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English - The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

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The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

The story is set in early 19th-century England. A large number of wolves have migrated from Europe and Russia and are terrorising the people in rural England. The first extract introduces the main house which is called Willoughby Chase. The second extract introduces some of the main characters including Sir Willoughby, his young daughter Bonnie and her new governess Miss Slighcarp, who is working with a network of criminals, forgers and snitches to carry out a terrible plan.

 Extract 1

It was dusk – winter dusk. Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees. Snow lay piled on the dark road across Willoughby Wold, but from dawn men had been clearing it with brooms and shovels. There were hundreds of them at work, wrapped in sacking because of the bitter cold, and keeping together in groups for fear of the wolves, grown savage and reckless from hunger.

Snow lay thick, too, upon the roof of Willoughby Chase, the great house that stood in an open eminence in the heart of the wold. But for all that, the Chase looked an inviting home – a warm and welcoming stronghold. Its rosy herringbone brick was bright and well cared for, its numerous turrets and battlements stood up sharp against the sky, and the crenellated balconies, corniced with snow, each held a golden square of window. The house was all alight within, and the joyous hubbub of its activity contrasted with the sombre sighing of the wind and the hideous howling of the wolves without.

I can’t wait to hear more tomorrow. I look forward to reading it.

Think about the following:

  • What impression do you get of Willoughby Chase?

  • Why do you think wolves are mentioned?

  • What do you notice about the techniques used for description in this extract?

Extract 2

That’s all right,’ said Sir Willoughby heartily. ‘Mustn’t let Miss Sylvia die of cold on the train. Besides, the wolves might get you, and then the poor child would be held up on the train all night for the want of the signal. Never do, eh? Well, Bonnie, what is it, miss?’

‘Oh, Papa,’ said Bonnie, who had been plucking at his sleeve, ‘may I go with Solly in the chaise to meet Sylvia? May I?’ ‘No indulgence should be permitted a child who has behaved as she has done,’ remarked Miss Slighcarp. ‘Oh, come, come, Miss Slighcarp, come, come, ma’am,’ said Sir Willoughby good-naturedly. ‘Young blood, you know. Besides, my Bonnie’s as good a shot at a wolf as any of them. Run along, then, miss, but wrap up snug – remember you’ll be several hours on the road.’

‘Oh, thank you, Papa! Goodbye! Goodbye, Mamma dear, goodbye, Miss Slighcarp!’ and she fondly kissed her parents and ran from the room to find her warmest bonnet and pelisse.

‘Reckless, foolish indulgence,’ muttered the governess, directing after Bonnie a look of the purest spite.

Oh dear. Can’t wait to read what happens tomorrow. See you.

 

What impression do you get of the relationship between Sir Willoughby and his daughter Bonnie?

 

Practise

Activity 1

 

 

Extract 3

It was dusk - winter dusk. Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees. Snow lay piled on the dark road across Willoughby Wold, but from dawn men had been clearing it with brooms and shovels. There were hundreds of them at work, wrapped in sacking because of the bitter cold, and keeping together in groups for fear of the wolves, grown savage and reckless from hunger.

Snow lay thick, too, upon the roof of Willoughby Chase, the great house that stood on an open eminence in the heart of the wold. But for all that, the Chase looked an inviting home – a warm and welcoming stronghold. Its rosy herringbone brick was bright and well cared for, its numerous turrets and battlements stood up sharp against the sky, and the crenellated balconies, corniced with snow, each held a golden square of window. The house was all alight within, and the joyous hubbub of its activity contrasted with the sombre sighing of the wind and the hideous howling of the wolves without.

Do you agree with the following statement?

The writer describes the interior of Willoughby Chase more favourably than the exterior.

Find some evidence from the text that supports your opinion.

 

Activity 2

 

That’s all right,’ said Sir Willoughby heartily. ‘Mustn’t let Miss Sylvia die of cold on the train. Besides, the wolves might get you, and then the poor child would be held up on the train all night for want of the signal. Never do, eh? Well, Bonnie, what is it, miss?’

‘Oh, Papa,’ said Bonnie, who had been plucking at his sleeve, ‘may I go with Solly in the chaise to meet Sylvia? May I?’

‘No indulgence should be permitted a child who has behaved as she has done,’ remarked Miss Slighcarp.

‘Oh, come, come, Miss Slighcarp, come, come, ma’am,’ said Sir Willoughby good-naturedly. ‘Young blood, you know. Besides, my Bonnie’s as good a shot at a wolf as any of them. Run along, then, miss, but wrap up snug – remember you’ll be several hours on the road.’

‘Oh, thank you, Papa! Goodbye! Goodbye, Mamma dear, goodbye, Miss Slighcarp!’ and she fondly kissed her parents and ran from the room to find her warmest bonnet and pelisse*.

‘Reckless, foolish indulgence,’ muttered the governess, directing after Bonnie a look of the purest spite.

(*A pelisse is an ankle-length jacket.)

This extract tells us lots about Bonnie's new governess Miss Slighcarp, through what she says and (more importantly) how she says it. We can observe how Miss Slighcarp views Bonnie and this gives us some idea about what type of woman Miss Slighcarp is.

1. What are your impressions of Miss Slighcarp? Organise your ideas and the evidence from the text in a table.

Impressions of Ms Slighcarp Evidence from the text
1.
2.
3.

 2. Using your impressions and evidence in the table, write a paragraph summarising the character of Miss Slighcarp.

 

Activity 3

 

 

The book is called The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and is set at a time when wolves have migrated from Russia and Europe and are terrorising the people of rural England.

Using both extracts, write a short paragraph that explains how the writer subtly weaves in the theme of wolves to her novel.

Top tip!

You could list the quotations that reference wolves from the extracts and explain how they impact on the reader.

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Geography

Learn - Settlements

What are settlements?

Settlements are places where people live and sometimes work.

They can be small or large depending on how many people live there and how many facilities there are.

Facilities are places where certain things happen, for example, schools for education, parks for playing or shops for selling things.

Types of settlement

  • hamlet is a very small settlement with just a group of houses.
  • village is also small but may have houses, a primary school, a few shops, a Post Office and a village hall.
  • town is larger than a village, with lots of houses, primary and secondary schools, as well as sometimes having a railway station and shopping centre.
  • city is the largest type of settlement, containing lots of buildings and lots of people. They usually have hospitals, sports facilities, universities, shops, offices, many houses and a cathedral.

In the UK however, some cities may be small. This is because some settlements have a cathedral and this makes them a city. For example, St Davids in Wales and the City of London in England.

Some settlements also have a special use, or function. For example:

  • ports - by a river or sea for ships to transport goods
  • market towns - where local farmers sell goods
  • resorts - for people to go on holiday

 

Blaise Hamlet is a hamlet in England

Pendoylan is a village in Wales

Portstewart is a town in Northern Ireland

Edinburgh is a city in Scotland

 

Watch this clip to find out the differences between the two cities.

Activity 1

What are the differences between Paris and London?

After watching the video above make a list of the differences between the two cities of Paris and London.

How many can you find?

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