Last week was World Book Day. If you haven't seen the WBD website, it's certainly worth a look as a great source of inspiration.

World Book Day website

Lots of podcasts from successful authors talking about creating character; empathy; the writing experience as well as sometimes their own struggles at school and as writers. WAVE APs celebrated in many ways, and encouraging reading and creativity is of course something we aim to do each and everyday, not just on ONE day a year. To celebrate and give opportunity to our great student writers within Medical AP, and join collectively our new centres across the county including Torlands and Sowenna, we ran our first ever 'CHAIN STORY'. Teachers and classes each took a section of the story as follows, writing their section together before sending on to the next group:


CHES Online-The Opening based on the picture of the Key

Torlands AP-The Development

CHES Outreach-The Climax

Sowenna and Outreach-2 different Endings

The activity was great fun as reported by students and their teachers- and you can read OUR story below...Thank you to all students and teachers who agreed to be involved, and to Helen for the idea.

It's been so successful, it is something we will try and roll out across more of our APs next year....



The Key

The Opening-written by Year 10 Online

Jacob had not been back to that attic for a very long time. It was a cold place, and one which sent shivers down his spine any time he had ever been up there. Something about it made him feel uneasy, as though he was disconnected from the rest of the house and the world in general when he was in there. Alone and vulnerable. Maybe he'd read too many stories; at the end of the day he was safe and sound in the comfort of his own home. So why did it feel so terrifying?

It could be because a long time ago, before his father had died, he had told him to keep out of there. It had been his Father's study; a place of sanctuary for him where he would retreat to for hours. No one quite ever understood what his job had been at 'The Ministry'. But this study was to be revered. Lined with bookshelves, it was dark and forboding. Having been shut off for the past few years since his death, his family felt soon it would be time to sort through everything that was up there.

Although no one expected that today would have been the day for that, especially the way it happened...

Jacob slowly opened the door to the study. No one would think to look for him up here in this game of hide and seek that was keeping the boredom of school holidays at bay. He could hide from his brothers and sisters safe in the knowledge that they knew he was scared of the place, so wouldn't expect to find him there. It was unswept and cluttered; books had fallen from shelves and dust sheets covered some of the furniture like funeral shrouds. His father would hate to see it like this.

Temporarily forgetting the game, Jacob started to organise the scattered papers on the floor. As he worked, he felt a gap; one wooden plank didn't match the rest of the floorboards. He shivered, just as a bitterly cold draught passed over him. He felt around, sweeping dust away and peeling back the rug further to reveal a trap door. Tangled now with images of his father's face calling him and an overwhelming sense of urgency now to open it, Jacob's whole body heaved the trap door open.

His eyes adjusting to the dark, he now saw a wooden staircase leading down to another door. His heart pounding, he descended the stairs and pushed at its old frame. It was locked.  What was this secret room? With Jacob stood still looking around him, this sudden silence became unbearable...

Just then, he heard a call from downstairs from his brother...

"Mum, I've just found this old key in the garden. What's it for?"


This part was then sent to Torlands AP. Here's what they added for THE DEVELOPMENT...

All of a sudden, the sun that had made a brief appearance went behind a cloud. The attic went dark and, without the warmth of the sun, the temperature plummeted, sending an icy chill up Jacob's back.  'What on earth am I doing here?' he asked himself. He had to tell someone. But who? The hairs on his arms started to prickle and his stomach began to tighten, causing a foul acidic taste to creep into his dry mouth. His breathing became irregular, as if someone (or something) had their hands clenched around his neck; the blood drained from his face. He felt lightheaded. He panicked. Turning as quickly as his body would allow, he tried to run back up the staircase. He was almost at the top.


His shoelace had snagged on a nail on the top step and he was now lying facing down in the dust. The gentle draft that he'd felt earlier, was gaining in strength. His father's important documents were whirling above him as if they were in the centre of a typhoon and the dust became agitated causing his eyes to dry and his vision to blur. He shut them momentarily before opening them again.

And that's when he saw it.

A piece of tattered, discoloured paper lay in front of him. He blinked a few times to clear his eyes. His hands shaking, he grasped hold of the piece of paper and hauled himself into a sitting position. Starting to read the words on the paper, he felt a bead of sweat trickle down his back. The words 'Death Certificate' seemed to jump out at him and he saw his father's name printed clearly beneath it. His brain stopped thinking, and everything went quiet, but he knew he had to read on. As his eyes moved along the text, he saw it clearly. His father's cause of death was printed in bold, but it did not say 'heart attack', as Jacob had been told all those years before. As the reality hit, his heart filled with grief and it seeped through his veins like a cold poison. He had been lied to.

Jacob then heard footsteps on the staircase leading up to the attic, and the door flung open. 'I've found you!' said his brother triumphantly, 'I didn't think you'd dare come up here.' Trying to hide his inner turmoil, Jacob stood up. He felt relieved not to be alone any more. His eyes glanced down at the rusty, old key in his brother's hand. He knew he had to tell him what he'd found, so that the truth could come to light.

This was sent on to OUTREACH for THE CLIMAX...

Jacob lunged to grab the key from his brother’s sweaty grasp. His brother, Peter, tripped backwards in shock but he still clutched the key with all of his might. Peter was confused and tried to read his brother’s face for answers.

“I need that key!” Jacob growled.

With confusion growing, Peter debated whether to give his brother exactly what he wanted. Based on his brother’s serious tone and actions, he knew he had to do what Jacob demanded.

As quickly as his legs would carry him, Jacob stumbled down the rickety staircase with his brother creeping closely behind him. Jacob inspected the distressed door and fumbled for the lock with the key shaking in his hand. Failing to fit the key in the lock, Jacob’s hands became increasingly sweaty. Peter, who had been lurking behind the whole time, snatched the key and swiftly opened the door.

Dust poured out of the secret room. Both boys sneezed uncontrollably. Not thinking twice, Peter strode into the room with confidence. Jacob sheltered warily behind his younger brother.

The sun momentarily peered from behind the clouds creating a powerful beam of sunlight which illuminated the tiny, secret room so the boys could finally see.

A cold draft swept across the space; both boys’ eyes darted towards the wedged open window creating the discoloured, netted curtains to flap violently.

Messily draped in the corner of the room were old sleeping bags and holey blankets. Nearby, empty food wrappers and plates of leftovers sat decaying quietly.

The boys gave each other a look filled with fear as the possible scenarios raced through their heads.  

Jacob knew this was the right time to show his brother their Father’s Death Certificate. As Peter’s eyes scanned the tatty paper, his eyes grew at the ‘Cause of Death’ information.

“Murder?!!” Peter exclaimed!

Both boys’ heads darted towards the antique wardrobe in the corner of the secret room. A loud and sinister laugh came from inside…


And an ending with a twist from students at Sowenna....

The brothers tentatively approached the door and grasped the handle of the wardrobe.  They apprehensively opened the door to find a dusty tape recorder playing the sinister laugh on repeat followed by the whisper 'murder...murder... murder'

Staring blankly at each other, they listened again.  The voice sounded familiar.  It sounded like their Dads. The tape recorder was resting on top of a dusty newspaper.  Jacob lifted up the paper and blew off the dust.  It was an old Cornish Guardian.  Jacob turned a strage shade of grey.  HEADLINE NEWS 'Cornishman found murdered in Tehidy woods - Police asking for witnesses.  Again, the sinister laugh played on,  'murder, murder, murder'.  So it was true after all.