The Old School House

The image the story was based on

As I looked at the broken-down old school it brought back a lot of fun and cherished memories that I have from when I was a child. Now I’m the guy who has to demolish it.

This old building being knocked down might be for the better. It has just been sitting here deep in the countryside, growing old and gathering dust. Stray animals run in and out every night, and kids have stepped on broken glass.

It’s not actually a bad thing that this building is getting knocked down. It will clear room for more important things like perhaps a habitat for animals or a new school. It could even become a home for someone.

But I feel bad in a way that the building is getting knocked down. I had a lot of fun in this school having lunch with my friends. Learning new things every day.  But everything must of course come to an end.

Original text

I just hope that the space this building frees up comes to some good use that will  help this community. This building isn’t doing any good as it is anyway. Dogs going inside barking maniacally. Corrugated iron thudding against the verandah. The rusty bell signalling happier times long since past. Leaves brustling against the wood.  Storms making holes in the roof. Wood peeling and splitting off. There is really no point in this building going on any longer.

To sum up, I am now neither happy nor sad about this building being knocked down.

It has had its time.

I just hope the space freed up is put to good environmental use.

The end.



This story was written this week by a 10 year old boy as a result of completing a written expression test.

He was provided with a copy of the picture of an old school house (above) and then given 40 minutes to write a story about it.

Other conditions were that he had to put himself in the story (hence his stick drawing of himself he added in the picture) , was not allowed to talk to anybody, did not sit next to anybody, had absolutely no help in writing this story, no erasers or dictionaries were made available, and he had to complete the story to “the end” within 40 minutes.

What do you think of the results? Do you think this story shows any creative writing potential?

I’d very much appreciate  your feedback.

Thank you,


55 Comments on “The Old School House”

  1. Sarah Wilson says:

    Hi ability to hold two competing “truths” in his mind and to see the pluses and minuses of each? Rather advanced soul development at 10. Can’t wait to see what he’s up to at 20, 30 and beyond.

    Lovely bit of writing – good details, speaks to various sensory experiences, speaks at someone might thing a demo guy might speak – direct and pragmatic.

    Excellent work.

  2. mihr yazd says:

    This was a very creative piece for a 10 yr old. I enjoyed the theme he came up with. The time has come to open room for the new, thanks for sharing Gaye.

  3. Kim Clune says:

    This is a lovely, reflective piece – for any aged author. To be ten and layering details that we, as adults, can impose our feelings upon, is a gift. There is high potential here.

    I agree with others that there is repetition rooted in great focus upon the assignment’s image. I also find that to open with a sentence about schoolhouse memories without including one leaves the reader wanting. But these are things that can be learned from along the way. I hope this young man chooses to explore and enjoy various writing techniques as he very clearly has an exceptional start!

  4. txwikinger says:

    Very good structure and expresivenes for a 10 year old!

  5. Agree he has potential. I’d like to see what he is writing in 10 years

  6. Vera says:

    I think it does. And I think it’s very interesting that he put himself into the story as an adult.
    Wish him all the best luck in life and writing.

  7. John Anslow says:

    Great vocabulary for a ten year old I guess he reads a lot 🙂 I like the use of words and the observation and think with training and practice and desire yes they could become an excellent writer 🙂

  8. artrotter says:

    Sure creative and with a good abitude,probably , in reading. He has rithm and a good choice of words.

  9. Iggy Pintado says:

    Very well constructed and lots of potential, Gaye.

  10. jvclair says:

    Excellent piece of writing from such a young writer.

  11. Emma Geraln says:

    It shows a thoughtful and intuitive mind. He’s tried to imagine how he might feel about an old house being demolished, no doubt drawing on experiences and feelings he’s heard others express. He’s come to the conclusion that he doesn’t really care as long as the space is put to good use. Which of course is fair, since he has no feelings about the imaginary house.

    As a ten year old boy his empathy muscles are pretty under developed so it’s not surprising it became rather analytical. I think the writing is great for ten.

    There’s potential, writing is like a muscle that needs to be developed. He needs to write, he needs to read, and he needs to live! (oh and did I say he needs to read!).

  12. xutspa says:

    I liked it and thought that it was well written. Even more so after I read how he did it and the conditions he did it in. If he is keen to be a writer then I think he has potential.

  13. tdegrosbois says:

    I loved it. Very creative and imaginative. I work with writers on teaching them to become bestselling authors and this writer has HUGE potential. Hope he sticks with writing. His creative style is bestseller potential for sure if he stays the course.

  14. layanglicana says:

    I agree with Liz Pullen – the technique is not great, but for a ten year old is impressive. I think the decision as to whether or not he has writing talent is like deciding whether he is a potential painter – you need to look chiefly at what it is he is trying to express and then deciding whether or not he has creative talent. For me, for all the reasons given above, he definitely has this.

  15. Emile says:

    Wow! Loved it. Looking forward to more.

  16. The story of loss and nostalgia, and the idea that new may not always be better, is a fine one for anyone to have written. The writing by a ten year old makes it doubly wonderful and impressive.

  17. I think he is quiet good for 10 years old. Yes he has potential to be a writer. Good luck for him!

  18. geoffrey tegjeu says:

    i must say the child has a good imaginative mind with a constructive ability of a calm person and to add which i find intriguing is certain values and attributes that some adults lack, even if he does not choose to be a writer, surely a young man to look out for. A 10 year young man you say, certainly much more than i was at that age. Great

  19. Leo Basic says:

    Great story for a ten years old child, especially under condition you mentioned. No erasers, so no chance to change anything, Of course, can’t be good judge about dictionary, English is not my first language, but think that boy has a great potential to become a writer.

  20. Wow…that is very impressive for a10 year old.
    Oh yeah…he has a future.

    thanks for sharing this 🙂

  21. Brilliant. he has A future. Wish him all the best.

  22. ridexc says:

    Kudos, Gaye, for providing this great encouragement for him by posting the story! A little adult support can make all the difference with a kid this age, in developing his talent. And there is definitely some talent there!

  23. If this kid can put those thoughts together…..then he has talent that only needs molding…….and more life experiences…..!!! It’s a nice start.

  24. anyanon says:

    This is quite an impressive story written in 40 minutes, much more impressive considering it was written by a 10 year old.

  25. sathishisaac says:

    Enjoyed reading it, couldn’t believe a 10 year old will write such a captivating content.

  26. Vicki Coggan says:

    Interesting thought process and written as an adult looking back on his childhood. Very mature for a 10 year old. Maybe a little pompous ans stiff, but exceptional for that age and when you think it was for a test ans not something he created for enjoyment. Congratulations

  27. Good stuff, he should keep writing

  28. smv says:

    Interesting that a 10 year old would think to present the story from the perspective of an adult. As he talked of memories of the past and future opportunities for the soon to be vacant land, I thought that was impressive. Very considerate of animals and the environment.

  29. Saty Jwaly says:

    Well the story is catchy. it has the emotions and good writing skills by the 10 year boy. I must say KEEP IT UP!

  30. JoeJoeKeys says:

    This reminds me of my first gradeschool building. My mothers side of the family grew up going to school in the modest school house and I was the last generation to attend there. I still have a picture of me with the entire school in front of it before they tore it down and built a new gymnasium. So sad, but out with the old and in with the new.

  31. Tom Laing says:

    I can’t believe with was written by a 10 year old, but that said the writer demonstrates a maturity beyond 10 and an command of English that is rare in most these days. To be able to empathise and so readily express thoughts and feelings indicates a career as a creative writer for sure.

  32. Wow! I’m shocked speechless upon learning that this was written by a 10-year old. I really had the impression that this was written by a college level kid working in the construction (or demolition) business to pay for his tuition. Potential? Heck, this fella is a born writer! His parents must be very proud of him! Thanks for sharing, Gaye!

  33. Christian says:

    I can almost not believe that this text was written by a ten year old. Especially his handwriting is that of an elder person, kind of early matured.
    For my liking his text a bit too serious. If you wouldn’t know his age, you might miss some “colours”. His text is more descriptive than narrative. He is not constructing a story, he is repeating an image, which is painted quite beautifully.
    He surpasses everything you would expect from a 10 year old, but I feel he knows very much what he does. And so it must be permitted to judge the text regardless of his age.

    Coming to the point: He’s very good at formulating but his creativity has to be awakened.

  34. G'Day says:

    I believe that with 10 years of age may develop an interest in creative writing and a very high intelligence. Has anyone thought about making some great people in history, but an early age showed great knowledge. Science has proven that intelligence IQ increases with each new generation.
    I wish him all the best in life.
    Thanks Gaye.

  35. For a ten year old this is amazing writing. Short crisp story with a beginning middle and end and makes us visualize what the kid in the story is going through. I’ve seen a couple of old schools around my house get demolished and converted into houses. Felt extremely sad and this story brings back those memories. Cheers to the writer and to you Gaye for sharing.

  36. TaxCoach says:

    At my first read, he just completed an assignment that he forced to put himself in. Not much imagination. Yet, I fully understand this is done in 40 minutes by a 10 years old. I hope I could write as good as he is when I was young. Thanks for showing interesting project.

  37. Enrique Sabal says:

    Remarkable for any one, but more so for a 10 year old….

  38. LG says:

    Potential? Definitely. I like how he told his story, rather than try to write to appeal.

  39. mandyf says:

    That is really impressive to draw that story from the picture.It is a very creative angle to have placed himself in the position of an adult returning to a childhood haunt that was being put to rest. There is some definite ability here. His use of language is very good for his age, he creates a strong scene that is vivid enough to draw you in. It’s impressive. I’ve seen high school students that can’t write this well.

  40. TareqG says:

    If not mentioned, I would never a guess a 10 year old wrote that. The potential’s there.

  41. Lori Moreno says:

    Excellent grammar, structure and super ability to convey his thoughts!

  42. Don Dobbie says:

    Very descriptive for a 10 year old, good use of emotional content that captivates the reader. A bit too abrupt in thoughts and some broken parallelism – I believe that this is quality work from an individual that will improve if encouraged to develop.

  43. Liz Pullen says:

    I was going to make some comments about some lapses in writing abilities until I saw that it was written by a 10 year old. It’s pretty advanced for a child his age, his use of language and vocabulary, the way he gets into the character. If it was an adult, I’d have a stronger critique but given his age I think it shows real promise.

  44. Story writing well above his age. I like that he put himself in the story as an adult reminiscent of his childhood… a stretch of perspective. Thanks for sharing.

  45. dariacarey says:

    I believe it does show creative writing potential. Not only does the child have a good vocabulary, he has created an emotional perspective on something he has no connection to. One sign of a great writer!

  46. Glen Michael says:

    He seems to have a grip on things at a very early age. I love how he is in touch with his feelings and the feelings of others.

  47. milieunet says:


  48. Jeroen says:

    Creative writing potential for sure! I haven’t met a 10 year old that would write anything close to this… Currently it’s a bit repetitive, but the picture and atmosphere that the boy paints with the vocabulary that he uses is very uncommon – in my opinion. And something like “But everything must of course come to an end” is not something that I’d expect from a 10-year old either…

    Thanks for sharing Gaye!

  49. mithuhassan says:

    To be honest I can’t believe this blog has written 10 year old boy! Very best wishes for him !!

  50. I love how you end paragraphs: good and blunt. they are like “Punchlines,” from you. Excellent style, all in all. Maybe we’ll get a guest post on my blog… talk with Ms. Crispin about that, she can make the introductions, get you started 🙂

  51. ransae says:

    Very intelligent and creative, for a ten year old! Great

  52. ransae says:

    Reblogged this on Ransae's Blog.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s