Form 6 - English

Posted on: May 12th 2017

For the past few weeks, Form 6 have been studying narrative poetry in English. Our focus was on the famous poem 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes which charts the dark and tragic tale of a notorious thief and the girl he loves, Bess. The children started off by predicting what might happen in the poem through the use of picture clues and then they moved on to discuss the plot and analyse the structure and the language choices. In later lessons, we included a drama focus and the children entered into in depth discussions about the characters, trying to infer their thoughts and motives by putting themselves in their position, using the evidence on the page to help guide them. They then scripted and performed scenes inspired by the poem that showed the audience what they had learned about their character.

One of the children's final tasks was to write an atmospheric description based on an image of the highwayman, who at the time was angry and vengeful, poised to charge off on his horse. We hope you enjoy these descriptions as they really show how impressively the Form 6's engaged with the text and emulated the tone and language choices seen in the original poem.

The Highwayman screamed in rage. His eyes became hollows of madness, his shout a battle cry and he shot like a bullet over the purple moor. Racing along the road, his anger overcame him. Adrenalin coursed through his veins.

I will get the man responsible for Bess’s death. I will end him.

Clip, clop, clip, clop.

Hooves clattered on the cobbles whilst the ghostly galleon of a moon watched his every move. He wouldn't stop going until he had his revenge. His Bess, his poor sweet Bess had died in the hands of George III... and had died because of him.

All he saw was red and all he sought was that man’s death. Wind howled in his ears and it blinded him but he kept moving onwards, closer to the danger, maybe even to his death.

Closer and closer he came to the inn.

Closer and closer he came to vengeance.

Faster and faster his horse cantered.

Faster and faster the old trees rushed by. Through towns and villages and wide open space his horse galloped on.

Thinking about how the guards found out, he began to suspect Tim the crazy, empty man who had often looked at Bess with a longing. Perhaps out of love, perhaps out of hate..

Did Tim tell the guards of Bess and his meetings? If his suspicions were true he was responsible for his true love's death...


The highwayman did not hear the gunshot nor did he see the guards.

He was dead in an instant.

By Amelia Frohlich


The highwayman’s eyes were hollows of madness as his beautiful horse reared up. He thrust his sword high into the sky and yelled piercing words into the night. Inside he was a fuming ball of anger, plotting ghastly revenge against the soldiers who had killed his sweetheart.

The rebel was a fearful sight, with brown nails and crumbling teeth like tombstones. His nose was hooked and broken and his mouth hung open wide, revealing his long, slimy tongue. The highwayman’s gun glinted in the silky rays of the moonlight. The trees around him, which were reaching out with bony fingers, looked like a skeletal army.

Wheeling his horse around, he screamed a fearsome battle cry and rode into the black night. Animals hurriedly scampered away from the sound of his horse’s hooves as the highwayman emanated danger and revenge.

The night turned cold as the robber with his red velvet coat and doe-skin boots galloped in the direction of the old inn where the soldiers lay hidden in silence, waiting with their muskets for the highwayman to ride into their trap.

A shot pierced the night and smoke filled the air.

Lying on the ground, in a pool of blood, was the highwayman.

By Zac Carter

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