Similes and Metaphors in Pop Culture

We have been looking at similes and metaphors as part of our study of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Last week we looked at figurative language used in songs. This short video is good for revising some of the terms we studied.


What is a Fjord?

Today the Year 9 students reading Roald Dahl’s autobiography ‘Boy’, found out a little bit about Norway. Roald had gone to Norway with his family for a holiday and there was talk of fjords. So what is a fjord?

Well, a great website to find out all about them is Wonderopolis.

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Wonderopolis is a great site as it connects the learning we do in our schools, our homes, and our communities, Wonderopolis walks the line between formal and informal education. Each day, they pose an intriguing question and explore it in a variety of ways. Their approach both informs and encourages new questions, sparking new paths of wonder and discovery in family and classroom settings.

Trash setting


When author Andy Mulligan was asked what inspired him to write ‘Trash’ he said that it was the setting. Mulligan explained that it was, “a vast dumpsite in Manila, which is where I live and work – a gorgeous country, full of paradise islands and the most hospitable people in the world. But…like so many countries, wracked by certain problems. A friend told me a true story: that the dumpsite children spend most of their time sorting through parcels of human excrement. We all know about child labour, but that detail – that little vision of hell – wouldn’t leave me. I wanted to write about some of those children, and allow them to fight back”.

In the Philippines there was a famous rubbish dump called Smokey Mountain. Smokey Mountain was a 2,000,000 ton rubbish dump, which was the waste disposal facility for Manila for more than 40 years. It was full of decomposing waste and rubbish fires (that’s where the smoky name comes from). Smokey Mountain was the home for a community of about 30,000 people, who scavenged through the rubbish for survival. Remember survival is our overarching theme for this term and this novel shows what some people have to do to survive in the world.



The library has just ordered the Ribblestrop series by Trash author Andy Mulligan and it should be here soon. According to Mulligan’s website the first book in the series is about:

Roofless dormitories, distracted teachers and a lethally dangerous underground labyrinth – Ribblestrop’s visionary headmaster is out of his depth even before the pupils arrive! And when they do – what a bunch! There’s Sanchez, a Colombian gangster’s son hiding from kidnappers; Millie, an excluded arsonist and self-confessed wild child; Casper, the landlady’s spoiled grandson; the helpful but hapless Sam and his best friend Ruskin, plus a handful of orphans from overseas, who are just happy to have beds – even if they are located in a roofless part of the building…Anything could happen – and anything does!

Want to find out more? Try this review of Ribblestrop.

Andy Mulligan


So just who is Andy Mulligan? Well, according to his website  this is him in a nutshell:

Andy Mulligan was brought up in South London. He worked as a theatre director for ten years before travels in Asia prompted him to retrain as a teacher. He has taught English and drama in India, Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines and the UK. He now lives in England, and is writing full time. The Ribblestrop trilogy is now complete: Ribblestrop, Forever! Brings closure to the series. ‘Return to Ribblestrop’ won the coveted Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2011.

Trash is a very different animal. Hailed by the Times as ‘outstanding …exceptionally satisfying‘, Trash is first and foremost a thriller. It tells the story of three dumpsite boys and an astonishing discovery they make amongst the city’s refuse. Smart enough to know they have something truly special – truly life-changing – they try to stay one step ahead of a vengeful police force out to silence them. The novel shifts rapidly from the squalid slums of a third-world city, to its prisons and graveyards. David Fickling published Trash in the Autumn of 2010 in the UK and the USA and the book is now published in twenty-five languages across the globe. The novel was shortlisted for the 2012 Carnegie medal, and film rights were snapped up soon after UK publication. Filming has just finished in Rio de Janeiro. Stephen Daldry directed Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara, plus a host of Brazilian stars.