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Stay Clear of the Zig-Zags Outside School!

If you are dropping off your child in the morning, please use the drop-off zone inside the school. It is illegal to stop (including dropping off and picking up) on the zig-zag lines Monday – Friday between 8:00 – 9:30am, noon – 1:30pm and 2:45 – 4:15pm. There is a CCTV camera pointing at the zig-zag lines and you will receive a ticket. If you stop on the zig-zags within these times and you are fined, there is nothing the school can do to help you. The lines and CCTV are controlled by Barnet Council, who have kindly sent us some leaflets to further explain the zig-zag rules. The zig-zags are there for the safety of our students and staff who are on foot, so please stay clear of the zig-zags!

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Walking in another’s shoes 2

We are looking further into fictional characterisation right now and last week I took in my character card props to use as writing prompts. These are a bunch of cards I made myself and each one has a particular character idea on it, ranging from, ‘You are the child of a dictator,’ to, ‘You have just woken up on the shores of a deserted island,’ to, ‘You are only half human,’ and many more. We have some new students from Year 7 in the club now and I was really impressed with this piece by Julia Zegar, who was even brave enough to read it out! Julia’s topic was, ‘You are only half human.’   I looked around. Nobody here. I took off the hat that had been covering my ears. ‘I’m never wearing this hat again,’ I thought. Then I remembered what Mum and Dad told me. ‘If you take off your hat, everyone will know that we’re half foxes and we don’t want to get caught again,’ muttered Mum before I went to school. We used to live in New York but then the humans found out so we had to move to England. My ears drooped. Every time I thought of America, I remembered Dad, but he got caught. I didn’t know what they were going to do with him, but it would be nothing good. ‘Fawn?’ It was my twin sister, Winter. The strange thing about us is that she is an Arctic fox, whilst I’m a red fox. ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Course I am,’ I laughed, trying to sound as positive as I could. ‘Mum says to go home.’ ‘I don’t want to.’ ‘But Ma said…’ ‘I don’t care what she said. I’m half fox and foxes are wild.’ Suddenly we heard footsteps. Winter squealed, putting on my hat to cover her ears. Then I saw what it was. It was a young boy about my age. His hair looked like a bird’s nest, his brown button eyes stared at me and he had wolf ears and a tail. We stared at each other for a while. ‘Who are you?’ my sister blurted out, slowly taking her hat off. ‘I’m… Midnight,’ he replied shyly. ‘I’m Winter, and that’s my sister Fawn,’ Winter muttered. Suddenly someone shoved her. ‘Get away from my brother!’ It was a girl, about a year older than us. Her pitch-black hair covered half her face. Her wolf tail shivered a little and her chocolate-coloured eyes were filled with rage.  

Scholastic 2

Scholastic Book Club: Earn Books for your School Library

Our new Scholastic Book Club is up and running! Go to http://schools.scholastic.co.uk/east-barnet to browse the latest books and order online. For every £1 you spend on this month’s Book Club, our school will earn 25p in Scholastic Rewards and this will be used to get free books for your School Library. Why not choose a book to give as a present? Please place your order online by December 13th, 2018.

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Letter from Barnet Headteachers

Dear Parents/Carers, The Headteachers and Governors of the nursery, primary, secondary and special schools in Barnet are committed to providing a world class education for your children. We have, for some time now, developed powerful and effective partnerships which see us working together to secure high quality provision across all of our schools. We are concerned that current levels of funding are now seriously threatening this high quality provision. On 23rd November 2018, Headteacher representatives met with Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Standards, and Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, and presented a briefing paper, setting out a number of points. As a group, we are now sharing this with you and hope that you will be able to support our endeavours in raising awareness of our concerns at every possible opportunity by contacting government and local council officials. You can read the paper by clicking here. In particular, we believe that contacting your local MP and raising your concern might have an impact. You can contact Theresa Villiers at theresa@theresavilliers.co.uk. Schools and governors alike are determined that quality, inclusive provision should be protected and would like to hear from you if you feel you can help us in that endeavour. With Kind Regards, L. Swaine, Headteacher

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Walking in another’s shoes

We’re looking at in-depth characterisation in the club right now and kicked off with (pun alert!) the idea of ‘walking in another’s shoes.’ For me, this is one of the biggest joys of writing fiction; spending time inside the mind of people who may be my polar opposite in real life. I think writing fictional characters is a bit like having the world’s biggest dressing up box. In this vein we started off by thinking about our preferences in food. What do we really love to eat and what, when presented to us, gives us the horrors? Once the lists were made the task was write about a food you love as though you found it disgusting, and then about a food you hate as something utterly delicious. It was a lot of fun! John Pritchard in Year 7 is a big fan of Chinese food…but you wouldn’t think so after reading his piece! I shudder at the thought of dinner. Chinese cooking is so wet and slippery that the food covers your tongue, spreading the unsettling taste even more. As always the dish needed spicing up and slipped like a snake down my fragile throat and the cake was way too soggy and dark for me. These grotesque plates were worsened by the mango that seems to make the unsettling taste stay even longer! Who would ever like these horrors?

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Jonny Geller CEO of Curtis Brown visits EBS

Jonny Geller is Joint CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the company Curtis Brown and Managing Director of the books division. The company has a long and illustrious history as a world renowned literary agency representing many of the most famous figures of the literary and political world throughout the twentieth century including Winston Churchill, John Steinbeck, Samuel Beckett, AA Milne and DH Lawrence. Many great authors have passed through the portal of Curtis Brown at one point or another in their careers, and many of these remain clients to this day. East Barnet School was extremely lucky to secure such a prestigious speaker for our Year 10s, 12s and 13s through the charity Speakers For Schools. https://www.speakers4schools.org/ Jonny’s speech was very inspiring, covering the work of a Literary Agent as well as general tips about working in the creative industries. Literary Agents represent authors and sell the authors’ books to publishers. They also represent TV programmes and musical theatre as well as actors. Jonny received 150,000 manuscripts novels in the post last year but obviously not all were suitable to be published. His job is to spot those that might make it! A debut novel could be worth £5000 to £500,000. We were told that 190,000 books were published last year in UK and that adults generally read  5-10 books every year. Our students listened to Jonny talk about how one should take every available opportunity when starting out on a career path, and he also emphasized the importance of looking at your strenghts and deciding on the environment where you would most like to spend your working life – in his case, his love of reading, coupled with his aptitude for selling, led him to the idea of a Literary Agent and working in the Creative Industries, which now generate £92 Billion for the UK economy, create 3.12 million jobs, 32% of which are in London. Our students asked some interesting questions in the Q and A session at the end including: “What is the best way to get an agent’s attention?”- Jonny replied that the covering letter is critical. It needs to be 2 paragraphs and concise as well as to the point . “What were your favourite books were when young” – Jonny answered, One Hundred Years of Solitude, books about boxing and Anna Karenina. At the end, some students stayed behind to talk to Jonny and one student mentioned she had already written a novel and was looking for tips as to what to do with it. This was an inspiring talk and there has been some very positive feedback from students who attended. Mrs Cobb (Librarian) and Mr Carrington (Leader Of Provision For More Able Students)

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Caroline Green EBS Author in Residence speaks to Y7

Caroline Green, our very own Writer-in-Residence, spoke to all of Year 7 last Monday 12th November. Caroline talked about her inspiration as both a Young Adult writer and also compared writing for children with writing books for adults, which she now does as well. She said it is harder to write for children than it is for adults! In her previous career as a journalist, Caroline went undercover to investigate a story and even interviewed one of the astronauts involved in the moon landings! Caroline has written four Young Adult books including Dark Ride, Cracks, Fragments and Hold Your Breath (all available in the Library). It took many rejections before her first YA novel, Dark Ride, was accepted by a publisher and it won several awards once it was published. Her message to students was, “Don’t give up if you really want to be a writer – you have to keep going despite all the rejection letters!” Her books for adults are, The Woman Next Door,  In A Cottage In A Wood and Don’t you Cry, which is her latest novel. These are published under the name ‘Cass Green’ and have been Sunday Times bestsellers. Mrs Cobb has read all of Caroline’s thrillers and they do indeed keep you on the edge of your seat! Caroline runs a Creative Writing Club after-school on Mondays and can be found in the Library every Monday lunchtime meeting with students. Caroline mentioned her theory of how stories help us to interpret the world around us, something which makes books and stories so important. Students asked Caroline some interesting questions including what was her favourite book which she had written. She said that she could not choose as it would be like choosing one of her children as a favourite over the others; an impossible task for any mother! Finally, Caroline set up a competition to invent a gadget for the future. Students have been dropping entries into the Library competition box and she will announce the winner soon. Caroline’s books have been flying off the shelves since her talk and the students reading them have been saying how excited they are.  

EBS 2018 TWO (66)

EBS Production ‘TWO’

I auditioned for “Two” on the first week back after the summer and only a few days later I was playing the lead in the school play! And so began my temporary double life; part time a-level student, part time pub landlord! After finding out more about the play we were going to put on I was sceptical that we could pull it off – but after our first table read with the full company, I knew it would be a hit! Rehearsals whizzed as only a month and a half later, following a performance space change and a few broken glasses it was opening night. My heart was beating out of my chest but with the sound of the Happy Monday’s playing through the ‘cellar door’, we stepped into the Swaine Tavern and put on a show! The audience reaction was outstanding as they were immersed in the ups and downs of pub life, up north in the late 80’s, from the over-confident and unsuccessful womaniser to the warring husband and wife, from the reminiscent old man to the unsatisfied, lover of big men – and even down the fan favourite post show karaoke (I’m not sure our full cast rendition of Reach by S Club 7 can ever be matched!). I was immensely proud to have played a part in this performance and it has given me memories I will cherish for life. The camaraderie that existed throughout the company was wonderful and we the play, and the karaoke, will be remembered for years to come. Who knew that I could put on a northern accent, get on stage and create a portrayal of a grieving father and bring a tear to my mother’s eye? Cameron McTeare – Year 13   Yet another impressive show from Mr Messios and his team. Thank you!  Two by Jim Cartwright is a hard-hitting play looking at difficult to deal with issues in relationships and life all set in a working-class pub up north where everyone knows everyone. There were no gimmicks or show stopping songs, just pure acting. Every member of the cast gave their roles their all and they should all feel really proud. Every single character was totally believable, even down to the abusive husband Roy played by Charlie Savva. How hard to have the whole audience hating your character within a few seconds when you are such a lovely person in real life, and yet he managed it. I actually thought one of the audience was going to step in and tell him to stop at one point! I loved the part when Amber Irish playing Mrs Iger, the wife of Mr Iger, a little man (Michael Tambimuttu), lets us into her yearning for a “big man”. I have to give props to my daughter Jasmine Joseph and her stage husband Cameron McTeare who played the landlady and landlord. Their portrayal of a bickering couple, who held a deep dark secret, was slowly unravelled throughout the play. I was blown away by the intensity of the moment when Jasmine screamed and poured out her feelings about the loss of their son. You could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. All that is left to say is “Fat fat palomino” … And I can’t wait for the next show. Debi Weisberg – A very proud Mum!   Being a cast member of EBS’s production of TWO was a truly enriching experience. Being able to be a part of a production like this allowed me to express an interest of mine that I can’t within my lessons, and needless to say this felt outstanding. I auditioned on a whim because I’d seen last year’s production of Little Shop of Horrors and thought to myself “yeah, I fancy a bit of that.”. Especially since we were a small cast of only 14, a feeling of genuine connection between us all made this production fun, not only on stage for cast and audience alike, but also behind the scenes in rehearsals and backstage during performances (sorry to Saturday night’s audience if you heard us laughing!). Another brilliant aspect about acting in TWO was working with our wonderful directors, Mr. Messios Ms Carnegie-Gomez, and Mr. Steele. These three particularly dedicated teachers gave up hours of their time to ensure our production was on track and to the best quality it could have been. Whether focusing intensively on particular scenes or simply running vocal warm-ups before each show, these two were a delight to have run our play. In only a short few months, this regular Barnet boy was brought to feel like a Hollywood star! Thank you to everyone who came and made it possible. Thanks! Alex Schwaller – Year 13   Two is about looking into all the lives of the people sitting in the pub who go on a night out and grab a Lager, Pint or a Babycham. But every person in the pub has their own demons their fighting or are just arguing over whether Elvis Presley took drugs or not. The way Jim Cartwright wrote it was incredible. And the way Mr Messios directed and the way the cast performed was truly how Jim Cartwright wanted it to be like – an emotional roller coaster. Wow, I don’t even know where to start. Personally, I think I was blessed with the best cast ever. It’s just interesting to be around different people who are your age or older who you would just normally walk past on an average school day. Then BOOM! You see a different side to them during rehearsals. Doing a show in itself is great. You make connections with people you never thought you would be friends with. The cast of Two became a little family, in the very little time we had. It was not stressful at all – well for everyone except Mr Messios. To be fair it was an enjoyable experience and I would do it all […]

EBS Mayor Visit

Mayor of Barnet Visits EBS!

On Monday the 29th of October, the Worshipful Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet visited East Barnet School. He met with members of the Student Council and invited members of the school community to join him at the London New Years Day Parade, to represent the Borough and celebrate the theme “London welcomes the world”. If you are interested, he is looking for pairs to represent nations of the world, in traditional dress and carrying a “bunting” style flag. Please contact the Mayor at mayor@barnet.gov.uk if you or your child is interested.

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Heroes and Villains

We are kicking off a few weeks on character creation this Autumn by looking at the concepts of ‘heroes and villains’. Week one focused on heroes and we had a good discussion about what makes a hero and who the students admire, in real life and in fiction. Among the different writing prompts on the topic I sneakily slipped in a line that was created by my publishers for the marketing of my new book, Don’t You Cry. It’s about what happens when a woman’s life is saved by a stranger, who then intudes upon her life in a criminal and terrifying way. The line was: She saved your life: now she’ll make you pay. I was fascinated to see where this might take someone else’s imagination and Lily Rachel in Year Thirteen didn’t disappoint. Lily first came to the club in Year Seven, on my very first week as your Writer in Residence. I knew quite quickly that there was something special about her writing and it has been such a privilege to see how her talent has developed. I would love to have seen more of this!   ‘She saved your life. Now she’ll make you pay’   He is standing on the platform. At the far end, near the tunnel, where red neon flickers in the darkness. He’s almost alone, a few others are waiting, but far away enough for their faces to appear blurred to him, smudges against the tiled walls. A breeze, lifted from the street above, plays across the platform, sends a newspaper skimming across the soot. He flinches. At the woman. She appears from the nearest entrance and her shoes click, click, click in his ears as she walks towards him, this hunched, sunken man. So, she says. He shuffles. I thought I’d find you here. He won’t talk. She flicks her hair, blonde, over her shoulder, smiles. Back again.