British Novelist Michelle Paver meets Durrington High!!

author blog 1

A group of Durrington High students won a Waterstones competition to meet British Novelist Michelle Paver on tour of her new book, The Burning Shadow. We love to give our students the opportunity to meet inspiring people, and one Year 8 winner has written an account of the day:
Meeting Michelle Paver
It was quite exciting, being able to leave school behind and get on a mini-bus for a lovely trip out to meet Michelle Paver.
The trip itself was very interesting. I learnt a lot, and made some great new friends. I spoke to a girl named Imogen about the length of the journey and the crazy things that people talk about when on a mini-bus! After what seemed like a very long drive, we reached our destination.
Once inside Mrs Baker signed us in and we headed down to the atrium, admiring the space-pod looking ICT suite, and had our lunch. The students there were fascinated by the Seahorse logo on our blazers and seemed to find it hard to grasp that we were from DURRINGTON High School, not Sea-Unicorn School!! I don’t know why!

author blog 3

When we had packed up, we made our way into the cinema-like room and made sure we picked the best seats. Of course, there was always one person who wasn’t happy their seating arrangements so we had to shuffle around so he could sit in the “decent” spot! More schools piled in, and then we were finally ready to start.
Michelle Paver began talking about her latest Gods and Warriors book (which I got a copy of on the day- signed!) along with the Wolf Brother Chronicle of Ancient Darkness Series (which I will get round to reading, when I’ve finished Duncton Wood… but that’s another story!)
She went into detail about how she swam with Dolphins and climbed erupting Volcanos just to write about how it would be for her characters in the story. To make it real for the readers, and to be able to write about it the best she could. She told us about all the things that inspire her to write her stories which I, being a writer myself, found very interesting.
Michelle then asked everyone to name any body parts of an animal that they could think of. She then told us what her characters would have use it for, based on what the hunters in Ancient Greece and the Stone Age may have used them for, or even more gruesome, what they taste like! Trust me when I say, we had some crazy suggestions – but Michelle knew her stuff and had answers for each and every one!
Once her talk had ended, and after having the chance to ask some of our own questions, we lined up at the Waterstones stall to buy copies of books to get signed.
While she was signing our books, I had a look at some of the amazing artefacts that she’d brought with her to illustrate her talk. I was impressed by the handmade rope that she had spun out of Nettles – just as Hylas would have done; and the Deer Antler that she had shown us, which really was the ancient people’s Swiss Army Knife, able to do so many different tasks. I spoke with her about how I really looked forward to reading Wolf Brother (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Series) while I had a chance to look through some of the original manuscript for her first book.
All in all, the trip went with a bang! It’s a day I’ll remember and I’ve got some great new ideas to write about. This has been my Author Trip blog, Emily Howard 8ATa – Signing out!

author blog 2

Year 8 student video

Tonight sees the beginning of an exciting week at Durrington High School – Prospective Parents evening, followed by several open mornings next week. We have made a video of our Year 8 students explaining how they have found settling into the school. They talk about their favourite subjects, clubs and just generally “what they get up to”. This is partly so that we can share what our students are doing in school, but also to allow students who are thinking of coming to Durrington an insight into what they can expect if they are to join us.

We hope you enjoy watching the clips as much as our students enjoyed making them.

Year 8 Student Video

Mrs C Gardner