Monday, May 20th, 2013
‘Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories’
‘Steampunk’ refers to the hugely popular style that incorporates futuristic elements in a Victorian-era setting. Be prepared for all manner of clockwork gadgets, airships, steam-powered machinery, corsets and top hats. This collection of short stories is the perfect introduction to the genre. Check out our student review of the book here.
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Our Year 7 Reading Racers prize ceremony was held last week in assembly to reward our reading champions. Mrs Carah presented our prizes in the different categories.
First the winners of our grand prize – a trip to Crealy Great Adventure Park for the tutor group who read the most books in total. With a fantastic 234 books read, the winners were Mrs Beale and 7KLB. To the strains of Freddie Mercury singing ‘We are the Champions,’ Mrs Beale descended the hall steps to enjoy her moment of glory and receive her crown.
Next came the gold medal winners – all those students who had reached the Gold Lap of the Reading Racers challenge which involved reading 30 books. Each of the 19 students received a gold medal and a WHSmith voucher from Mrs Carah.
Finally our Reading Racers Champions were announced – the girl and boy who had read the most pages in total. This year they had read a combined 34,000 pages! Well done to Susannah B and Shaun R for their fantastic efforts. They each won a special illustrated hardback edition of ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien. Year 7 should feel very proud of themselves. Congratulations to all our winners and watch this space for news about our Crealy adventures later in the term!
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Book: ‘Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories’
Author: Various, including Cassandra Clare and Garth Nix
Review by: Joe B in Year 11
From the moment I first saw this book to the moment I finished reading it, I knew that I had found a solid, gripping book. From cover to blurb I was gripped by the excitement and detail that has gone into this amazing book.
The first thing I noticed was the contents page. I turned to it and already I was amazed at the interesting story names and already I was wondering what each individual story was about. Then the excitement of this book continued as I read on into the introduction; such an interesting and vivid description! The way the excellent language was used, the intruiging ways it has set up the words they use still has me gripping the book, begging for more, and the intricate use of different ways to make the reader want to keep reading this book is one of the things that makes me want to write this review.
And this is just the introduction! I haven’t even begun to go into the greatness of the actual stories themselves. I do not want to spoil anything for any future readers of this book so I will not reveal the plot, but I can assure you that they will make you laugh, cry and go back to the bookstore, bookshelf or the library you got it from and ask if they have anything else like it. And each story just gets better than the last, including plot twists and turns that will make you beg the writer to bring out more. And halfway through the book it turns into a comic with great graphics, detail to the characters and an even better dialogue. Then it goes back to a worded story and I have to literally shut my jaw which keeps opening at the grandness and splendour of this magnificent book that is filled with tales and chronicles.
This book is the very essence of steampunk and I feel that there is very little that can actually compare to it, if there is anything that can at all. I am glad that the librarian found me this book and I cannot wait to stumble across another work of pure brilliance just like it. If I was to give it a rating I would not be able to because this book is too magnificent and so inspiring that I will be unable to give it a simple number. But if I had to then I would give it 10/10 and a thousand more on top of that.
Friday, May 10th, 2013
My Name is Mina by David Almond
Mina doesn’t fit in, some people say she’s crazy, but she just wants to be herself, to be happy. One night Mina picks up an empty journal and begins to write. Through writing her thoughts down Mina discovers more about herself, her thoughts and her dreams.
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
The Escape by Robert Muchamore
It’s the summer of 1940 and millions of French civilians are on the run from Hitler’s advancing army. Meanwhile, after the death of their Father, two British children are being hunted by German agents. British Spy, Charles Henderson is determined to reach them first but he can only do this with the help of a twelve year old French orphan.
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Our lucky competition winners were rewarded last week with the much-anticipated trip to see ‘The Fast Show’ star and bestselling teen author Charlie Higson. Higson spent the day with students at Exmouth Community College and rounded off his visit with a presentation for specially selected students from several local schools.
The afternoon was introduced with the trailer for Higson’s latest book in his zombie series, ‘The Sacrifice’ and told about a worldwide competition to create the trailer for his next book. To watch the trailer and learn more about the books and the competition, check out Charlie’s website.
Higson talked about his previous work in television comedy and how he became a writer, as well as his love for zombie horror films! He was unimpressed with the current popularity of vampires – particularly the soppy vampires that teenage girls fall in love with (cough’Twilight’cough) – complaining that real vampires are savage bloodlusting monsters. He prefers zombies and loves to make his books as scary and gore-filled as possible. He made us all laugh with tales of using his sons as guinea pigs, reading them new chapters of ‘The Enemy’ as he wrote them, hoping to give them nightmares!
During the question and answer session Higson took two questions from West Exe students who asked intelligently about killing characters off (Charlie’s kids were all for this apparently!) and which charater he most disliked – the answer was a toss-up between David and The Collector, read the books to find out about these nasty pieces of work. At the end of Charlie’s talk we had the opportunity to buy his book and have them signed. We then travelled back to Exeter, happily reading our new books on the train.
We had a fantastic time on the trip. Some impressions from students included: ‘I thought he would be more serious but he was really funny. I have a better grasp on the books after seeing him.’
‘Author trips are really fun, I want to go on another one!
Monday, April 29th, 2013
The Enemy by Charlie Higson
When the sickness, a deadly zombie virus arrived, every adult became ill. The lucky ones died, but the others are hungry and now only children under fourteen remain. A gang of children hear rumours of a safe place to hide, but can they make it across London and survive?
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
The Community Fayre is coming up on the 11th May and the Library will be running a book stall.
If you have any books at home that you no longer want, please bring them in to the Library any time before the fayre so they can be sold.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Well done to the lucky winners of our competition who came up with survival plans for the event of the zombie apocalypse! The winners are:
Here are some of their zombie survival tips:
* Obtain a robust vehicle like a Land Rover or riot van.
* Gather supplies such as tinned and dried food
* Pretend to be a zombie to blend in
* Seek out other survivors/TRUST NO ONE
* Find a safe place to go e.g. Dartmoor Prison, Alaska
* Gather weapons to fight off attack
* If attacked, destroy the zombie’s brain to kill it
Some fantastic ideas there, let’s just hope we never have to use them…..!
The 15 winners will be rewarded with an afternoon off school to see author Charlie Higson at Exmouth Community College. Photos to follow…
Monday, April 15th, 2013
Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes
It is 1944 and Florence has been occupied by Nazi German forces. Despite this the Italian resistance movement have not given up hope and neither have Paolo and his sister. They only have a bicycle to help them against a whole army, but in extraordinary circumstances, people are capable of extraordinary things…
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
To be in with a chance to meet amazing celebrity and writer Charlie Higson just answer this question and hand or email to Miss Draisey in the Library:
How would YOU survive the zombie apocalypse??
Plan your zombie survival strategy over the Easter holidays…..
Friday, March 22nd, 2013
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Every year the Scorpio Races are ran on the beaches of Skarmouth. The riders know that to ride the water horses is extremely dangerous and may even lead to death. But still for some, the danger is irresistible…
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Following last year’s success, the Scholastic Book Fair is visiting the Library once more. The Book Fair will be open 21st-26th March 9am-4.30pm. Classes will be able to come and browse the shelves and parents are welcome to come in after school to choose books.
It will stock the latest and most popular Young Adult fiction and non-fiction, and there will also be posters and stationery to buy. The ideal opportunity to spend your World Book Day vouchers! Buying books will also help to get free books for the school Library, so come on down and have a look.
COMPETITION – To win vouchers to spend at the Book Fair simply send us the very best joke that you know! Answers can be given in to the Library for a chance to win (reading or Library-themed jokes are especially good).
Friday, March 15th, 2013
Win VIP tickets to see Charlie Higson, famous actor, comedian and author of the zombie series ‘The Enemy.’ He is seriously cool, I’m excited!
Simply answer this question in under 50 words:
How would YOU survive the zombie apocalypse??
To enter, email your answers to Miss Draisey or drop them by the Library by the 16th April. Good Luck!
Friday, March 15th, 2013
Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian.
Willie Beech is evacuated from London at the brink of WW2. Instead of being an ordeal, Willie finds that life is great in the care of old Tom Oakley. But a summons from his mother means he must return to London…
Monday, March 11th, 2013
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur
‘It was fun at first, playing house. Nothing to think about but TV and cheese. A perfect world.’ Eleven-year-old Aubrey is on her own after a tragic event. She is determined to hide away so she doesn’t have to face the truth. Can Aubrey begin to see that everything is not lost?
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Thursday 7th March 2013 is World Book Day. As always, we’ll be celebrating the day with a whole range of activities at West Exe.
At breaktime why not indulge in a spot of literary speed dating? Visit the Library, where the librarians will be championing their own favourite books and genres. You can speed date each librarian and then vote on the best presentation. We will also have the Scholastic book fair in school, where you can buy a fantastic range of the very best children’s literature, and spend your £1 voucher.
Every student will receive a £1 voucher. These can be spent on one of a special selection of £1 books, or redeemed against the value of a more expensive book. This year’s special £1 books are all listed on the WBD website http://www.worldbookday.com/books/. Participating bookshops will be displaying World Book Day posters and notices in their windows and in store. Tokens are valid until 24th March 2013.
Of course, our special big mystery event at lunchtime in the dining hall can’t be divulged yet, but it’ll be well worth being there to be part of it! Look out afterwards for news and photos.
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
World Book Day, a nationwide day to recognise and celebrate all things bookish, is nearly upon us! March 7th is the special day, and various events and activities will be happening throughout the school. Swing by the canteen at lunchtime perhaps…
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
The talents of one former West Exe student were highlighted at the end of February in KEVICC’s (King Edward VI Community College in Totnes) production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Freddie Garforth, a student here until July 2012 and former Head Student Librarian, had the honour of playing the lead role of Jesus. In a modernised version of the musical, featuring CCTV footage and news coverage of the events, Jesus’ status as leader of a very influential group and subsequent violent arrest and execution were explored with great commitment and emotion.
The set, built out of scaffolding and covered with graffiti from Jesus’ followers, served as gathering place, temple and eventual crucifixion site, and was lit to great effect to suggest the different scenarios. The scenes were enhanced by the use of projection, showing corporate logos (in the case of Caiaphas or Herod), news footage of Jesus’ arrest and CCTV shots of him being brutally beaten in prison. The costumes worn by Jesus’ followers (hoodies and jeans with boho hairstyles) suggested the disaffected youth that would be so seduced by such revolutionary thought, and had an almost hippie-like air of optimism in the idea of fighting violence with love and forgiveness. The priests and Herod wore the sharp suits and arrogant air of 1980s bankers, stressing their greed and interest in their own corporate image. After Jesus’ arrest, he was dressed in an orange jump suit and surrounded by fences of barbed wire, bringing to mind echoes of Guantanamo Bay and the mistreatment of prisoners.
The performances of the students involved were all superb and often impressively mature. The singing was excellent and carried out with conviction and depth of emotion, accompanied by a very able live band. But our own Freddie outshone them all with his pitch-perfect singing and involving acting. His portrayal of Jesus as an exceptional but confused young man, who doubts his role and questions his own faith, was both believable and very moving, especially the tragic denouement.
Congratulations to Freddie for his success, and we wish him the best of luck as he goes on to greater things!
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Left in charge of the family petrol station, Dylan sees all the people that come and go, and even knows what their favourite crisps are. But what is that mysterious convoy of lorries doing, and what are they carrying…?
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
‘Artemis Fowl’ – Eoin Colfer – At twelve years old Artemis Fowl is already a criminal mastermind, but when he kidnaps a fairy, little does he realise what exactly he’s taken on. These fairies are armed, dangerous and not playing by the rules…
Saturday, February 9th, 2013
A creative writing competition was held by the library at the end of the Autumn term. The brief was to write a story or poem based on the theme of fairy tales in fewer than 1000 words. We received many entries from students across the school. The competition was judged by Cathie Hartigan, chair of Exeter Writers and founder of CreativeWritingMatters. Cathie was very impressed by the standard of the entries received and eventually chose Euan M from year 9 as the winner for his story, ‘A Twist on the Tale’ and Aiden V from year 7 as runner up for his entry, ‘The Three Little Wolves’. Cathie came into school on the 6th of February to present Euan with his prize, a signed first edition of Phillip Pullman’s ‘Grimm Tales for Young and Old’ in assembly. Congratulations to both Euan and Aiden!
Pictured below, Euan with Cathie and West Exe assistant librarian Emma Coombes
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
BOOK OF THE WEEK
“Who Could That Be at This Hour?” – Lemony Snicket
The first book in a new series, “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” begins to tell the story of a
12 year old Lemony Snicket who is apprenticed to an incompetent detective and starts by asking
all the wrong questions…
Monday, January 28th, 2013
The winners of the writing competition have been announced – the winner was Euan M and the runner-up was Aiden V. The brief was to write a poem or short story based on the theme of Fairy Tales in fewer than 1000 words. The winners will be presented with their prizes by judge and local writer Cathie Hartigan on 6th February. Congratulations to Euan and Aiden for their great pieces!
Monday, January 21st, 2013
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz.
He was a schoolboy, now he’s an MI6 spy! Alex Rider has completed extensive SAS training and is ready to embark on his first mission. Alex quickly finds himself in mortal danger – his first mission may be his last…
Thursday, January 17th, 2013
COMPETITION – ‘Where’s Wally?’ is 25 years old! Walker books bring you this competition to celebrate. Ten lucky winners will win a goody bag full of Where’s Wally? books and treats. All you need to do is answer this question:
“Where would YOU hide to read a good book?”
To enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org putting “Where’s Wally?” in the subject line of the email form. Please include your full name, your age, the name and address of your school and your class. (It is VERY important that you give us the ADDRESS of your school, because there are lots of schools out there with similar names. If you win, we need to send your prize to the right school!). The names of the winners will be announced by the end of January 2013.
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman
Time is running out for thirteen-year-old Cameron – he needs a heart transplant and fast. The only way for Cameron to survive is a risky operation that’s never been done before… What will he decide?
Available to borrow from the Library.
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
‘Grimm Tales for Young and Old’
Write a short story or poem to win a signed copy of Philip Pullman’s new book
Your piece must be:
- 1000 words or fewer
- Based on the theme of Fairy tales
- Submitted to the LRC by 21st December 2012
The entries will be judged by Cathie Hartigan; writer, chair of Exeter Writers and founder of CreativeWritingMatters.
The winning piece will be published in West Express and online at www.creativewritingmatters.co.uk
Monday, December 17th, 2012
em>A Series of Unfortunate Events : The Bad Beginning By Lemony Snicket
When the Baudelaire children are orphaned by a terrible fire, they are sent to live with their cousin Count Olaf and their lives take an unfortunate turn for the worst…
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce. A magical tale of a boy who discovers a garden that only appears when the clock strikes thirteen…
Monday, December 3rd, 2012
‘Skellig’ by David Almond. Winner of the Carnegie Medal in 1998, this unique and haunting book will stay with you long after you turn the last page. A boy finds a strange creature in his garage. Who is he, and how will this affect things…? Read it to find out!
‘Skellig’ is available to borrow from the Library.
Monday, November 26th, 2012
‘The Sky is Everywhere’ by Jandy Nelson. A powerful and compelling book about heartbreak and the joy of falling in love. Available to borrow from the Library.
Monday, November 19th, 2012
We have a vacancy for a student librarian, to help run the library and issue/collect books and help other students. Have you got what it takes?
If you are in Year 10 doing your D of E award, could this be your service element?
Collect an application form from the LRC today!
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
Reading Racers got off to a cracking start this week after the launch assembly on Friday. All year sevens take part in this challenge to read as much as possible over the next few months, completing challenges along the way. After each ‘lap’ they collect a badge and certificate, and score points for their tutor group. At the end of the competition, the winning tutor group will be rewarded with a trip to Crealy Great Adventure Park. The LRC has already been inundated with keen readers looking for a good book, and one person has already finished their green lap! Good luck to all year sevens, and happy reading!
Friday, September 28th, 2012
West Exe library manager Leah Shaw’s last day with us was Friday 28th September. Leah has done remarkable things in the library during her years at West Exe. We will remember her passion for books, her dedication to encouraging all who came into her library to read for enjoyment, her innovative and inspirational ideas for making literature come to life, her use of digital technologies to enhance literacy, and the quiet respect afforded to her by all. Perhaps her most noticeable triumphs each year were the Carnegie Medal shadowing group and their superb performances, and the events she organised for World Book Day, but whatever she did, Miss Shaw did it very well
She will be much missed by students and staff alike, and we wish her success and happiness in her new post in Bristol.
The student librarians and her colleagues have recorded their farewells and appreciation of her time with us in a video clip put together by Victoria L of Year 9.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
THE COMPETITION: Create a 5-word sentence using these letters: READS
THE PRIZE: A trip to the Bath Children’s Literature Festival to see Anthony Horowitz, Helen Dunmore and Simon Mayo
THE WINNING SENTENCES (in no particular order):
Rivers Ebb Against Distant Shores
(Christian J, 8SEQ)
Rhinos Eating Arsenic Die Slowly
(Emma B, 9SAB)
Really Eccentric Albanians Detest Serbs
(Tom C, 9KKP)
Rabid Emus Annihilate Draconian Sandwiches
(Euan M 9RJC)
Radiant Earthworms Assassinate Depressed Snakes
Restoring Excellent Art Decides Superbness
Really Evil Antelopes Deserve Sausages
(Jai P, 7BJS)
Reading Exaggerated Applications Disintegrates Smiles
Reality Eats All Dreams Sadly
(Sophie S, 8KA)
Random Earlobes Always Disappoint Snares
(Jonathan W, 8PIW)
Thank you to everyone who took part. We had lots of excellent entries and it was difficult (but also great fun) to pick winners. A display showing all the entries will be up in the ICT corridor soon!
Runners up- please collect your prizes from the LRC:
Emma H, 10PF
Kane B, 10OWH
Nicole S, 10OWH
Kat S, 9SAB
Abby T, 9SAB
Matthew M, 9DMC
Josh P, 9SAB
Travis M, 9SAB
Luke H, 8KA
Lauren S, 7BJS
Lucy S, 7BJS
Olivia C, 7BJS
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
Will you be a student at West Exe in September? If so, why not enter our competition to win tickets to see award winning authors Anthony Horowitz, Helen Dunmore and DJ-turned-author Simon Mayo at the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature!
All you have to do is use the letters shown below to write a five word sentence, one letter for each word.
R E A D S
RED EGGS ARE DANGEROUSLY SALTY
RISK EATING ANTHONY’S DAMP SOCKS
Your sentences don’t have to make logical sense, but they do have to make grammatical sense and the first letters of each word must spell out the word ‘READS’! The most imaginative entries will win and you can submit as many sentences as you like.
How to enter: Email your sentences to LRC@westexetc.devon.sch.uk or drop your entry at the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) by Friday, 14th September 2012. The competition is open to everyone who will be a student at West Exe for the 2012/13 academic year.
Monday, August 13th, 2012
Did you know that students who don’t read over the summer holidays may lose up to three months of reading progress?
Don’t forget that everyone at West Exe may borrow up to 6 books to read over the summer holidays (as long as you don’t have any overdue books).
If you’re stuck for inspiration, why not visit the Learning Resources Centre for a recommendation or take a look at this Summer Reading Flowchart:
Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
88,000 hours of reading were logged across the country in The Big Diamond Jubilee Read. Well done to all the Year 7 and 8 students who took part and contributed to this national total. The winners have just been published on the National Literacy Trust’s website. Click here to find out who won!
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
Will you be starting at West Exe this September? If so, we want to know what YOU want to read when you arrive.
We’re offering all new students the chance to request a book for the Learning Resources centre (LRC).
You will be given a special postcard when you visit for your Welcome Day on Thursday. We want you to use the postcard to choose a book that you would like to read during your first term at West Exe. If we don’t already have the book in our collection, we’ll buy a copy for the LRC, ready for you to borrow.
Postcards can be posted to us during the summer holidays, dropped off at Main Reception or you can email your book request to LRC@westexetc.devon.sch.uk
Please make sure you tell us the following information:
* Book title
* Your name
* The name of your primary school
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Your LRC needs you!
Are you responsible, hardworking and reliable?
Would you like to make a difference in the LRC?
If so, come and collect your application form from the LRC today. Applications must be in by 3pm on Friday, 13th July.
Thursday, July 5th, 2012
Carnegie Medal Shadowing group 2012 – This year our Year 9 Carnegie group chose to create their performance based on the winning book, Patrick Ness’s A monster calls. We performed this on Carnegie Day to visiting groups from other local schools and former Carnegie Medal winner Mal Peet. See the performance here.
Stop motion animation of A monster calls – Kane B of Year 9 has produced an animation of the Carnegie winner! See it here.
Friday, June 22nd, 2012
Have you completed the challenge? Don’t forget to let your English teacher know so that you can be entered into the prize draw. If you are in Miss Wood’s group, please submit your completed passport to Miss Shaw. The deadline is FRIDAY, 29th JUNE
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
…Patrick Ness for his book A Monster Calls. He is the only the second author to win the award two years in a row. It is the first time that the Carnegie medal for literature and the Kate Greenaway medal for illustration have been awarded to the same book.
A Monster Calls is the story of thirteen year old Conor O’Malley’s struggle to come to terms with his mother’s life-threatening illness. He is visited by a monster, a giant yew tree, who tells Conor three stories. Conor’s isolation and fear is perfectly captured in this compelling and heart-breaking tale that reaches a painful conclusion with the fourth and final tale. This time, the roles are reversed and Conor must tell the monster the story of his nightmare and face the secret he has been hiding.
Students from Miss Butcher and Miss Cooper’s English classes gave a fantastic performance championing A Monster Calls at the Carnegie Schools’ competition on 14th June. The event was hosted by the brilliant Mal Peet, who won the Carnegie Medal in 2006 (and whose book Life: An Exploded Diagram should have made it onto this year’s shortlist!).
The students chose to portray key scenes from A Monster Calls, starting with the introduction of the monster, forming part of Conor’s nightmare. Their second scene depicted the harrowing treatment that Conor endured at the hands of school bullies. In the third scene, the students switched from drama to animation to tell the monster’s first tale. Finally, the group captured Conor’s psychological state; he is pushed to trash his grandmother’s house following a confrontation with his unsupportive father.
The students shown below put in many hours of work in their own time, rehearsing the performance and working on the animation, not to mention reading the books on the Carnegie shortlist! Well done!
Daniel S (Conor)
Darren S (The Monster)
Sarah G-J (Conor’s father)
Rosie S (Miss Kwan)
Emmie L (Lily)
Trafford P (stop motion animation)
Beth C (director and understudy)
Daniel S (technical support)
Don’t forget that all the books on this year’s Carnegie shortlist, including A Monster Calls, are available to borrow from the Learning Resources Centre!
Monday, June 11th, 2012
ORIGAMI CLUB (Starting new this half term) – Friday lunchtime Week 2 in the LRC. Make anything out of paper (e.g. aeroplanes and animals). Join today
CHESS CLUB (Starting new this half term) – Friday lunchtime Week 1 in the LRC. Play against your friends and challenge them. We have chess boards like Simpson’s Chess! Join today – ask James H and Travis M (8RTW) for details