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George Abbot Pupils Get Creative, Writing On A Local Theme

Published on: 22 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 23 Mar, 2013

Year 8 pupils at George Abbot School in Burpham have been working hard in their English lessons writing stories, producing news sheets and leaflets based on a local theme.

Winning George Abbot School pupils in their writing competition, Archie, Sophie and Nishi, with English teacher Julie Simmons, the school's head of Key Stage 3 in English Gemma Willett and David Rose of The Guildford Dragon NEWS..

Winning George Abbot School pupils in their writing competition, Archie, Sophie and Nishi, with English teacher Julie Simmons, the school’s head of Key Stage 3 in English Gemma Willett and David Rose of The Guildford Dragon NEWS..

David Rose from the Guildford Dragon NEWS visited the school last month and talked to pupils about writing on the theme of Guildford.



He told them about his job as a journalist and as a local historian. The pupils then had the choice of writing either a local news story (one they could make up), a piece of creative writing based on Guildford – possibly with an historical theme, or produce an information leaflet based on the Guildford area.

Their teacher, Julie Simmons, announced there would be a prize for the best in each category, with David agreeing to choose the winners and also to publish the winning entries on The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

The winners were:  Archie for his leaflet Facts on Guildford Past and Present. Nishi for The Guildford Daily front page newspaper. Sophie for her creative writing story The Jack Wills Ghost.



David returned to the school on Friday, March  22, to present the winners with their Ester egg prizes and to chat to them about their winning entries.

Of those winning entries he said: “I thought Archie’s leaflet was good because he obviously went and did some research into the facts that he then produced on it. Reading them, they make you stop and think about Guildford’s rich history.

“Nishi’s front page, called The Guildford Daily, was a nicely balanced page – with a well written ‘lead’ story about George Abbot pupils climbing in the Himalays for charity. The story contained lots of facts and quotes – everything  a real news story should have. Plus, the page featured a side bar with tasters of further stories ‘inside’.



“Using the well known fashion store Jack Wills’ Guildford shop, Sophie wrote a really convincing ghost story with plenty of excellent description throughout. It was fast paced and scary!”

And here are the winners’ work. We have reproduced Archie’s leaflet and Nishi’s newspaper front page, and typed Sophie’s story.

Archie's leaflet on Guildford past and present.

Archie’s leaflet on Guildford past and present.

Nishi's front page of The Guildford Daily.

Nishi’s front page of The Guildford Daily.

The Jack Wills Ghost by Sophie

Have you heard of Jack Wills? ‘Course you have. It’s designer and up there with Holister and Superdry! Except it’s different, or at least the Guildford High Street branch is, because there’s a ghost in there. You don’t believe me do you? Why would you? Well you will after this…

I was in there, in Jack Wills one Saturday and I wanted to buy this cool T-shirt, so I went into the changing rooms to try it on. I was just about to close the door when it closed all by itself, before I had even touched the handle.

I felt a cold unpleasant sensation, like someone had just stepped on my grave. Spooked, I tried to get out, but the door wouldn’t budge. Panic! Cold and scared, I leaned against the door and fell out into the hot, stuffy shop as the door of the changing booth gave way, and I ran out not wanting to look back.

I headed straight for home in quite a state, but when I got there nobody was in. I had a bath to relax me, then called my friend and agreed to meet her at the local library: I wanted to find out about the buildings in that part of the High Street where the shop was.

Before I could find anything a huge brown book came hurtling towards me, narrowly missing my head. In a flash I saw a figure race around the corner, looking over its shoulder, as though it was being hunted like an animal.

I glanced at the book on the floor which was lying open at a page with a picture of a lady in an old-fashioned dress with the letters ‘JW’ embroidered on her chest; it was very heavy.

I sat down on a chair and my friend went to get some coffee. I hadn’t realised that she had filmed the whole thing on her mobile and when I asked her why she had, she said that she had seen a ‘ghost’! As she played the video back we sipped our hot drinks and I saw a flasback of someone’s past life.

The video showed a woman in her late forties running so fast towards me that it seemed that she could not stop and she ran straight through me! If I was scared before, I was now petrified.

Suddenly I am outside the Jack Wills shop in the High Street. Something makes me look up and I see a female figure at the upstairs window in the men’s clothing section. I go inside, I don’t want to but it’s like an invisible hand dragging me into the shop and upstairs. A pile of old musty clothes is lying on the floor but they are not really what I am looking at; I am looking at the ghostly figure of a woman in white staring straight at me! She smiles, but in a menacing way. I blink once and then… …. found myself back in the library with my friend who was looking at me as though I was a ghost. She screamed and ran out into the street, and as I ran after her I caught sight of my reflection in the library’s glass doors: a white face with a menacing smile was staring back at me.

I’m bewildered at what I see. Who am I? What have I become? I noticed some initials stitched on the breast of my very old-fashioned dress: ‘JW’. What did it all mean? I knew that I was wearing the old Jack Wills uniform because I had seen it in the library book.

Somehow I had slipped out of my own time and into the past. I knew I had to get back to the shop where it all started, back to the changing rooms where I had felt so cold and scared.

I walked as quickly as I could from the old library to the High Street and towards Jack Wills’ shop. It was as busy as I have ever seen it and my long dress was getting muddy as I crossed the cobbled street. I went through the old, black door of the shop, but of course, there were no modern changing rooms, just a red velvet curtain that I hid behind when no one was looking. I pinched my eyes tight shut and wished with all my might that I was back in my own time of 2013. I heard a whooshing sound like a wild wind and a soft and gentle whisper: “You are about to leave 1873. Hold tight young lady, you’ll soon be home.”

Then I’m back in my normal clothes, in the little changing room where my strange experience first began. There are noisy, busy Saturday shoppers all around me and I pinch myself hard to make sure that I am awake. Ouch! Phew! Thank goodness for that!

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