Dan visited Debden Park High School last week where he was lucky enough to do a Writing Workshop with some of the Year 7 students.  It is great that we are able to share some of those pieces of writing with you.  If it is nail biting suspense you are looking for, you have come to the right place!  Thank you to Jacob and Maddie for sharing these fantastic stories with us.












The Day of the Trials

The morning after training, Jamie had his mind filled with thoughts of the trials and how he was going to show everyone his talent. Pouring his high protein Weetabix into the bowl he mumbled , “nothings going to stop me”. “Weetabix,”  he thought “that will give me the energy I need to perform.  It brings me to life”

He devoured his cereal in a shot. “Muuuuum, can I have my boots?”

“No Jamie, I’ve told you already, you’re not getting them, punishment Jamie, punishment”

Jamie tries again, but to no avail, and leaves for his day bootless and leaving his mum with a heavy heart for what she has done.

Jamie sets off for school, taking his usual route that leads him past Dylan and his friends.  As usual, Dylan was taunting him “Hey Jamie, where’s your boots?  How come you’ve got no boots today?  What have you done?”

Jamie wondered how Dylan knew that he had no boots.  He kept walking, keeping silent and his head down out of trouble. “Jamie, Jamie, no boot Jamie, you better not come to the trials, I’ll smash your face in, watch it” taunted Dylan. “Sorry, ok” stumbled Jamie. “What did you say?”  growled the bully, pushing him forward and grabbing Jamie’s neck, whispering menacingly in his ear, “Listen here Jamie, you’re just a small talentless nobody, no-one likes you.”  Then launched a globule of spit towards him.

Suddenly, out of the blue a tall slanted figure appeared towards them.  “Oi, you, you there picking on this boy!”  he yelled.  As the man stepped closer Dylan started to run. Jamie gasped in relief and went to thank the man.  Walking closer to them, Jamie recognised a familiar face, brown hair, brown eyes, hairy arms… “Wait a minute…..” He muttered under his breath…it was him…DAD!!  They both hugged.  “It’s you, jeez Dad! Thanks!!”  Jamie was filled with relief that the encounter with his bully was over. “Its ok Jamie, I’m your dad, that’s what I’m here for!  Now, don’t you have somewhere to be?  We can sort out this bully business later on”

Jamie was happier now he had seen his Dad, and his mind relaxed thinking about the trials and how he was going to perform to get on the team.  Then he remembered,  “Wait, hold on, boots, I still need boots’ and in the blink of an eye he fell back into his temper.

Jamie barely made it through the school day, his mind constantly worrying about the trials and the fact he had no boots.  Come 3.15 he’d lost all hope, scuffing his feet down the corridor, five minutes before the match, looking forlornly around, Jamie came across a mysterious box, overflowing with clothes, bags and shoes.

‘Lost Property’ the label said.  “Lost property?” Jamie thought, “Why have I never noticed this…I wonder…”.  Scrabbling around the box, throwing shorts, shoes, jumpers and all sorts into the corridor.  Amazingly, after delving to the bottom of the box, he found what he was looking for.  Ok, they were battered, and definitely not from this season, or even the last, but they were his size. “Boots, Boots’ He bellowed into the empty corridor!!  He rammed them onto his waiting feet as fast as lightning and ran out towards the pitch.  He heard the whistle blow, and slid onto the pitch, hoping nobody had noticed he had only just made it.

Jamie went all out straight from the off, pulling off some great skills and tricks.  Soon he was 1 v 1 with the keeper.  “Remember Jamie, keep your eye on the ball and strike it in and…..”  He had forgotten!  Jamie couldn’t remember the rest of his Grandad’s words, stumbling Jamie smashed the ball and wished for the rest, but it bounced straight off the post and went to the opposition. Defeated he turned around full of anger, only to see Dylan striding across the pitch in his direction.  “Ha ha, missed again” he taunted, “no-one to protect you now is there?”  Jamie glared at Dylan, nose to nose, his face red with anger.  “Oh, just shut it Dylan, you’re just afraid of my talent cos you don’t have any, I’m not scared of you”.  Jamie tried to sound confident, even though inside he was a wreck.  “Oohhh, really Jamie?  Ok then, meet me after school, let’s see how brave you are then?”  he snarled.

After this confrontation Jamie played terribly.  He kicked the grass, angry about what he had let happen.  Jamie thought of the book that Grandad gave him, and the section about determination and never giving up.  “Good footballers never give in,” he thought, this spurred him on.  Picking himself up, Jamie knew that he had to prove himself.  Suddenly it was like he was possessed.  Dribbling side to side, passing and moving like a dream.  He came so close to scoring, but again messed it up. ‘Come on Jamie,” he screamed in his head.

The ref called out for the last 20 seconds.  Jamie sparked up a counter attack and whooshed towards goal.  “C-mon Jamie,” shouted a familiar voice from afar.  It was Jack! He couldn’t believe it!

10 seconds, 9 seconds, 8 seconds.  Jamie was back where he began, 1v1 with the goalie again.  3 seconds, 2 seconds, Jamie blasted the ball up into the air, 1 second!  GOAL!!!!  Jamie scored right in the top left corner.  “YEEEESSSSS,”  he screamed and slid against the floor.  Jack and Boggy came over, followed by a face he didn’t know.

“Well done Jamie, where did you find the boots?”  Jack asked. “Mmm, yeah, really cool,” drawled Boggy.  “Thanks guys,”  he laughed.  “Oh, by the way, this is my friend Amelia,” and Jack beckoned towards the unknown face. “Hi,” whispered Amelia”. “Ooh, found a new lover then ay Jamie?”  mocked Boggy.  “Oh, just shut up Boggy,” and Jamie blushed.  Boggy had been annoying him every since he had met him , he thought to himself.

Jamie started walking off with his friends when a voice shouted,  “Hey Jamie, with skills like that you’re on my team.”  The coach ran over and patted Jamie on the back.  “I need those foot movements every week!”

“I’m on the team, I’m actually on the team”.  The thoughts kept going through his head as he collected his bags and said goodbye to his friends. “Wait till I tell mum.”  Jamie strolled down the road towards home…then suddenly had a darker thought. “Meet me after school, let’s see how brave you are then?”  In all the excitement he had forgotten Dylan’s words.  He glanced up, now in the alleyway before home.  A dark figure stood in the alley, unmoving, staring at him…………………

By Jacob Ferguson, 7A



The day of the trials

The day had finally arrived.  The trials were precisely six and a half hours away.  Jamie rose from his bed and put on his slippers.  He needed to get ready and eat his toast with jam as he did every morning.  He couldn’t stand still.  He paced around his bedroom and remembered his mum had his boots.  He scurried into his mum’s bedroom and barged through the door.  His mum was still asleep.  He yelled at the top of his voice “MUM I NEED MY BOOTS!!”  Instantly his mum shot up and her mothering instincts kicked in.  His mother looked like she saw a ghost purely because she had her face mask on.  She suggested that he spoke to her in an orderly manner.  He saw his expensive illuminating boots in the corner of his eye and skidded across the wooden floor diving into the washing and snatched them.  He bolted to his bedroom.  His mum was furious but she had to let it go as usual.

Jamie shoved his books into his bag and remembered the book Mike (his granddad) had given him.  He grabbed it and placed it in the front compartment of his England backpack.  He put on his England shirt and some scruffy trousers.  He picked up his bag and raced down the stairs to find his mum had already put his breakfast on the table.  He smiled a little but didn’t have time to eat, he was already late to meet Jack (his friend that was a girl) and Bobby (his nerdy friend).  He shoved the toast into his mouth and left his dirty plate on the table.  Before you could say ‘football’, he was out the door.

He raced down his road to Jack and Bobby.  Jamie was more focused on football than he had ever been before.  He was fidgeting with his fingers.  Jack told him to calm down but of course Jamie wasn’t listening.  He was too busy memorising the moves in Mike’s book. There was only one thing in Jamie’s way of becoming a football star, Dillian.  Dillan Simmons.  The class bully.  The one and only mischief maker.  He was always mean to everything that moved, like Jack, most of the people in his class and of course Jamie.  He always had something against him.  But now Jamie was more determined than EVER!

In lessons Jamie wasn’t paying attention to anyone.  His English teacher, Mrs Patterson saw he was daydreaming so she asked him, “Jamie, what is a football?” he instantly said, “A sport.”  Mrs Patterson wasn’t pleased, she boomed while her nostrils flared, “Jamie Johnson have you not been paying attention to anything I have been talking about, we are talking about nouns, verbs and adjectives.”  “So once again what is a football?”  Jamie stuttered “Aaaaa ver….noun?  “Yes well done Jamie.”  Mrs Patterson squeaked.  Mrs Patterson was like jelly with legs, she always wobbled and so fragile she moved like a spider despite her passion for Mc Donalds.  She always had something to say.  She always picked on Jamie.  Jamie hated her with a passion, like how much he loved football but into hate and directed to Mrs Patterson.

“RIIINGGGG”.  The bell had gone now the trials were only 20 minutes away.  He grabbed his bag and sprinted down the corridor, but one of the teachers screamed ,“NO RUNNING IN THE CORRIDOR!”  Jamie was to in a hurry to slow down; he snatched his PE kit from his locker and scurried down to the changing rooms. “OI NEW BOY I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU NOT TO COME!  THE TRAILS ARE FOR PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY HAVE A CHANCE!”  Dillian shouted in Jamie’s face.  “Yeah well you’re just jealous because you’re afraid I will make it and you won’t.”  Jamie sneered.  “What did toad face just say?”  Dillian looked back to his jerk entourage and laughed hysterically.  “You…you think you will get in.” Dillian giggled.  He was laughing so hard he nearly wet himself.  “Well we will have to see now wont we.”  replied Jamie.  He quickly assembled his kit on put it on.

He scampered to the astro turf. The Football coach (David) put the players in teams, red and blue.  Jack and Dillian were on the blue; Jamie was on the red team.  Jack looked at Jamie and mouthed “sorry.”  Jamie didn’t care.  He wanted to win his spot on his own.  Jamie was probably the most determined player on the pitch.  Just score.  That is all he had to.  Score a few goals.  Jamie was put up front, just where he needed to be.  He heard the screaming shrill of the whistle.  This was his chance.  A chance to be normal.  His shot at his football dream.  The other team had the ball.  He bolted over and tackled them with extreme skill.  He had the ball.  Dillian charged at him with extreme speed.  Could he do it?  Could he take on Dillian?  He could, he had his heart and mind set on it.  He was a metre away.  Jamie huffed he murmured under his breath, “this is it Jamie, take on Dillian and you have your spot.”  I guess his little speech took too long because Dillian had pushed through him knocking him to the floor with such force, he lay there winded, cold and hurt.  Dillian ran past the defenders because they were so afraid of him after what happened to Jamie.  His eyes closed.  He breathed heavily.  He thought, “Come on Jamie, get up, open your eyes and get up.”  His team mates circled him.  His eyes opened.  He had to carry on.  He didn’t have a choice.  He got up slowly and shook his head.  He was ok.  They restarted the match with a goal kick.

The goal kick was a long range.  Jamie ran for it.  The ball bounced.  Jamie kicked the ball it shot through the defenders; he knew it would make it.  It had to.  The ball skimmed through the keeper’s hands and into the net. HE SCORED!  Jamie’s team mates lifted him so high Jamie felt like a bird soaring through the sky.  They chanted, “JAMIE, JAMIE.”  Even Jack joined in. Dillian was not the only football star.  The end score was 3-2 to Jamie’s team. (Jack scored the other goal)

Jamie woke up the next day with a gut feeling he was going to get in.  They were announcing the people in assembly that day.  He got out of his bed and took out a t-shirt and some trousers from his wardrobe with a picture of England’s football team.  There was:






Walker and the rest.

Jamie crossed his fingers and galloped down stairs.  His mum was waiting for him.  She gave him his toast with jam and asked “Do you want to be walked to school?”  He replied,  “No only girls and wooses are walked to school.”  He finished his toast and picked up his bag and left.  He met up with Bobby and Jack and talked about the trials. Jack thought that for sure she got in. Jamie agreed.  Bobby wasn’t in the trials so he stayed quiet.

They arrived at school and went straight to assembly.  Coach David announced the people that made the team.  He named a few people then he announced, “Jack.”  He was happy for her.  She stood up and took a bow. “Jamie Johnson.”  Jamie couldn’t believe it he made the team!  He stood up smiled and took a bow.  Dillian was furious.  After assembly Jamie went over to Dillian and said “There’s always next year, toad face.”  His entourage laughed and so did Jack, Bobby and Jamie.  Dillian was so embarrassed.  The rest of the day went by so fast . It was like Jamie’s world was so much brighter.  Jamie went home that day feeling proud.  He told his mum the good news and she said softly, “I knew my boy could do it.”  She smiled.  Jamie apologised for the rude things he said to her that week.  He rung his granddad and told him the good news.  He was very proud of him.

That was the day Jamie achieved his goal.  He went on to get in every year after that.  He even played in college.  He was a football star!


Based on the stories of Jamie Johnson By Dan Freedman



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