Current Contents

Contents of recent issues of English 4-11

Summer 2017

Woman reading underwater in a swimming poolA Tribute to Margaret Mallett, by Jo Bowers

Developing children's critical response to poetry.Anne Bradley describes how mixed groups of Years 4, 5 and 6 children in two schools became inspired to read poetry by learning how to make critical response through having greater freedom of choice and opportunities to share ideas with each other.

Readers of their own writing Rebecca Kennedy shows how a consistent approach to teaching the whole writing process, including proof-reading and editing, can lead to children being effective readers of their own writing.

Pure imagination As an end-of-year project, Gavin Brock wrote a musical based on Roal Dahl's stories. The Year 6 children involved energetically took up the idea, scripting and performing their own tributes to Dahl.

Tales with tails: why bringing dogs into classrooms may reap rewards Helen Lewis explains how reading to a canine companion may benefit children's wellbeing and attitudes towards reading.

Planning for writing: making the second hand, first hand once again Isabel Macdonald and Kirsty Norris discuss how adapting pre-written plans show how one teacher ensures the interests and learning needs of her class drive how she plans the teaching of writing,

'Hmmm' Dylan Adams reports  how a workshop aimed at Key Stage 2 outlines an approach to teaching children some of Roald Dahl's techniques so they can use them in their own storytelling.

Going to extremes Carolyn Swain explains how she refreshed the school's approach to the annual Extreme Reading Challenge.

The Charles Dickens Primary School Award 2016 Eve Bearne, member of the judging panel representing the English Association's Children's Literature Interest Group, reports on the 2016 competition.

In brief . . . Reviews

Spring 2017

Spring 2017 cover showing a collage of children's pictures of animalsShackleton story brings writing alive Stephanie Apps describes how a whole school writing project using William Grill's Shackleton's Journey led staff and pupils on an experimental journey of their own, freeing them from the constraints of their usual year group curriculum.

Writing and illustrating a pop-up book with your class Paul Johnson shows how to instil a love of writing using a book art approach with pupils from a Bury school.

Student teachers loving Shakespeare Plymouth University students Stephanie Warman, Abi Gomm and Jonny Greenham share their experience of putting on a Shakespeare for Kids production and explain the benefits for themselves, the children and teaching staff.

Teaching grammar and punctuation in KS1: building blocks Tony Martin wonders what exactly might be the building blocks which young children require as they learn to write . . .

The Tsunami project: writing narrative poetry Sukhvinder Bhoday describes how in an extended cross-curricular project, Years 3 and 4 created a poem scroll based on a traditional Bengali form of poetic narrative.

The word on the street: a cross-school collaboration This article reports on a cross-school collaboration in which children created their own virtual neighbourhood: 'The Street'. Their collaboration involved children in a series of literacy based activities which led to the creation of 'The Street', its history, the people who inhabit it and even the local gossip!

Academic book reviews:

Guiding Readers - Layers of meaning by Wayne Tennent, David Reedy, Angela Hobsbaum and Nikki Gamble (reviewed by Rebecca Kennedy)

Teaching Grammar effectively at Key Stage 1, by Eve Bearne, Rebecca Kennedy and David Reedy (reviewed by Isabel MacDonald)

In brief . . . Reviews

Autumn 2016

Cover showing children's illustrations for a story beginning 'The clouds filled the sky like white birds'Finding a happy ending: using texts to create meaningful contexts for writing fiction and non-fiction Fatima Bhayat describes how her year group partner used Carol Ann Duffy's The Lost Happy Endings as a stimulus for different forms of writing with their Year 4 classes at Charnwood Primary School, Leicester

No secret: using good models to write narrative in Year 2 Rebecca Kennedy describes a teaching sequence taught by Tammy Round, a Year 2 teacher at Tiverton Academy in Birmingham ,which led to the children making informed and effective language choices in their narrative writing.

Teaching children reading and writing: a whole word approach Is reading more than phonics? Nancy Walbank and Helen Bisby explain the place of whole word reading within a range of cueing systems and suggest a systematic approach to developing whole word recognition.

Every picture tells a story - A finch who thinks and a beast that goes vegetarian: welcome to the marvellous world of Henry Finch Rob Sanderson writes 'Often, books take us to unexpected places. It's one of the many joys of books. However, occasionally a book will take us on a most unexpected journey. I am Henry Finch by Alexis Deacon (and illustrated by Vivianne Schwarz) is one of those mose special of books. This time, I think that's enough of an introduction - let's go and meet Henry Finch. It's his story, after all.'

Teachers as Writers Teresa Cremin explores how a partnership project between Arvon, the Open University and the University of Exeter, is exploring the impact of professional writers' engagement with teachers on their classroom practices in teaching writing and on the writing of students between 8-14.

Making effective language choices Recently there has been a trend towards favouring language choices which are more ornate or 'powerful'. Roger McDonald argues for a more thoughtful - and effective - approach to language use.

Roald Dahl September 13th 2016 was the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth. Hugely successful and one of the most well known children's authors, this is our small tribute to his contribution to the world of children's literature, with a feature from Denholme school's Dahl celebration.

Academic book review: Inspiring Writing in Primary School, by Liz Chamberlain with contributions from Emma Kerrigan-Draper, reviewed by Jo Bowers

In brief . . . Reviews

Summer 2016

Female teacher in a pirate's hat reading from a bookChoosing the write book Liz Chamberlain describes the impact of The Write Book, a Year 5 pilot project involving teachers in four different schools across England.

The promise of a picture book Melanie Hendy explores the potential of using a high quality picture book, The Promise, as a stimulus for writing. When the children sent some examples of their writing to the author of the book, Nicola Davies, they were delighted by her response.

Our class loves this book - Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin Kaye Wilson describes how she used one of UKLA's shortlisted books as the basis of an inspiring unit of work in literacy.

Just Imagine . . . the book space for teachers Just Imagine is a welcoming space where teachers can visit to browse book collections or meet with one of Just Imagine's education or library consultants for advice on book selection or literacy teaching.

Writing informal correspondence in the primary classroom Daniel Xerri explores how pupils can improve their writing of informal letters and e-mails through paying attention to linguistic and discourse features.

Readit2: enabling all children to enter school as reading equals Sarah Kingham describes how her intervention in a Nursery with an attached pre-school encouraged the children to develop strong emotional bonds with books, starting them on their journey to become avid readers.

Reciprocal Reading: 'Our teacher gives us the responsibility to lead our reading lessons' Looking for an alternative to Guided Reading? Judith Wheeler and Sam Clarke explain how Reciprocal Reading has broadened their approach in the classroom, whilst at the same time developing pupil independence and ownership.

UKLA Digital Book Award: teachers' perceptions of the winning apps in 2015 The UKLA Digital Book Award launched its second competition in 2015. In this article Hannah Walker, Natalia Kucirkova and Richard Gould provide an account of teachers' experiences of participating in the judging process in 2015, with a view of inspiring more teachers to take part this year.

Academic Book Review: A Guided Reader to Early Years and Primary English, by Margaret Mallett reviewed by Isabel Macdonald

In brief . . . English 4-11 Picture Book Awards . . . Reviews

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