Remote Courses

We have courses on travel writing; writing a gothic tale; poetry; playwriting; comprehension; painting with words; and a whole lot more planned for the summer months. We are using videos, virtual tours, asking your children to do their own research; touching on geography and history; and maintaining our level of expertise in literacy and how to write during July and August.

If your child(ren) have already been on any of our Comprehension or Imitation writing courses, we've produced new materials so we are not repeating ourselves! Comprehension Course B and C are all aimed at writing for the 11+, using new materials. If you haven't booked a Comprehension course before then Course A is our original course. The same goes for the Painting With Words and Imitation Writing courses.

WEEK 1: Monday 20th to Friday 24th July 2020

Online using Zoom

Comprehension Course B - Age 9 to 12

Time: 10am to 11am

How to REALLY read a passage and uncover what lies between the words on the page. (Plus, how to express your brilliant insights in writing.)

On this course, we will look at extracts from examples of classic literature - from Jane Austen to Katherine Mansfield and look at the literary devices authors use, from foreshadowing to adding suspense and intrigue. We will also look at the historical context in which the books were written, giving the group a deeper understanding of each text.

Painting With Words - Course A

Time: 11 am to 12 pm

Every picture tells a story. And every story creates a picture, usually a very vivid one, in the reader’s mind. This course explores the close link between drawing and writing and how to really ‘paint with words’.

The group will do everything from writing descriptive passages for other group members to draw - was their description vivid enough? - to illustrating their own stories and learning the art of the caption. Along the way, we’ll look at all the techniques - use of adjectives, personification, pathetic fallacy - that make writing come alive.

Write Your Own Creation Story - Age 7 to 9

Time: 10am to 11am

Creation stories are fun to write as they involve humour, ingenuity and plot-based thinking. We read extracts from creation stories from around the world and then ask the children to come up with their own ideas/story and illustrate it.

WEEK 2: Monday 27th to Friday 31st July 2020

Online using Zoom

Playwriting Age 7 to 10

Time: 11 am to 12 pm

In this workshop, you'll learn all the basic skills you need to write your first short play! You'll create characters, stories and learn how to stage your imagination. Fun writing tasks will include games, creating dramatic situations and other writing tasks to set you on your path to writing your first script.

You'll be encouraged be write a number of short, practice scenes and any theme is welcomed:  detective stories, mystery, sci-fi, comedy or a bit of both, whilst taking inspiration from your own life as this is always the best source material!

Poetry Course B - Age 9 to 10

Time: 11 am to 12 pm

This course is for those with some experience writing poetry and or has already experimented with short poetic forms like haikus and limericks.

The goal of this course will be to master the mighty sonnet, a fourteen-line essential for any accomplished poet! In preparation, we’ll learn how to write in the most common metrical measure for English poetry, ‘iambic pentameter’; we’ll think about different rhyme schemes, and we’ll do some ‘ekphrastic’ poetry—that is, poetry that describes another work of art or treasured object. The poets John Keats and Percy Shelley used to dual sonnets—with any luck, after this course you’ll be able to wield your own words with like confidence.

Travel Writing - Age 10/ 11

Time: 10 am to 11 am

This course will take the group on a virtual tour of Europe. We will look at how travel writers draw their readers in by a combination of delight in travel; feeding their readers facts about the countries they visit; interviewing people who live there and drawing on their own reactions to new experiences. The group will research and write about the countries they want to visit and find pictures to illustrate their reports.

WEEK 3: Monday 3rd to Friday 7th August 2020

Online using Zoom

Imitation Writing Course B - Age 9 to 11

Time: 10 am to 11 am

Over 5 days we will look at short extracts from well-loved children’s authors and work out how they breathe life into their characters and use literary techniques, suspense, and point of view to pull their readers in. The group will learn by imitation - writing their own short extracts. This course uses completely new materials from our previous Imitation writing course.

What The Dickens! Age 9 to 11

Time: 11 am to 12 pm

Charles Dickens is one of the greatest novelists of the Victorian era and his characters live on in our imaginations today. Not only did he comment on the social injustices of the time he lived in, but he wrote about writing. This course is a dive into the life, time, and works of Charles Dickens. The group will come away with an appreciation of Dickens and some great writing of their own!

Write A Story Set in The Roman Times - Age 7 to 9

Time: 10am to 11am

We will base our stories around the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and recreate how this dramatic event would have affected people living in the times of Ancient Rome. This will involve some research and discussion as well as looking at videos together. The group will then be shown how to plot, write, and bring to life their own made-up characters living under the shadow of Vesuvius.

WEEK 4: Monday 10th to Friday 14th August 2020

Online using Zoom

Write Your Own Gothic Tale - Age 9 to 11

Time: 10 am to 11 am

On our five-day Gothic literature online workshop! We'll create both vivid characters (damsels, vampires, monks, ghosts, bats, and banshees) and settings (castles, dungeons, monasteries, graveyards) in which to stage our tales. We will discuss the call to adventure, challenges, and temptations; death, rebirth, and transformation that the main character in the story might have to undergo. We will delve into the hero's journey and what it entails, and we'll finish the stories with a flourish by showing the importance of ending, and it’s a connection to the beginning.

Write A Story Set In the Roman Times - Age 7 to 9

Time: 10 am to 11 am

We will base our stories around the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and recreate how this dramatic event would have affected people living in the times of Ancient Rome. This will involve some research and discussion as well as looking at videos together. The group will then be shown how to plot, write, and bring to life their own made-up characters living under the shadow of Vesuvius.

Playwriting - Age 11 to 13

Time: 11 am to 12 pm

Over five days you'll learn all the skills needed to develop your playwriting skills! You'll learn how to create more life-like characters, monologues and learn the difference between a movie script and a play. By the end of the course, you'll have your own short play and the knowledge needed to create a movie script too.

WEEK 5: Monday 17th to Friday 21st August 2020

Online using Zoom

Comprehension Course C - Non-Fiction - Age 9 to 11

Time: 10 am to 11 am

This course looks at non-fiction extracts of the 19th century, giving background information about the writers, and how they make their writing effective. We also show the group how to respond to questions about non-fiction, make appropriate points, use pertinent evidence, and comment on the evidence effectively.

Poetry Through The Ages - 10 to 12

Time: 10 am to 11 am

Join us on a trip through time! In this comprehension class, we’ll be focusing on English language poetry from William Shakespeare’s Renaissance London to Langston Hughes’ New York of the 1950s. These classes will be valuable preparation for secondary school, as we’ll be covering not only general comprehension but the specific vocabularies that we need when describing and understanding poetry. We’ll learn how to differentiate different kinds of rhyme and poetic forms and acquaint ourselves with the different historical and geographical contexts that inform us when we read the poetry.

Painting With Words Course B

Time: 10 am to 11 am

A second painting with words course - looking at paintings which have inspired writers and the stories that paintings create, and the literary techniques writers use to “paint pictures with words.” The group will be drawing, writing, and reading excerpts about paintings.

WEEK 6: Monday 24th to Friday 29th August 2020

Online using Zoom

Comprehension Course A - Age 9 to 11

Time: 10 am to 11 am

The aim of this course is to stimulate a love of literature (of all types) and to help children engage with all the wonderful tricks that writers use. They will also look at the art of expressing their ideas clearly in writing - essential when answering comprehension questions - and imitating a particular author’s style, whether that author is Anthony Horowitz or Mark Twain.

Playwriting Age 13 to 18

Time: 10 am to 11 am

For budding playwrights!

Whether you've written a play before or a keen newcomer, this course will teach you everything you know to create a short play and start planning a longer one. You'll also write monologues and short scenes to help you develop your skills, as well as lots of useful tips and advice on the theatre industry and programmes you can join in the future; as well as opportunities for getting your play on the stage!

Write Your Own Myth - Age 7 to 9

Time: 10 am to 11 am

Children love mythical stories because the characters are generally extraordinary and have super-powers. We show them how to create their own mythical creature and think of a hero(one)'s talisman which could fend off the forces of evil. Their stories may contain an axiom or moral which, they will think up themselves.

Remote One-to-one session - £50 

We cover any aspect of writing, grammar and punctuation, and comprehension for 7+ to GCSE, creating bespoke lessons to target your child's needs. This includes an hour's online session with one of our tutors.

Short Story Critique - £15

We send back a full critique of their story (400 word critique of your child’s story), showing them what works and offering suggestions on how to edit and improve it.