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 →

20 Tools for Teaching Vocab.

If you’ve read my posts about building vocabulary and spelling in a reading rich curriculum, you’ll know that I am keen on instilling a love of reading, an interest in the etymology of words and an inquisitive nature about word origins and meanings. I believe the teaching of spelling and vocabulary should be through fun,... Continue Reading →

Building Vocabulary

Building vocabulary is essential for all pupils to ensure that they are able to access the curriculum and reach their full potential academically. Of course, vocabulary building continues to evolve throughout our lives, but creating a curiosity around words from a young age can have a big impact. Embedding positive reading and vocabulary-building habits can... Continue Reading →

Harnessing the Power of Working Walls

When I started out in teaching, it was easy to confuse pinterest-perfect classrooms with those that actually had an impact on learning. As well as being vibrant and welcoming, the classroom environment can also be a valuable learning tool, a way of engaging and supporting children. With careful thought and planning, an effective classroom environment is... Continue Reading →

The Literacy Calendar 2018-19

A calendar of literacy events is something I've wanted to sink my teeth into for a long time. I've always felt it would be useful to have and to share with all staff. I think it will put an end to all those last minute attempts to conjure up activities and resources for special whole-school... Continue Reading →

Inspiring Writing: Publishing a Book

If there is a better way to motivate and excite children about books, than by turning them into published authors, I do not know about it. Publishing books gives children the most authentic purpose and audience for their writing and is an incredible way of inspiring writing in school. Publishing, sharing, performing and celebrating their... Continue Reading →

Spelling in a Reading Rich Curriculum

Astonishing, isn't it? Our ability to decipher words. It's thought that we rely heavily on a word's shape and layout to decode its meaning, rather than the precise order of the letters which is why the above passage is so easy to read, despite being absolute nonsense. Fluent readers have the ability to read words... Continue Reading →

Getting to grips with Grammar

I became a teacher shortly after my 30th birthday. I had not stepped foot in a primary school for almost 20 years and, to be honest, the grammatical terminology required to teach Year 5 English came as quite a shock. I had done well in my SATs, GCSEs and A-Levels, I'd gone on to achieve... Continue Reading →

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