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 →

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 →

Inspiring Writing: Hosting a Film Festival

I am a huge advocate of inspiring writing through authentic purpose and audience and one of my fundamental aims this year has been to raise literacy attainment through the use of engaging, creative literacy projects that do just that.  The National Literacy Trust's writing enjoyment, behaviours and attitudes report (2017/18) shows that enjoyment of writing... Continue Reading →

Writing Rivers

I originally saw Jon Biddle's excellent Reading Rivers report on the Open University's Reading for Pleasure website. It stems from an idea originally explored by Pamela Burnard (2002) whereby the 'river' was used as a reflective tool to represent key musical experiences. It was then further explored by Gabrielle Cliff-Hodges (2010) with secondary readers and... Continue Reading →

Happy New (school) Year!

The start of a new year always brings a raft of changes and challenges. As teachers, we are constantly reflecting on our own practice but, at times, it’s important to remember not to be too self-critical. Obviously, reflecting on what you would improve is a worthwhile pursuit, but it’s also important to focus on what... Continue Reading →

Encourage creativity, set writing free

‘A love of writing can unlock children’s imaginations, aspirations and academic potential. Yet half of school children tell us they don’t enjoy writing because they struggle with spelling, punctuation, and knowing what to write.’  Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust Half of children in the UK don’t enjoy writing. Half. I’ve often asked... Continue Reading →

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