Greek and Norse Mythology

Last term, Year 7 explored a wide range of Greek and Norse mythology. Many students also read an abridged version of The Odyssey. Students were then tasked with writing their own myth, bringing together all they had learned. The level of intertextuality was impressive – they were a pleasure to read.

Mrs Snowdon

Curriculum Leader for English

The Myth of Poseidon and Thor (- written by Lilah in Year 7)

In the cloudy fog above Midgard, home of the humans, Loki was plotting. His thin, ghostly fingers ran along his stubby chin and his striking grass green eyes narrowed as thin as sheets of paper. He hadn’t had a cunning plan for months (actually it had been a week since he cut Sif’s hair again) so he needed one, fast and he had just found the perfect idea…

As daylight came to sunset and sunset came to moonlight, and the moon’s roads of light shot across Asgard, Loki was there. Watching. Waiting. With cunning, Loki shot across the airy corridors, so fast his feet barely touched the floor and entered the last room on the corridor.

Hurried, he burst through the door. It was a very, very peculiar room. It had no ceilings. No floors. No windows. No walls. All there was, was a chair. The Hlidskjalf. A chair that could see anything and everything.

With great satisfaction, he took a seat. Yet, what he saw though was indescribable. He saw everyone from Midgard. Everyone from Asgard. And something more. A planet. A planet called Earth, with gods and wars and humans. He zoomed in on a god in particular, Poseidon. He was the god of the Ocean. His hair was as blue as can be and his face was sweating with anger. Magically, he was creating storms too. Sea storms. Loki, delighted, rocked back on the chair and cackled, “I am the god of mischief. The only god of mischief and so is Thor but not for long!” And with that, he morphed into a fly and buzzed off.

Later that day, Loki took Thor into the Hlidskjalf room and showed him the wonderful fantasy of this god, Poseidon. As pangs of jealousy wounded Thor’s body furiously, Thor clenched his fists and punched the images that flashed through the air of this seaside superhero as they diffused into nothingness. “I cannot have this. I am the God of Thunder, the only God of Thunder. I will go down there and put a stop to this. Once and for all!” he roared. With that, he stormed out of the room and slammed the door shut, leaving it quaking on its brass hinges.

A week or so later, Thor had concocted a mischievous plan. So that he could sneak down to Earth, he gifted Odin with a holiday; a break from this mythical land. A break from Loki’s schemes. So he accepted, with great delight, and later that day set off on his journey.

Shortly after, Thor took his hammer, and set off on his own journey to Greece.

Meanwhile, Zeus (in Greece) was setting off on his own voyage. He needed to go thank the King and Queen who lived on the Brass Islands for their riches and expenses that had been gifted to him. Delighted, Zeus set off on his black prowed ship, bobbling across the ocean and of course, Poseidon held the waves still and tamed the three-headed beast Scylla, as Zeus floated by on his black prowed ship. Little did he know that those waves wouldn’t be calm much more…

Rapidly, Thor was soaring down. Crash! In the blink of an eye, Thor came crashing down to Earth, holding his hammer up high he thundered “Good day, weaklings, I am here to take my thunder back!”

“Weaklings you say, we don’t know who you even are. But if there’s one sea storm god, it’s me. So shoo, you darn peasant.” Poseidon taunted, whirling tsunamis hurtling towards Thor. Yet Thor smashed his hammer down, which raised Poseidon’s head of waves as high as the mountains. Fuming, Poseidon sent gargantuan tidal waves but Thor stayed put. While all this was happening, Zeus’ black, fast prowed ship was sent tossing through the waves.

Finally, Zeus had had enough. He majestically rose above the ocean, this giant figure, while his grey tendrils of hair darkened the sky like storm clouds. Time stood still. Not a muscle moved. Not a wave lapped the sandy shores. Poseidon and Thor shrank back terrified.

Angered, Zeus hissed “Imagine all the sailors you’ve killed you fools! As the God of Weather, I have no choice but to punish you both.” Zeus had an unnerving grin. The two gods watched in amazement; too stunned to even speak!

So after careful thinking, Zeus found them a gruelling punishment. And with the click of his fingers, he summoned all the power from the two gods and banished them to the underworld for some ‘thinking time’.

So now, Zeus (God of Weather) is the only immortal who can make sea storms. And he decided that they had to be made by a crucial temperature of the water and ocean depth. And hurricanes are made when warm moist air over water begins to rise. So when you see all those huge, guillotine blades of water cycloning around, think of Zeus, think of Thor and Poseidon, but most of all, think of the man behind it all – Loki. 

An Inspector Calls

On Wednesday, our Year 10 and 11 Drama students had the incredible opportunity to take a trip to the theatre to see Stephen Daldry’s multi award-winning National Theatre production of ‘An Inspector Calls’. This play, written by J.B. Priestley in 1945, tells the story of the Birling family, who are visited by a mysterious inspector who is investigating the death of a young girl.

As soon as we arrived at the theatre, we were struck by the incredible, albeit unusual, set design. The acting was brilliant, with each member of the cast bringing their own unique interpretation to their characters.

One of the most striking things about this production was the way it dealt with themes of social responsibility and class division. The inspector’s investigation forces the Birling family to confront the ways in which their actions have contributed to the tragic death of the young girl, and raises important questions about the role that each of us plays in shaping society. As a group, we discussed these themes and the ways in which they resonate with issues that we see in the world today.

Overall, the experience of seeing this production was brilliant for both students and staff. It will definitely help contribute towards our study of the play.

Miss Garlick

English & Drama Department

Reading Extravaganza

As you will be aware, reading is the gateway to learning. We are developing a real culture of reading within PGHS. It is visible as you walk through the corridors and through social spaces in school as so many of our students are immersed in books. Reading is at the forefront of our curriculum in English and is a key component of every lesson. Last year KS3 read 45 books in the classroom, totalling 1,609,000 words. This means 89,389 words per class! These books are all read aloud and so on average, through class readers alone, every student was exposed to nearly 90,000 words through reading for pleasure. This is before any reading that is done as part of the planned curriculum.

Mrs Deborah Snowdon

Curriculum Leader for English

“THE TAMING OF THE CHAV” aka “THE TAMING OF THE SHREW”

On a freezing cold morning of Friday 9th December, all our Year 9s and Year 10s assembled in the hall to watch Runshaw College drama students perform their alternative version of Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. This text is studied at the end of Year 9 in the English department so for Year 10, it was reflecting on the play and for Year 9, it was anticipating studying the play.

The subtle change from ‘shrew’ to ‘chav’ was the focus of the drama students from Runshaw. The company of 12 staged a lively, comical and unusual version of the play, packed into 40 minutes. Katherina, the ‘untameable’ shrew was a Liverpudlian chav feared by all men and women. Her poor sister, Bianca, is unable to marry Lucentio until someone agrees to marry Katherina first. The brave man to try to tame the formidable shrew is Petruccio.

The play was the perfect vehicle for the Runshaw drama students to show their versatility: through a mixture of physical theatre, slapstick comedy and high energy, they presented an alternative version of Shakespeare’s play using a clever blend of stereotyping and originality. Their soundtrack from Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ to Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ helped drive the themes home to the audience.

It was a memorable and enjoyable production which put Runshaw’s individual twist on Shakespeare’s masterpiece. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the production. The applause at the end bore testimony to this.

Thank you to Runshaw drama students. We look forward to hosting their new production next year.

Mr Oliver,

English Department

Divorced…Beheaded…Live!

Divorced… Beheaded… Live!
English Department Trip to See ‘Six’


During the last week of term, some of our Year 9 students will be heading to the Everyman Playhouse Theatre in Liverpool to watch the sensational musical, ‘Six’.

The musical transforms the six Tudor wives of Henry VIII into pop-star princesses.  They each take their turn to step up to the mic and finally tell their side of the story. The musical is entertaining, educational and full of glitter – perfect for this festive season. The songs are incredibly catchy, and we would like to apologise in advance to the Year 9 families who will no doubt become very familiar with the tunes over the Christmas break!

We’re all looking forward to the trip as a perfect way to bring this term to a close. It should be a brilliant celebration of brave and diverse women and perfect preparation for our ‘Know Your Rights’ unit of work that Year 9 will be studying in the new year. We’ll just have to remember to not lose our heads!

Miss Starkie

English Department

Bedrock Leader Board

Since September, our students have been ‘rocking’ Bedrock! Bedrock is a proven way of making great gains in vocabulary acquisition, improving reading age and mastering grammar. All our KS3 students are expected to achieve 20 points on Bedrock each week. 20 points is the minimum each student should achieve to guarantee progress. However, some of our students are so determined to become masters of English, that since September they have achieved a phenomenal number of points!

Our leader board looks like this:

StudentYear GroupPoints Total
Georgia B71189
Lily T81145
Naomi S81121
Abigail K9891
Natalia N8889
Saffiya M8797
Charlotte C7788
Jenna K9730
Maisy W7710
Eric Chong8660

Our top 10 Bedrockers will receive a Head’s Breakfast and our top 3 achievers will also receive a limited edition Bedrock pin badge.

Mrs Snowdon

Curriculum Leader for English

Brilliant Blake Pastiches

Our Year 8 students have been studying the work of William Blake as part of our ‘Coming of Age’ unit of work.

Blake was a Romantic poet who used art and prints to compliment his poems. We have been studying his poetry collection ‘Song of Innocence and Experience’, which contains poems matched up in pairs – one sweet and innocent, and the other darker and more experienced. For example, the cheerful poem ‘The Lamb’ is matched with the more sinister poem ‘The Tiger’.

We challenged our Year 8 students to create and illustrate their own take on Blake’s poetic pairings and create their very own ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’. We have been so impressed with the creative and thoughtful ideas and the beautiful and vivid illustrations that our students have produced.

Our winning designs were ‘War and Peace’ by Unaysah P and ‘The Songs of Welcome and The Cried of Goodbye’ by Grace S – prizes will be heading their way soon!

Take a look at a selection of their spectacular creations, as well as some examples of brilliant work from all classes:

Miss Starkie

English Department

Bedrock Leader Board

Since September, our students have been ‘rocking’ Bedrock. Bedrock is a proven way of making great gains in vocabulary acquisition, improving reading age and mastering grammar. All our KS3 students are expected to achieve 20 points on Bedrock each week. 20 points is the minimum each student should achieve to guarantee progress. However, some of our students are so determined to become masters of English that since September they have achieved a phenomenal number of points!

Our leaderboard looks like this:

If you can make it into the top 10 Bedrockers by the last week of term, you will be invited to indulge in a luxury Christmas hot chocolate in the Library.

Mrs Snowdon,

Curriculum Leader for English

Literature and Languages Festival

Our Literature and Languages Festival took place from 10th October to the 21st October. A variety of activities, competitions and events took place and it was a huge success. Please click the link below to view the newsletter articles about the festival.

Year 7 Transition

The first two weeks in English were dedicated to supporting our Year 7 students as they settle into life at PGHS. All students have been looking at Writing to Advise and Autobiographical Writing with the help of Mr Burton from Educating Yorkshire. We have looked at the brilliant advice Mr Burton gives in his book Go Big: The Secondary School Survival Guide and taken on board his ideas about embracing who you are. Using this, students have then reflected on their own start to PGHS and produced their own advice guide. Students have also explored autobiographical writing, again looking at Mr Burton’s reflection on his own first day at high school. The Transition Unit was brought to a close with each student writing an autobiographical account of the key moments of their first 2 weeks at PGHS.

Mrs Snowdon

Curriculum Leader for English

  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • SMART
  • UNICEF
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • SMART
  • UNICEF
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider