he came face to face with a German soldier. Harry hated war and felt that killing in wars was “organised murder, and nothing else”. Faced with the German soldier, Harry was unable to kill his enemy. Instead, he shot him in the shoulder, forcing the German soldier to drop his rifle. Unarmed and wounded, the German soldier ran towards Harry in an effort to continue the fight hand-to-hand. Still unable to kill the man, Harry shot him in the knee and the ankle. Harry said, “I had about five seconds to make the decision. I brought him down, but I didn’t kill him.”

As I read this last week I thought about Thomas Hardy’s poem ‘The Man He Killed’. Thomas Hardy wasn’t writing about Harry Patch or even the First World War when he wrote the poem, but he shared Harry Patch’s confusion about war and the killing of an enemy soldier. Of course In ‘The Man He Killed’, the enemy soldier is killed by the speaker. The speaker is clearly troubled by their act, questioning it over and over in an attempt to justify the killing. I imagine if Harry had killed the German that faced him that day, his conscience would have plagued him much like the speaker in the poem.

The Man He Killed

Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have set us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

I shot him dead because –
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although

He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
Off-hand like – just as I –
Was out of work – had sold his traps –
No other reason why.

Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat, if met where any bar is,
Or help to half a crown.

Sir Bobby Robson (1933 – 2009)

1 Aug


Sir Robert William “BobbyRobson CBE (18 February 1933 – 31 July 2009)

I’m willing to bet that most of you reading this post will be unfamiliar with the life of Sir Bobby Robson, but you will have no doubt seen the news of his death early yesterday morning, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. For the uninitiated, Sir Bobby Robson was a giant within the world of football. He both played for and managed England, as well as being a very successful manager at Ipswich Town, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, FC Porto and Barcelona. Bobby’s managerial CV read like a ‘who’s who’ of European football at the time, and Bobby was special to many, many football fans all over Europe.

Bobby Robson was a special man to me, too. He managed the England football team during the Italia 90 World Cup, where we came within inches of making the final. This was my first real memory of football. I was 8 years old, and on holiday with my family during the tournament. I would sit with my father watching the matches late at night after my mother and sister had long since gone to bed. We were holidaying on a cramped narrow boat, and the television was of extremely poor quality; none of the HD ready 50 inch monsters many of you will be used to today. Static crackled across the screen. I remember sitting with my dad, squinting through the interference, absorbing the almost impossibly green Italian pitches as England battled their way to the semi-finals. From what I remember, my father used this as an opportunity to teach me the rules of the game. After having the offside rule explained to me for the ninth time, I feigned understanding, knowing that I was never going to get my head around it, no matter how many salt shakers my father employed in an attempt to educate his son to the intricacies of the beautiful game.

bryan_robson_1986_460_460x300Every so often the camera would cut to a greying man in a suit, conspicuous amongst the line of tracksuit-clad players on the bench. He watched intently, occasionally getting up to shout instructions to the team or mutter some tactical information to his support staff. This was my first introduction to Bobby Robson, and something about the man made me instantly warm to him. Perhaps it was my father telling me he was from a very similar part of the world to my family. Being on holiday, hundreds of miles away from home, and realising this man – this manager of England – was from my part of the world, made me fizz with pride, and only served to make me feel closer to both the man and the team. I was inconsolable when England failed to make the final, and I hardly remember anything else about the whole family holiday, much to my mother’s dismay.

For a young boy growing up, there could be few better role models than Bobby. He tackled everything with the qualities his parents instilled in him as a boy: honesty, enthusiasm, good humour and lots of hard work. He often spoke with pride of how his father only missed one shift in 51 years as a miner. Bobby used all of these qualities to fight the devastating illness that finally caught up with him. First diagnosed with cancer in 1991, Bobby refused to succumb, enduring intensive treatment and major operations as he battled to continue his work as a world-class manager. Despite suffering from numerous life-threatening tumours in the years that followed, Bobby carried on working where other men would have simply surrendered to their fate.

And he did it, too. Many people were unaware of Bobby’s battle. He was from a time when you didn’t sell tales of your private life to the highest bidder, or allow television cameras to intrude into the lives of your family for profit. He just went about his business quietly and enthusiastically, successfully managing many top European teams throughout the nineties. At PSV Eindhoven he worked with the Brazilian legend Romario. After moving to Sporting, he worked alongside a young Portugese interpreter by the name of Jose Mourinho, and imparted to him many years of managerial experience. He then went to Porto, where he nurtured the talent of another legend of the game, Luis Figo. In 1996 he accepted one of football’s top jobs, becoming manager of Barcelona, where he was again joined by the young interpreter Mourinho. In fact, Bobby made Mourinho’s move with him a condition of his employment. He certainly had an eye for talent – a point proved by the signing of the Brazilian striker robsonMOS0107_468x316Ronaldo, arguably one of the greatest natural talents to ever play the game. One glance at the websites of any of these great teams today will show you how Bobby was regarded by those in the game. I’ll let you go and do that yourselves.

In later years, as I was finishing school and starting university, Bobby Robson took charge of the team he had supported as a boy. My team. Newcastle United. I mentioned earlier that Bobby was from a similar part of the world to my family. The son of a coal miner, he was brought up in the village of Langley Park, and regularly travelled with his father and brothers to Newcastle’s stadium, St James’ Park, often walking many miles for the privilege. It is a cliché to say it, but the man bled black and white. When he became Newcastle manager it felt as though, for the first time in years, Newcastle was in truly safe hands. He was keen to teach his young, over-paid players about the merits of hard work, at a time when many of Newcastle’s players seemed content to put in lazy performances in exchange for vast quantities of money. Famously, he once took his whole squad to an open air mining museum in County Durham in an effort to teach them about real work. As Bobby later recalled, “They didn’t like it. I quite liked it. It was a good idea.” In his last three seasons in at the club, he guided the team to 4th, 3rd and 5th place finishes. What Newcastle would give for that kind of stability now.

I was touched yesterday by the numbers of people queueing up to pay their respects to Bobby after the news of his death broke. From former team mates and world class managers to the ordinary man on the street, everyone seemed to want to pay their respects and tell their own personal anecdotes about the man. The words “gentleman” and “legend” are bandied about too much nowadays, often in reference to people who arguably don’t deserve such epithets. But Bobby was both, and the world is now a poorer place without him. I’ll leave the final word to Alex Ferguson:

“In my 23 years working in England there is not a person I would put an inch above Bobby Robson. I mourn the passing of a great friend, a wonderful individual, a tremendous football man and somebody with passion and knowledge of the game that was unsurpassed. His character was hewn out of the coal face, developed by the Durham mining background that he came from. His parents instilled in him the discipline and standards which forged the character of a genuinely colossal human being.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Gan canny, Bobby. You’ll be greatly missed.