Here we are again. A new term. A new year. We hope that you have had a lovely Christmas break and that the new term has begun as smoothly as possible for you all. With this in mind, we thought we’d share our latest-hfl-primary-english-newsletter-spring-2017as swiftly as possible, especially as it is such a short half term.
Penny Slater is Deputy Lead Adviser on the Primary English team at Herts for Learning.
If you haven’t yet found your passion for children’s literature, then Traction Man is the text that will set you on the road to discovering what all the fuss is about. Put simply, Traction Man is one of those books that prove just how exciting children’s literature can be.
Following on from our recent blog on books that trigger emotional responses, Alison Dawkins offers some reflections on one such book that has left a lingering trace.
A few weeks ago, my chum Martin wrote about the importance of reading scary and sad books , as adults and as children, and as usual, got me thinking. Specifically, thinking again about Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr .
He’s quite right, when he mentioned the book back in the summer, I visibly shuddered with a ‘oh, that book’s so scary’, (although I have to say there was already a set of six copies in the guided reading choices for Y6 in my old school, ready and waiting to scare them each year) and agreed to re-read. Oddly, I found that I’d misremembered the ending, and then in fact, realised I’d misremembered it before. A deliberate trick of my subconscious because I still find it quite unsettling for all its apparently happy tying up of ends? I wonder.
Jane Andrews is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for English at Herts for Learning
Don’t worry you is reading it correctly; it isn’t a typo. It’s the title of a book that Marylyn Brocklehurst of the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre introduced me to and, I yam delighted.
A review of Fred, by Mick and Chloe Inkpen (Hodder) – by Penny Slater
(cover art used by kind permission)
As a teacher, I appreciate children’s books on many levels. Sometimes I appreciate a book simply because it has a good tale to tell and I can imagine recommending it to children, or their parents, as a good book to share at bedtime, or as an engaging independent read; sometimes I appreciate a book because I can imagine recommending it to a teacher as a great class read-aloud. Sometimes I appreciate a book because it offers me a way of tackling a tricky teaching point. And then sometimes a book comes along that offers all of these enticing opportunities all rolled into one! Thank you therefore Mick and Chloe Inkpen for creating ‘Fred’.
Kirsten Snook is an English Teaching and Learning Adviser for HfL
What a treasure trove of writing opportunities unfurls from this book! The creator of the award-winning picture book ‘The Pirates Next Door’, weaves in so many print features and detailed artwork that there will be something to capture even the most reluctant readers, and to give them reasons to write. Continue reading “Digging for spelling treasure with ‘The Pirate Cruncher’ by Jonny Duddle (KS1 / catch-up).”
Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose – Ideas and resources for accessing literary heritage works.
Crown House Publishing Limited, 2014, £19.99
Review by Martin Galway, English Teaching and Learning Adviser for HfL
Opening Doors …Accessing literary heritage. It shouldn’t prove too difficult to ascertain the intention of this highly practical, richly-resourced book: how to enable our pupils to explore and learn from classic texts that provide a high level of challenge. In simpler terms, how we might design literature-based lessons with high challenge/low threat and a great deal of interest and intrigue. Featured poets include Charlotte Mew, Edward Thomas, and Emily Dickinson. Authors include Dickens, H.G.Wells, Bram Stoker and Charlotte Bronte. Continue reading “Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose – Ideas and resources for accessing literary heritage works.”
“Thinking is a bit like swimming because it takes a while to get good at it but soon you can go deeper.” (Marlee, aged 9). [quoted on pg. 8]
It would be silly for me to say that the quote above gives you all the reasons you need to buy this book; that in reading it, you’ll know exactly how Marlee came to feel this way. It might also seem like an especially cheeky way of getting out of writing this review. But still, it speaks volumes about the content of this book. Mary Roche has created a bright, engaging, and academically rigorous study of the powerful role that picturebooks play in the primary classroom. She has just been has been highly Commended for its significant contribution to the teaching of English at the UKLA academic book awards. Continue reading “Developing Children’s Critical Thinking through Picturebooks”