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First Competition winner!

Today I am pleased to be able to publish the first winning story from my creative writing competition.

Children aged between 9 and 13 were invited to submit a story of no more than 500 words with the phrase "It's Raining in Moscow and I Forgot my Umbrella" inserted somewhere within the text.

The first winner is Fara, from Christ Church Primary, Chorleywood. Many thanks to Mrs Morley for encouraging the children to write such wonderful stories.

I was impressed by all the entries, but I loved the way Fara managed to get a sense of confusion into this story. She has made it funny, but not ridiculous, and that’s always clever.

Congratulations Fara, here is your story!

An Awkward Teacher

by Fara

Early one morning, Eleanor woke up and carefully put on her school uniform.

First day of school, she thought. Eleanor sped down the stairs and grabbed a loaf of bread. “Bye mum! Bye dad!”

Her mum and dad were still sitting down, tapping the keys on their laptop keyboards. Eleanor enjoyed walking to school.

“Hey, Eleanor, over here!” called Jess, her best friend. Eleanor skipped over, humming a tune to her steps. “Did you hear about the new teacher?” Jess told her.

“Yeah, um, Mrs Sharp. I hope she’s nice.”

Ding! Ding! Ding!

“Oh! School bell,” said Jess, “See you inside!”

As soon as they got inside, Mrs Sharp ordered them to sit down. “Hello, I’m Mrs Sharp, the new year 5 teacher.”

“Good morning Missus Sharp,” chorused the children.

Every day it was the same - maths, English, assembly, break, guided reading, lunch, French, geography. Every day, school was even more boring, and everyone was longing for the half term. Until one day, in the middle of an assembly, Mrs Sharp jumped out of her chair and started dancing!

All the children tried not to, but they burst out laughing.

“Mrs Sharp are you okay?” shouted Mr. Cave, the head teacher, waving his hands in front of her face.

Mrs Sharp spoke, “Pardon, Monsieur Cave, excusé moi!’’

“Oh, Mrs Sharp, I need you to help me! Please translate,” Mr. Cave said with confusion. “Classes you are dismissed.”

Everyone got up and left the hall. “Sorry, Mr. Cave, excuse me.”

“Mrs Sharp, I think you and I need to discuss you taking a break.”

“What, no I… I… I’m fine. I need to teach the children.”

“Mrs Sharp…”

“I…okay, I’ll take a break.”

“One-week break, is that okay with you?” Mrs Sharp nodded her head, packed her things and took a break.


A week later, after her break, Mrs Sharp came back into school, but things were not any better. Mrs Sharp started speaking French in the English lesson and teaching maths in the geography lesson!

“So, children,” she began in a maths lesson. “I want you to list the countries you have been to; I want you to talk about the weather there and make a funny sentence.”

“Isn’t this meant to be a maths lesson?” whispered a boy in the back row.

“She is the teacher – she knows what’s best,” someone replied.

“I guess,” said the boy, shrugging.

“For instance, let’s focus on Moscow. It rains a lot there. So… it’s raining in Moscow and I forgot my umbrella!” Mrs Sharp said absent-mindedly. Eleanor and Jess faced each other passing a message through their eyes.

“We need to locate Mr. Cave and inform him about this problem. Quickly!” So, they snuck out of the classroom, scouting about for Mr. Cave. Eventually, they discovered him in the office and conveyed the information.

“This is bizarre,” he looked at the girls, “She needs another break…”

“This time a longer one!” the girls shouted in unison, “and possibly doctor?”


What a fantastic book! I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have three sons aged between 11 and 15 and they have all read this and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has also created great family discussion about a difficult topic. Well worth a read and one of the most well written books my children have read in a long time.


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