In English classrooms there has been an increased focus on students creating their own texts for a range of purposes and audiences. Students in Year 7 recently learnt about the mystery genre through their study of Friday Barnes Girl Detective and they planned and wrote their own detective stories. They were given a range of parameters including setting or scenario and profiles for a range of characters that they needed to include in their detective stories. They then made their own decisions about dialogue, figurative language, clues, red herrings, other characters and the solution. Excerpts from some of their stories are included for your enjoyment.




Mary, a teenage girl who has a twin sister

Alfred, a mysterious neighbour

A museum where a preserved dodo has gone missing

Max, a teenage boy who works at a convenience store

Alice, the most popular person at school

A shopping centre where the mannequins keep disappearing

Monique, a private detective who has been doing the job for 10 years

Alex, a cranky celebrity

A sport stadium where the team mascot can’t be located

Max has always had a thing for puzzles and solving mysteries, he had been solving them since he was eleven years old. He has been fond of this and has become quite fast at solving them. It had started five years ago when his class went to a mystery solving excursion, that’s also where he met ‘The Agent Ps’ – a duo of Agent Polly and Agent Potter.

Max would be able to solve most of the crimes with ease whereas his other classmates could not. Max had caught The Agent Ps’ eyes and he was quickly enrolled to be a detective.

Throughout his whole time being mentored by The Agent Ps, he had gone on different missions as a helper and gotten jobs to investigate even further. But this time was different. He was on his own, a convenience store worker, when trouble struck. (Isabella)

They peered through the window like spies and saw the most popular girl in the school, Alice. They used their super, powerful binoculars and turned it to the highest zoom setting. Alice flicked her golden, blonde hair that shone in the sunlight. They saw a few strands of her hair fall down. The telepathic twins didn’t need to communicate with each other to know what they were thinking. The door out to the back was wide open and the mascot’s costume was near it.

The door led to a brown wall with sunlight coming from the lift. They poked their heads out and saw that there was a big garbage bin there with a muffled voice coming from it. Mary and Lily cautiously opened the lid and found a person with a mask around his mouth and a rope tying his hands behind him. (Anaya)

Mary woke up groggily with a Monday ahead of her. She dragged herself over to her closet and pulled on a hoodie and jeans. She slowly ate breakfast, slowly walked to the bus stop and slowly walked through the school gates. Mary looked around drearily and saw Alice Marigold surrounded by her many friends. She was probably bragging. As the talkative group of girls brushed past her, she heard Alice’s squeaky voice: ‘And I just got a new limousine, my own private chef and my own mansion.’ Mary rolled her eyes and headed to her classroom.

Anne Morrison
English Learning Leader