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Category Archives: English

Category : English , Library , News

Recently, we were visited by children’s author Peter J Murray. Peter delivered two engaging sessions for Year 7 and Year 8 in St. Anne’s Hall during the morning and were entertained by snippets from his novels Scabbajack and Dawn Demons.  At lunchtime, there was the opportunity to buy books and have them signed.

The students’ response to the morning was amazing: Pete regaled that in the last 15 years of visiting schools, he had never seen such a positive response to his book signing. Year 8 smashed his previous record as he sold out of books within half an hour. The demand was so high, he returned the following week with plenty more books for those who missed out the first time around.

Thank you to Peter for coming in spend time with our students and thank you to Mrs Healy in the Learning Resource Room for organising such a fantastic experience.

A selection of Peter J Murray’s books are available for reading in the Learning Resource Room and remember, if you are reading one of Pete’s books, you can take a QUIZ on Accelerated Reader to boost your scores!

Category : English , News

Before Christmas, the English Department dedicated two weeks to a Young Writers’ creative writing competition. Year 7 and 8 participated in the competition, writing 100 word ‘mini sagas’ based on a Mission Catastrophe theme; a narrative prompted by the idea of a natural disaster. The students worked incredibly hard on developing their narratives and, by the submission date, we had almost 300 entries!

We recently received the fantastic news that 189 of our submissions have been selected for publication in Mission Catastrophe: Stories From the North East. The department are absolutely thrilled to see the creativity and imagination of EMS students rewarded and we are extremely proud of every single student who took part in this fabulous opportunity. (Pictured: Macie, Wiktoria, Grace & Chantelle. Four of our published writers)

Those selected can now pre order a copy of the book to treasure as evidence that they are published writers! Those who were not selected received personalised feedback from the editors and are looking forward to honing their authorial skills in time for the next competition.

Mrs Bell, from the English department said: “As teachers, we know what wonderfully creative minds our students have but it is a wonderful feeling to see that rewarded in a competition such as this. Congratulations to everyone who took part; you should all be extremely proud of yourselves!” 

We now wait with bated breath whilst the editors continue to review entries from across the country. Next term, 5 winning writers will be chosen from over 24,000 entrants and one school will be awarded a cash prize of £1000 and a Young Writers’ Award of Excellence for the best set of entries. Fingers crossed!

We’ll bring you news of the results when we have it. Well done everyone!

Category : English , News


We’re delighted to announce our first ever English Martyrs Word Millionaires – just in time to celebrate World Book Day.

Students in years 7 and 8 are currently enrolled on the Accelerated Reader program where students are encouraged to read for pleasure for a minimum of 25 minutes every day.

The program, which was introduced originally to Year 7 last year, helps to improve literacy skills and encourage students to read more books.

After completing a book they then complete online quizzes and gain points.  This creates a healthy competition in school between individuals and form groups.

Since September, thirteen of our students have managed to read over one million words.  To put that into some sort of context, it’s just short of 6000 words per day.  I’m sure you would agree that’s a phenomenal achievement.

Our first EMS Word Millionaires are: Rowan Lawson, Ava Shelley, Nina Vallet, Eve Horton, Maisy Blossom Williamson, Oliver Gould, Oscar Jackson, Ashleigh Izzett, Gracie Young, Ethan Casey, Jake Fawcett, Brandon Davies and Evie Wallis.

The students have all been presented with a small trophy and certificate to recognise their immense effort.

English Teacher and Literacy Coordinator, Mrs Fox, who introduced the program, told us: “I couldn’t be happier that the students have got involved with the program and are reading more.”

“A book will enhance a child’s imagination and vocabulary – something that gets lost in this technological age.”

“To read so many words in just six months is incredible – I’m so proud of them all.”

Congratulations to all the students. Keep up the hard work.

If you are looking for inspiration on a great book suited to you, head over to our Recommended Reading page where there a loads of carefully selected books, arranged in age categories, for you to look through.  Most of these titles are available in the school library.