Desert Island Books – Dan Smith

Hello there! 

Happy Tuesday! Happy Halloween too! Happy last day of October! Today we have one of the loveliest authors I know popping over to the island of no books and mean policemen to make his choices on #DesertIslandBooks – Dan Smith. For those who don’t know Dan, he writes some absolutely incredible MG books. I can speak to the boys I teach, they love Dan’s books! I suggest you go follow Dan on twitter, you’ll find him @DanSmithAuthor! Go on.

Boy X Sig png small

Let’s get on with the #DesertIslandBooks choices, plus the rules!

DIB rules

You have been chosen to spend some time on a desert island. As it is a desert island there are strict restrictions on what you can take. No bending the rules. DesertJet have very strict luggage guidelines. They are as follows: 
You are allowed to take 6 books of your choosing. These can be any 6 you
wish.
Whoa! Just six? So hard to choose! I’ll have to think very carefully about this.
Lord of The Flies by William Golding (and here’s hoping there’s no Beast on
this desert Island!)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (it’s bleak but beautiful)
The Go-Between by L P Hartley (Belladonna, secret letters, and an English
summer to die for)
Revolver by Marcus Sedgewick (I’ve just read this book and loved it)
Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples (I’m cheating a bit because this is
a comic books series, but it’s awesome and I will need its wacky ideas,
brilliant story, delicious artwork, and stirring emotion to keep me going.)
IT by Stephen King (there are so many pages, it’ll keep me going forever!)

Hmmm… I don’t know how I feel about this cheating Smith, you can have this one…

You are allowed to take a snack of your choosing: this will be provided in an
unlimited quantity.
Hmm. Tricky question. Sweet or savoury . . ? Sweet or savoury . . ? Okay, so
assuming there is other food available to keep me alive, I’ll opt to take
strawberry cables. Y’know, the long thick ones they always have at the
cinema. De-lish! Oh, wait a minute . . . do I get toothpaste and a toothbrush
too?

You may choose from unlimited supplies of tea or coffee. 
I like both but (assuming I’m not allowed a beer alternative) there are times
when only a cup of tea will do.

No one said you CAN’T take beer… you may wish to change your mind!

You are entitled to carry with you 1 music album/playlist (not surpassing 15
songs). 
WHAT!? One album?! Or a playlist of just 15 songs?! Gonna have to be the
playlist, I guess. Let’s assume I’m in a rockin’ mood, and take one of my gym
playlists.
Planetary (GO!) – My Chemical Romance
Doll-Dagga- Buzz-Buzz- Ziggity-Zak _ Marilyn Manson
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark – Fall Out Boy
Psycho – Muse
The Pretender – Foo Fighters
Bang Bang – Green Day
Bleed It Out – Linkin Park
Assassin – Muse
American Idiot – Green Day
Anarchy in the UK – The Sex Pistols
Teenagers – My Chemical Romance
Basket Case – Green Day
Welcome To The Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
I’m Not Okay – My Chemical Romance
Cheer up London – Slaves

You MUST CHOOSE ONE BOOK and ONE SONG from your playlist/album
that you get to keep when the Desert police come along. 
Curse you, Desert Police! Curse you for stealing my books and music! I wouldn’t let them take a thing! I would blast my music at them and beat them off with my heavy hardback copy of IT by Stephen King!

In addition to this book, you will be given the entire works of Shakespeare and
the Bible
Wow, that’s some very dry reading right there. I appreciate the importance of
Shakespeare but would I really sit and read his plays? Hmm, maybe I could
use them to hold up the roof of my shelter.

Thank you so much for choosing this journey on DesertJet. Remember the
rules are simple, but strict. 
They ARE strict but without rules, what would there be for me to break?

Another DesertIslandBooks that made me really laugh, plus that is one cool playlist! Thank you so much Dan for being involved!

S x

Spoooooooooky boooooooooks…

Hello there! 
It’s Hallowe’en tomorrow! 

Today I thought I would share a few of the brilliant Hallowe’en-ish books I’ve either been sent or bought over the past few weeks! I’m featuring picture books and MG books today and would love more recommendations!

First up the lovely people of Puffin sent me ‘Hortense and the Shadow’. A gorgeous picture book, written like a brilliant fable. It’s dark and beautiful. The kids at school absolutely loved this. The art work is just brilliant

“Hortense is a kind and brave girl, but she is sad–even angry–that her shadow follows her everywhere she goes. She hates her shadow, and thinks her shadow must hate her too. But one cold, dark night, when bandits surprise her in the woods, Hortense discovers that her shadow is the very thing she needs most.”

Next up, I saw this gorgeous ‘First Day at Skeleton School’ in a bookshop and I’m not going to lie, I bought it purely for the amazing skeleton teacher on the front cover! Just look at him! It’s a fun book incorporating starting school and the characters we associate with Hallowe’en! Looking forward to passing this on to one of the younger classes to read!

“Listen … can you hear it?
There’s a creepy noise …
‘Welcome!’ smiles Mr Bones.
‘Meet the spooky girls and boys.’
At Skeleton School they howl in assembly, fly broomsticks in the library and learn how to float through walls! Join in the fun with this comic caper from a bestselling author/illustrator of Calm Down, Boris, Mr Pusskins and First Day at Bug School – it’s perfect for back to school and Halloween.”

The final picture book is another the brilliant humans of Puffin sent me – Hide and Seek by the incredible Anthony Browne. His books all have a little bit of dark and deception about them and this one is no different. Despite it not actually being a Hallowe’en book, I think the illustrations in this book are PERFECT for this time of year! This book is one which definitely kept my kids engaged. Lovers of Anthony Browne will NOT be disappointed.

“When their dog goes missing, Cy and Poppy play hide and seek to distract themselves. Poppy counts to ten and looks for Cy – but she can’t find him anywhere. But then there’s a rustling from the woods – maybe someone else can help her find him…?”

Now, some MG books. 

First up, I have had my eye on Amelia Fang for a while. That cover is EVERYTHING about Hallowe’en to me. There’s a pumpkin, it’s orange and black, she’s clearly a witch, there’s a bat: all of the Hallowe’en. It’s absolutely spot on for this time of year and I can’t wait to get to read this!

“Welcome to the world of Nocturnia, where darkness reigns supreme, glitter is terrifying, and unicorns are the stuff of nightmares! Amelia Fang would much rather hang out with her pet pumpkin Squashy and her friends Florence the yeti (DON’T CALL HER BEAST!) and Grimaldi the reaper than dance at her parents’ annual Barbaric Ball. And when the King’s spoiled son Tangine captures Squashy, Amelia and her friends must escape the party to plan a daring rescue! In their race against time, they begin to realise things in Nocturnia may not be quite what they seem . . .”

Another beautifully orange book is the brilliant Jack Beechwhistle: Rise of the Hairy Horror by Kes Gray. When I saw this on the Puffin list, I knew I needed to get my hands on this for the kids at school – they love these books. This book has been in the hands of a few of my kids and they’ve all loved it! It’s grizzly, fun and “miss, it’s just brilliant!”. 

“The world’s a dangerous place. Luckily, Jack Beechwhistle is around to protect it. He might look like an ordinary boy, but really he’s a junior secret agent. He’s tackled all sorts of missions – exploding conkers, zombie sweet-shop owners, and man-eating giant slugs – with a bit of help from his best friends and sidekicks, Colin and Harry (as long as it’s not past their bedtime). Then Jack notices something strange and suspicious about the hairdresser in town, Valentino. Every time Valentino cuts someone’s hair, he sweeps the hairs up and collects them in a big plastic bag. But what is he using them for? Everything points to Valentino being an evil enemy agent! And Jack Beechwhistle’s on the case . . .”

The last book I’m going to feature today is an anthology of sorts – Stories of Wizards and Witches by Enid Blyton. As a child, I loved Enid Blyton books and when I saw this in the supermarket, I picked it up. It’s brilliant and packed full of short stories all about wizards and witches. These short stories have been brilliant to read at the end of the day or during down time in school!

Get ready for broomstick rides and bubbling cauldrons in these magical short stories from Enid Blyton – ideal for reading aloud, or for children over 7 to read alone! This bumper collection of 25 short stories is populated by every sort of magical and mysterious creature, from a grumpy wizard who is outwitted by an elf to pixie who rides on a rabbit. The stories are the perfect length for reading aloud in a classroom or at bedtime. With lots of humour and fantastic characters, these will appeal to newly confident readers to read alone as well as to younger children being read to.”

And that’s the books I’ve collected this year! 

Can you recommend any more spooky reads?
Do you have a favourite time of year?
What are your plans for Hallowe’en?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter! 

S x

S4S – Halloween books!

Hello there!

Who stole my half term!? Where did it go? Never mind, to keep me going on this last day we have another #SixforSunday! This week’s theme is:

Halloween books

Now I’m not one for scary books to be honest, I’m much too much of a wuss BUT I’ve collated a list of 6 “scary” books I would like to read, ONE day.

  1. The Shining – Stephen King
  2. Charlotte Says/Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell
  3. A Skinful of Shadows – Frances Hardinge
  4. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  5. Dracula – Bram Stoker 
  6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

There you have it!

Talk to me, use the hashtag #SixforSunday and tell me the books you’re excited to read this Halloween! Or recommend me some books, I don’t read many scary books!

S x

Stop. Breathe. Reflect.

Working hard. Chasing dreams. Struggling, succeeding. Resilience. Trying. Fighting for what you believe in. Twiglets. Laughter. Smiles. Chocolate. Pumpkin trails. Cousin chats. Talking Drag Race. Seeing an old crush. Genuine conversation. Potential plans. Beauty and the Beast. Being productive. Having lazy days. Listening to the rain. Being out in the sunshine. Friends. More laughter. Reading. Having time to breathe. Looking back and seeing how far I’ve come. Thinking about the future and it not terrify me. Strangers who become friends. Percy. Important stories. Lovely emails. Coffee shop friend dates. Emailing authors. Desert Island Books. Bullet journaling. Stopping. Breathing. Family. New friends. Old friends. Learning. Book post. Conversations with people who care. Blogging. Believing in yourself. Tea. Books. Always books. 

Super Saturday!

Haha, no. Not a sporting super Saturday. A bookish one! 

A few weekeneds ago, I had a whole day to myself (my Saturdays are usually spent with my mam, but my mam was away with her sisters) so naturally, I spent the day reading! I figured I would write 1 blog post with quick reviews in! 

(There’s a book missing! Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella was also read that day!)
Image result for harper and the scarlet umbrella

So, lets get on with the reviews: (Starting from the top!)

Spy Toys – Mark Powers

“The world’s leading toy manufacturer makes playthings for the rich and famous, and every toy they create contains a tiny computerised brain and a unique personality. These toys are seriously awesome! But every so often there’s a faulty toy … Dan is a Snugliffic Cuddlestar bear – he should be perfect for hugging. But because of a faulty chip, Dan is so strong he could crush a car. Thrown on to the rejects pile, he meets Arabella, a Loadsasmiles Sunshine Doll, who has a very short temper and is absolutely NOT good with children. Soon Dan, Arabella and Flax (a custom-made police robot rabbit gone AWOL) are recruited by Auntie Roz, the ‘M’ of the toy world, and together they make up THE SPY TOYS. Their first mission: to protect the prime minister’s eight-year-old son from being kidnapped …”

My lovely friend Kelly sent me this book, following her stop on the blog tour! This book is a great read: it’s pacey and funny! It would make a great addition to any library – I think there’s 2 or 3 books. It’s a great bit of escapism, with a bit of silliness and fun thrown in for good luck!

Planet Adventures: The Lost Moon – Pat Roper

“When a lost moon crashes into him, Earth has a big decision to make. Will he travel across the Solar System for the first time to help his new friend get back home, or will be stay in his comfy orbit away from all the dangers in space? Join a galactic cast of characters for the adventure of the light year!”

The lovely people over at Burst Publishing sent me 2 copies of this – one for me and one for school, and I am happy to tell you that both copies are now in the school library. This book would be great for children who love space. It is filled with facts! It’s a super quick read. A good little read filled with teamwork, friendship and science.

Running on the Roof of the World – Jess Butterworth

“Join 12-year-old Tash and her best friend Sam in a story of adventure, survival and hope, set in the vivid Himalayan landscape of Tibet and India. Filled with friendship, love and courage, this young girl’s thrilling journey to save her parents is an ideal read for children aged 9-12. There are two words that are banned in Tibet. Two words that can get you locked in prison without a second thought. I watch the soldiers tramping away and call the words after them. ‘Dalai Lama.’ Tash has to follow many rules to survive in Tibet, a country occupied by Chinese soldiers. But when a man sets himself on fire in protest and soldiers seize Tash’s parents, she and her best friend Sam must break the rules. They are determined to escape Tibet – and seek the help of the Dalai Lama himself in India. And so, with a backpack of Tash’s father’s mysterious papers and two trusty yaks by their side, their extraordinary journey across the mountains begins.”

I have a FULL review of this coming up in a week or so, BUT I wanted to include it here since it was part of Super Saturday. This book is so many levels of brilliant. I had seen it all over twitter so needed to get my hands on it! Keep your eyes peeled for my full review!

Erica’s Elephant – Sylvia Bishop

“When Erica Perkins wakes up on the morning of her tenth birthday, the last thing she expects is to find a very confused elephant sitting on her doorstep. So begins an unlikely friendship. But can a small girl and a rather large elephant learn to live together in a tiny terraced house? And when the dastardly owner of the local zoo plots to steal the elephant, will Erica be able to outsmart him?”

Having read ‘The Bookshop Girl’ by Sylvia Bishop (BOOKBLOG: Sylvia Bishop), I needed to get my hands on more, so when I saw this in my school library I borrowed it and devoured it. It’s such fun, such a gorgeous read. It’s just so lovely. And the illustrations are PERFECT. If you have a little bookworm in your life, you need to get your hands on this!

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella – Cerrie Burnell

“Harper lives in the City of Clouds with her Great Aunt Sassy and her beloved cat Midnight. When Midnight goes missing – together with all the cats of the neighbourhood – Harper realises that only her magical scarlet umbrella can help her find him… When Harper steps out with the umbrella in her hand, she is carried up into the sky on a series of amazing adventures. And Midnight isn’t all she finds when she stumbles upon the Midnight Orchestra and its wild conductor…”

This is another one of those lovely, quick reads. It’s filled with magic, cats and unsuspecting friendships. I really loved it. I have already purchased the rest of books in the series, and can’t wait to read them! There are some brilliant characters in this book. 

So there we go! That was my Super Saturday! Filled with brilliantly fun MG books.

Whats the most books you’ve read in a day?
Have you read any of these books?
Do you have any funny reading habits?

Talk to me on twitter (@eenalol) or leave me a comment! I would love to know about your reading habits/binges!

S x

Desert Island Books: GoldenBooksGirl

Morning! Tis that time of day again, it’s #DesertIslandBooks time!

Today’s featured victim is another Amy! This time it’s the turn of Amy from @GoldenBooksGirl. Check out her choices below!

DIB rules
Hello everyone!
I’m so pleased to be here today to take part in Steph’s Desert Island Books feature! I’m a total wuss and being trapped on a desert island is one of my biggest fears, so this is a very difficult question to answer. In my head, I’m treating as a very stressful, long holiday (I’m rubbish at keeping track of time without clocks as well, so if I ever was *gulp* trapped on one, I honestly would think I’d only been there a week or so when I got rescued). On with the post!

MY BOOKS
1. Geek Girl by Holly Smale- This is my ultimate comfort read. I can’t count the amount of times it’s made me happy in the darkest of situations. Harriet is the most inspiring book character ever. This would be first in my suitcase, for sure. I’m crying just writing about this book, to be totally honest with you.
2. Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison – This is another one that always makes me
laugh, so it would be in my suitcase for that purpose. I will never tire of the opening scene especially! Totally haven’t thought about doing that with my revision books, honest I haven’t…
3. Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen – This is one of the best books I’ve ever read,
without a doubt. I read it one sitting the first time I read, just like I have in every subsequent reread of it. Ade’s story, and the world-building, and the relationships between the characters are just sublime, and I dare you not to fall in love with this.
4. Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens – I’m a massive fan of mysteries and these books
are my absolute favourites. Arsenic for Tea, although I’m not quite sure why, is my favourite of them all, so I’d have to bring it along.
5. The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith- As you’ll know if you read my post about children’s classics (although it was the 2nd post I ever wrote so I very much doubt you have!), this, along with Charlotte’s Web, my very favourite. I’d imagine I’d get a bit upset at some point during my *week* (wink wink, actually longer), so that would immediately rule out Charlotte’s Web as I was an emotional wreck reading it normally! The One Hundred and One Dalmatians, on the other hand, is so joyful it made me grin like a lunatic when I read it, so I’d hope it’d do the same on the island.
6. Am I Normal Yet? By Holly Bourne- This was one of the first YA books I ever really
read, and it`s what really kickstarted me into reading new books again. It’s also changed my life by making me call myself a feminist. I`d be going nowhere without it.

MY MUSIC
If you speak with me on Twitter, ever, about music you’ll probably be able to guess some of these already as I’ll basically talk about them at any given opportunity. A few others you may not though, so let`s dive in.
1. Not a One – Into the Ark cover
2. Drawing Board– George Ezra
3. Blame it on Me – George Ezra
4. Better than Never at All– Into the Ark
5. Something Just Like this – Coldplay
6. Pretty Shining People– George Ezra
7. My Heart Goes– Into the Ark
8. Money or the Girl– Into the Ark
9. Sparrow– Tom Odell
10. Another Love– Tom Odell
11. Let Me Love the Lonely– James Arthur
12. I Am – James Arthur
13. Counting Stars– George Ezra cover
14. Brightest Creatures– Into the Ark
15. Uptown Funk– Into the Ark cover

MY SNACK
I was torn between chocolate and ice cream, but I like more types of chocolate than I do ice cream, so it would be my snack of choice. I don’t drink coffee or tea, so my drink of choice on the island would be flavoured water.

DESERT POLICE CHOICES
Book- Geek Girl
Song- Money or the Girl

Thank you so much for reading! Seeing as it’s my snack of choice, I’d love to hear your
recommendations of favourite types of chocolate I can eat on the island in the comments or on Twitter! Feel free to let me know which of the books I’ve picked you’ve read too. Or, if you go and listen to my song choices, tell me what you think of those!
Amy xxx

Thank you lovely Amy for the amazing guest post! There’s some brilliant songs on that list! I love the sheer amount of MG books on your list! I know mine definitely has an awful lot of MG on it too! 

S x

Desert Island Books: YAundermyskin

Morning! Day 4 of a week long #DesertIslandBooks, I hope you’re still with us! 

Today is the turn of my lovely friend Amy, over at YAundermyskin to make the dreaded choices that the mean Desert Island Books bosses made her choose! 

Without further ado..

DIB rules

Books

The Beach by Alex Garland

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Snack

Percy Pigs

Drink

It has to be tea!

Album

Move Along by The All American Rejects

When the police arrive…

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Move Along (the song) by The All American Rejects

Thank you so much Amy for agreeing to be part of #DesertIslandBooks! I love the song you saved and I definitely think that Percy Pigs are an EXCELLENT island snack!! 

S x

Desert Island Books: Sara Barnard

Hello lovelies!
I hope you’re enjoying a Desert Island Books post every day! It’s half term, I figured I would spoil you all! 

Today’s castaway is one of my favourite people in the world, it’s the gorgeous author Sara Barnard. Now, for those who don’t know Sara… firstly WHY DON’T YOU? Secondly, she’s the incredible author of A Quiet Kind of Thunder (only one of my favourite books of ever), Beautiful Broken Things (another absolutely beauty) and one of my most hotly anticipated books, Goodbye Perfect (out next year, I can not wait, I am MOST impatient for it!) Not only is she an excellent author, but she is also Queen of #QuizYA. Yes that’s right, #TeamBarnard won #QuizYA (if you are wondering what I’m talking about, see: YALC #1YALC #2)

If you’d like to follow her (which I totally suggest you do, because she’s an angel), you’ll find her @saramegan.

If you’re interested in my reviews of her books, I have reviewed A Quiet Kind of Thunder: BOOKBLOG: Sara Barnard. Please, if you can, read this book. It is such an incredible book. I love it. 

Anyway, enough with the gushing… here are Sara’s #DesertIslandBooks choices (with a reminder of the rules!)

DIB rules

My six books: 
Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel (obvs, as I go on about it all the time)
His Dark Materials, Phillip Pullman (a trilogy in ONE BOOK because I’m sly)
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (because amazing)
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner (as confusing as it is brilliant, would benefit from multiple reads)
American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld (this is a *long* book)
Saffy’s Angel, Hilary McKay (because it would bring me joy)
Snack: sweet and salty popcorn (what the Canadians call Kettle Corn)
Tea/coffee: TEA
Album: August & Everything After, Counting Crows

I would save: Station Eleven and the song Sullivan Street

Thank you lovely Sara for agreeing to be sent to my island of doom. I hope you have a lovely time arguing with the DesertIsland Police! I can’t wait to read Station Eleven (I have not read it yet, although I DO own it!)

S x

DesertIslandBooks: cupofwonderland

Morning! It’s day 2 of a week of #DesertIslandBooks post, and today is the turn of one of my newest North friends… the gorgeous Hannah from @cupofwonderland.

Check out the rules and her choices below!

DIB rules

You are allowed to take 6 books of your choosing. These can be any 6 you wish.
Okay… six books. I have to choose six books and my mind has gone blank! Can I not just
take a kindle with all my books on it? That should count right? No? Okay… *goes back to
staring at bookshelves for million hours*
The Book Thief By Marcus Zusak
I absolutely adore this book after reading it years ago so it’s definitely due a reread
and it’s a bit of historical fiction to add to my pile.
The Time Traveller’s Wife By Audrey Niffenegger
Again a book I read years ago and completely adored this too!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban By J.K Rowling
No matter were I go there has to be a Harry Potter Book!
Fangirl By Rainbow Rowell
One of the few books which I am willing to reread over and over again.
A Monster Calls By Patrick Ness, Illustrated By Jim Kay
A beautiful book and story which I only read earlier this year and I already want to
read again.
Ahsoka By E.K Johnson
Star Wars is essential as Harry Potter is and Ahsoka is one of my favourite books!
(Can I bring this as an audiobook cause it has all the sound effects and music in it!)

You are allowed to take a snack of your choosing, this will be provided in unlimited
quantity.
Popcorn! Especially the bags with sweet and salted mixed!

You may choose from unlimited supplies of tea or coffee.
Tea! Unlimited breakfast tea please!

You are entitled to carry with you ONE music playlist/album (not exceeding 15 songs).
I don’t think I could pick a singular album so will have to be a playlist and I love movie
soundtracks and listening to them all especially when I’m reading, it’s just so relaxing.
Graces’ Lab from Avatar
Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter
Dumbledore’s Farewell from Harry Potter
Time from Inception
O’Children By Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds used in Harry Potter
One Small Fact from the Book Thief
I am Free from Suite Francaise
Jurassic Park Theme Tune
As the World Falls Down from Labyrinth by David Bowie
Duck Shoot from The Crown
Running from The Imitation Game
Alan Turing’s Legacy from The Imitation Game
Star Wars Theme Tune
Inner Sanctum/Nesting Ground from Film Dinosaur
Rogue One Trailer Music because it is perfection.

You MUST CHOOSE ONE BOOK and ONE SONG from your playlist/album that you get
to keep when the Desert police come along.
Firstly this is cruelty, that was the perfect reading playlist for me! How can I pick a single
song and how can I only pick a single book! This is so unfair…

Hedwig’s Theme…And Ahsoka.

I need my two loves of Harry Potter and Star Wars with me.

In addition to this book, you will be given the entire works of Shakespeare and the
Bible
I love Shakespeare so no problems are all with that! Finally get to read all the plays that I
haven’t been able to read! On the other hand… the bible can use for keeping the fire going during the cold nights on the beach. (Nothing against the bible but it has no place in my completely Wiccan life so might as well be useful in keeping warm)

Thank you so much Hannah for being castaway! I love that your playlist is all film scores! 

S x

First half term down!

Well hello there! We have reached half term holidays, how did that happen? 

Here we are then. I’m 1/6 of the way done with my SCITT. I am 1/6 closer to my dream. That is BONKERS. I’ve got a blog post coming in a few weeks about why I want to be a teacher and the suchlike. 

So how did week 7 go?

It was pretty good! 

My Y6s were on a residential so I ended up spending a day in Reception, and I have to say that it was a BRILLIANT day. I don’t know that I am an EYFS girl, but Wednesday definitely softened me to working in EYFS. I had spent Monday morning observing the phonics session to see how it worked when I was to teach on Wednesday. The children were practising blending CVC/VC (consonant vowel consonant/vowel consonant) words with the sounds they had already learnt, so I gave them all a label with a word on that they needed to be able to read, and then any time they were speaking to someone else they had to attempt to read their word too! The words they had for example were mad, sad, Sam, am, sat, at etc – the children so far know the sounds m, a, s, d and t. I had the words scattered around the room too. There was one in the snack corner, reading corner, at the door to go outside, and I challenged the children to read the word whilst they were in that area. The kids seemed to love it! The brilliant Reception TAs had some lovely feedback for me too, and then there was some lovely feedback from the teacher too when I saw her on Friday, commenting on how she thought it had a massive impact on their interest in reading words. 

What else did we get up to? There was a bit of maths too. The children had been learning to do 1 more and 1 less, and after speaking to the class teacher she wanted them to do more work on that as they were struggling a little, so we did some work on that using a number line and the children! It was brilliant to get the chance to do maths in such an contrasting class to Year 6, to see where the skills need to start! We also did some Talk4Writing with ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, with the children doing their actions for the story (and they were brilliant) and then some children doing their story board

We had a very busy day! It was lovely to be in Reception. I left EXHAUSTED. 

What else happened this week?

  • I had a visit from my SCITT tutor too and we had quite an in depth conversation about expectations and how things were going on my course too. She’s lovely and I can tell she’s going to be super supportive! 
  • We had an ICT conference on Thursday, which was an interesting look at using ICT in the classroom with an abundance of ideas for Secondary schools, so I would love to delve deeper into ICT in the Primary classroom
  • On Tuesday we had KS2 writing moderation. Working with the other KS2 teachers, looking over the work they’ve done so far and seeing how the children are getting on. It’s great for my own knowledge of other classes as well as seeing other ideas! 

Looking back on this half term, it’s been VERY positive. There have been trying, testing days. There have been days I’ve cried. There’s been days that I just thought “WHY DID I THINK I COULD DO THIS?”, but these days happen to everyone so I’m going to end on a high note, with some of the positives from this half term:

  • My first formal observation going so well
  • Meeting my fellow SCITT students, and building such a brilliant bond and friendship with the other Primary SCITT students
  • Building relationships with the staff and the kids in Year 6 – we had a rocky time last year, but this year so far has been brilliant
  • Hearing lovely feedback from lots of different members of staff

I plan on working a lot in half term, but spending some time with the people I love most! Let’s have a brilliant half term in readiness for the next half term to come (Christmas is ALWAYS a killer!!)

S x