Blind Date with a Book

I was thinking about National Libraries Week (taking place from 8 - 13 October 2018) and how we might celebrate our much-loved school library, when I stumbled upon the idea of having a blind date with a book. The aim is to encourage children to explore new genres and authors in an exciting, engaging way and the 'blind... 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 →

The Day War Came

The Day War Came by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb Published by Walker Book, £10 (£1  from each copy sold donated to Help Refugees)Recommended Key Stages: 1 or 2 Year Group: 3+ In 2016, our own government refused to allow 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees to enter the UK. Around the same time, Nicola Davies... 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 →

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