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 →

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 →

Encouraging Book Clubs at Home

The Teachers as Readers research project (Cremin et al, 2008) highlights the importance of relationships between children, teachers, families and communities and how this has a strong influence on RfP (Reading for Pleasure). I wanted to build reading relationships beyond the classroom not only between the kids in my class but also between the children... 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them

Much of what I do in the classroom relies heavily on quality, authentic texts, so knowing where to find them is crucial. Ensuring that children have access to fantastic books – whether it’s for lessons, a read aloud or simply for pleasure – is absolutely essential to inspire and build a community of lifelong readers.... Continue Reading →

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