Happy National Poetry Day!

This year, whilst researching ideas to celebrate National Poetry Day with my class, I came across Tony Walsh’s poem Take This Pen. I love how the energy and passion of the poem builds to a beautiful, lyrical crescendo. It's an incredibly moving poem, beautifully illustrated by Chris Riddell, which reminds us that everyone has something... Continue Reading →

Book Review: You Won’t Believe This!

You Won't Believe This! by Adam Baron, illustrated by Benji Davies Published by Harper Collins Children's Books Recommended Key Stages: 2 Year Group: 4-6 You Won’t Believe This by Adam Baron is a completely captivating read, one where humour and wit walks hand in hand alongside two intertwining mysteries. Beautifully illustrated by Benji Davies, it’s... Continue Reading →

Inspiring Writing: Props & Stimulus

Sometimes, the best writing starts with just a little inspiration. "Books, in and of themselves, are magical doorways. Opening a book is as simple as opening a door in the real world, but often much more rewarding! Doorways within books are something special. A character who passes through a magical doorway into a world of... Continue Reading →

Visualisation and Art

Visual imagery is essential for memory, day dreaming and imagination. It can also be used as a powerful classroom tool and, when embedded in the writing process, can produce amazing results. I originally discovered this technique a few years ago during a training course led by the CLPE. I am a big fan of their... Continue Reading →

Reading Aloud: The Poet-Tree Project

This project was inspired by the Teachers as Readers (TaRs) research and through my role as the leader of an Open University/UKLA TaRs Book Group (you can find out more about that here). Our book group is based in Blackheath and meets approximately once per half term. We share and discuss children's literature and explore... Continue Reading →

The Literacy Calendar 2019-2020

Last year, I created a Literacy Calendar - something I'd wanted to sink my teeth into for a long time. I’ve always felt it would be one of those things that's incredibly useful to have and to share with staff, yet something we rarely have time to research or create! It proved so popular amongst... Continue Reading →

The Power of Reading Aloud

"Reading to children should not be presented as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." (Kate DiCamillo) Everybody loves to be read to. Almost everyone has nostalgic memories of being read to as a child, or reading to their own children or grandchildren. I was lucky enough to... Continue Reading →

Cosy Reading

Just because independent reading does not have a learning objective attached to it, does not mean it isn't valuable. Just because it cannot be tested, does not mean it should lose curriculum time. Sadly, creating time and space for reading is something that many teachers struggle with (given the ever-increasing demands on our already crowded... Continue Reading →

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