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Competition winners – Highcliffe

Wow – what lovely dragons and pumpkins you coloured for me! It was difficult to choose winners on merit because they were all good. So I chose the ones that I just felt I liked best. That’s what we call subjective – it was just my opinion, not the truth!

So congratulations to

Year 2: Toby, Luke, Joseph and Adele

Year 3: Lucy, Luke, Charlie and Sabrina

Years 4 and 5: Emily, Connor, Katy, Josh, Lewis and Isla

And here are the pictures:

Year 2 - the winning Splat! pictures

Year 2 – the winning Splat! pictures








Year 3 - the winning Farlkris pictures

Year 3 – the winning Farlkris pictures










Year 4/5 winning dragon pictures above and below

Year 4/5 winning dragon pictures above and below










year 4 and 5



School visit to Guisborough

Photo courtesy school website

Photo courtesy school website

Hi to everyone at Highcliffe Primary School in Guisborough.

Thank you so much for such a fabulous welcome when I visited on 7/8 November. It was amazing talking with you all and inventing stories together!

Right now, I’m going to remind you of what we did in assembly. And that was REPOH. Or how we get good by practising. Did you remember?

It goes:

R – repetition repetition (arms up or down for each syllable)

E – easy easy (two-hands thumbs up, left and right)

P – pleasure pleasure (use finger/thumb to make smiley shape on your mouth)

O – often often often often (fist and foot stamp, left then right, left then right)

H – habit habit habit Yeah! (clap/slide hands together – and do your Yeah any way you want)

Think of what you want to be good at and remind yourself all the time that practise makes perfect. Your brain can be tricked into remembering and doing it!

I’m looking forward to judging your competition entries!



It’s nearly November. I can almost smell the sulphur in the air as people let off fireworks and burn Guy Fawkes on their bonfires. Mind you, when one of us (Eleanor) lived in Leeds, it was much more fun to open the attic window and watch the fantastic display put on by the parks department in Roundhay Park. It was like watching hundred-pound notes burn!

Going to a big firework display is what Hannah and Kris do in Farkris. It’s a fabulous occasion, run by the school. But putting this scene in helped us continue the plot. This was in three ways:

1 Ru continues being horrible to Kris, and Kris can’t answer back. That would mean saying he is a dragon not a boy! This makes Kris even more annoyed and Ru starts to look for worse things to do to get even with Kris and Hannah.

2 We have fun with the fireworks, showing how they look and how people react. I bet you’ve seen amazing expressions on people’s  faces as they watch firework displays. The last one to be let off is called The Grand Unbeatable Bang Factory. Get that for a whizz name – we had fun inventing it!

3 But the most important thing that happens at the firework display is that people think they see a black outline of a dragon flying past among the storm clouds. You see, the mage power is growing weak, because they’re having to defend the layr against the toxin in the water. And now the dragons don’t have enough magic to always hide behind their clouds.

This last point leads up to the worst, most sad thing we’ve ever written in the dragon books – someone dies. You’ll have to read to find out who.

But we do wish you a safe and fabulous bonfire night this year.



A zentangle dragon takes shape

I was doodling on a dragon head the other day as I thought about what to do with a class I was visiting. And this is what appeared under my pen.

A zentangle Farlkris

I felt as if I was calmly mind-speaking with the dragons as I thought about life in the Great Hall underground where they all gather in the afternoons to speak and rest. Doodling is a really good way of dreaming up ideas – you could try it when you have to write a story in English!

If you haven’t heard about zentangle, you can find lots of stuff about it if you google “zentangle”. But we all doodle on our notebooks, and it’s just a new name for doing these regular patterns. I wanted to do them in a dragon shape because it made me think of Farlkris and Scordril and all the others.

I can’t now find the site where I downloaded the outline (but it was there to be downloaded and coloured, so they won’t mind too much). If you’d like a copy, you can get it from here until I find the original site.

More things that make Farlkris special

When I wrote that last post, I realised there were some more things I really like about this book. (Yes, I know I’m biased!)

One thing is the map at the start. You can have a look at it here. All the books I read as a kid had maps to show you where things happen. I especially like being able to visit the place to check it out myself.

The other  thing is the dragon dictionary. This is at the back of the book. It looks like this:

Dragon Dictionary

(The camera flash has made the words show through from the next page – sorry about that!)

But we like words, and it was fun to make up phrases using the words the dragons would use if you translated them into English.

With a map and a dictionary, you are set to enjoy the plot.

What I love about Farlkris

I mean the book, of course – though I do love Farlkris the dragon too. He is so funny as he gets to know how humans act and dress. You should see him trying to ride a bicycle!

Anyway here are five things I love about our second book.

1 We have Hannah going into the dragon layr early in the story so we see straight away how awesome it is. Can you imagine being morphed down a size or two to get through a manhole into the sewers? Holding the hand of a dragon??

2 We have a really terrible event happen when the baby dragon dies. I feel sorrow each time I read about it. Hannah and Kris were choked with grief.

3 I love the preparations for the annual town advent service. That’s in the run-up to Christmas, and some very special things happen as the dragons plan how to make the other children in the book  forget about seeing dragons.

4 I love the part played by Ru. She’s fed up at having a baby sister who takes up her mum’s time. Wouldn’t we all be? And she’s fed up that other kids have better clothes and boots because there’s no spare money. It makes her do something very horrible – but she later changes her mind, which is nice.

5 And I love the role magic plays in the book. Getting the magic right is very important in a fantasy story. You can’t just click your fingers and sort things out or there wouldn’t be a story!


World Book Day

Fantastic to come back to Sea View School in South Shields for another book day. I recognised one of you from the book club evening last summer!

We didn’t tell stories this time, we wrote dragon poems. The sort that don’t rhyme. We gathered together a “bank” of words to describe all the different parts of the dragons and then pulled out the ones we really liked to make into a poem.

Some of you were brave enough to read yours out – brilliant. I know others would have liked to, but there’s never enough time to do everything we want.

Here is the one I put together as an example:

There’s nothing like a dragon:
mauve-grey scales
glittering, glistening
enormous wings
unfurled like umbrellas
veins like black net.
Huge frightening dragons
with claws like daggers
sharp, smooth, cold.
Belching smoke and fire
and wanting to play with me.

We (that is, Kelsey Drake, two of us) wrote some special poems called acrostics a while ago, using the words Dragon and Morris. You can find them here.

If you can do one with the word Scordril, put it in the comment box underneath. We’d love to read them.