Week 11…

So last week was a bit of a blur, mainly down to being pretty exhausted and poorly. Today’s round up isn’t going to be brilliant BUT there’s a few stand out things from last week! I’m feeling slightly better now (thanks NHS!) so hopefully this coming week will be better! 

I’ve been doing a bit of PE teaching the past few weeks and I’m still finding my feet with it to be honest. I’m not sure what makes a PE a good lesson, so I need to do a bit more reading about this (if you teacher types have any suggestions, I am all ears) but we have been doing Netball in Y6 – more specifically High 5. The first half of my lesson seemed to be a bit disastrous, but then by the end it got better. The kids seemed to really enjoy the lesson and my TA (who is just lovely) said it went really well! We were practising skills and then playing mini games. I have a PE observation this week (eeeeeeeeeeek) so I could do with all of the good luck possible!

I went down to Year 2 to help out as their TA was off poorly and I got to be involved in their book tasting session! It was lovely! If you’re interested in book tasting, I’ve written a blog post here: Book tasting…  The children seemed to really love it! I am hoping to do it in my next placements too!

My training this week was Writing training – we looked at using Literacy Shed and how to create a unit of writing. We looked at a video called Francis, and how to develop a unit of Ghost Stories from the video. I love a bit of English training – reading and writing are 2 of my favourite things to be involved in teaching! I also was lucky enough to go on a Maths course this week with the class teacher I am working with, centred around developing mastery and mastery with greater depth. I love Maths, number especially (I know, I’m a bit of a geek, deal with it)! There were some very interesting things to take from the course, as well as some encouragement to know that I am doing things right! 

Last week in 3 words? Exhausting. Tough. Fun.

So that was my week. Sorry it’s not as comprehensive as usual! I am still feeling quite under the weather, but I am happy to answer any questions you might have! 

S x



S4S – colourful books!

Today is Sunday again and you know what that means?! Starbucks for blog planning and teacher planning, then home to do teacher stuff and blog stuff. What is your usual Sunday routine? Do you have one? I am a creature of habit, y’see! 

Today on #SixforSunday we are talking:

Books with colours in the title

(This was harder than I thought!)

  1. The Green Mile – Stephen King
  2. The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman
  3. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
  4. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  5. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
  6. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

I know. I know. These are pretty much MUST READS, and I will read them OK? Sorry. 

Share your #SixforSunday colourful books with me! I wonder if you all found this as hard as me!?

S x


Desert Island Books – myatticlibrary

Good morning! Today on #DesertIslandBooks we have another one of my wonderful twitter pals being shipped off to the island of no bookish return. Say hello to the wonderful Jo, over at @myatticlibrary. She’s lovely and been one of my biggest supporters! Go give her a follow! 
Check our her choices below!
DIB rules
1. ‘Tom Jones’ by Henry Fielding
This book is super chunky and I am struggling to put time aside to re-read it. Consequently, being stuck on a desert island would actually help me get stuck into this one. 
2. ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ by JK Rowling
Probably not an original choice, but who cares. I have to take some HP with me and I fancy re-reading the last book. 
3. ‘Death on the Nile’ by Agatha Christie
I need some crime fiction, so always best to pick something by the queen of the genre, and this is one of my favourites. 
4. ‘One of Us is Lying’ by Karen M. McManus
This has been one of my favourite YA books this year. There aren’t enough murder mysteries like this in the genre IMO. 
5. ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison
Another book I read a long time ago that I really want to read again. I was blown away by this book when I first read it and I’m interested to see how much more I appreciate it now I’m older. 
6. ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ by Maya Angelou
Angelou’s entire autobiography is perhaps the most inspirational series I’ve ever read – she was a truly remarkable and fascinating woman. However, as I can’t take all six books in the series, I’ve selected the first book. 
A snack? Tea? Coffee?
I would pick unlimited tea and unlimited chocolate digestives – so good for dunking in a cuppa!
So, one album or playlist…
Ummmmm, okay I’m going to pick Ed Sheeran’s Divide. I’ve not listened to it as much as his others but enough to know I like it and there’s a track for every mood I think. (EXCELLENT CHOICE)
And now the horrible desert police have confiscated five of my books, I’ve decided I’d like to be left with ‘Tom Jones’. It’s seriously so chunky it’ll take me ages to finish. The one song I’d like the police to allow me to keep would be ‘Castle on the Hill’ – there’s just something about this track, it makes me feel hopeful and nostalgic and I love both the tune and the lyrics. 
Thanks for letting take part in this super tricky task Steph. I’ve loved reading everyone else’s answers so far. 
Thank you very much Jo for agreeing to be part of my scheme! Some brilliant choices and an excellent album choice! 
S x

Pick n Mix?!

I LOVE A PICK AND MIX. I would have MANY fizzy blue bottles in my bag if it were up to me… but this is to do with books, not sweets. Boo.

Pick n Mix.png(Credit: Kelly’s Ramblings for the graphic!)

Fizzy Blue Bottles

They look strange, and they taste strange, but you like them. Name a book or series with a really strange plot that you couldn’t help but love.

Image result for the paper magician trilogy

I don’t know that it’s so much strange as a little bit quirky. And I don’t know how many people have read it. I ABSOLUTELY adored this trilogy. I can’t wait to have more time to reread these. Please people read.

The Metre

It goes on forever. Name the longest book series you have read.

It’s gotta be Harry Potter. I haven’t read another series that has so many books? I tend to like trilogies at the most? I don’t think I’ve read anything longer than HP.

Chocolate Raisins

No amount of chocolate can hide what’s inside. Name a book with a great cover but a disappointing story.


I didn’t hate The Miniaturist but even now I don’t quite remember what it was about? It just didn’t tick boxes for me.

Chocolate Mice

They look sweet, but they’re secretly vermin. Name a book that surprised you with it’s villain. (Be careful not to give spoilers!)


Not YA but I was shocked and appalled by the villain in this. I have love/hate feelings about this book!

Hard Gums

You take a bite but almost break your teeth. What book or series was hard for you to get into?


I loved bits of this and I just enjoyed other bits. The description is beautiful it just lacked a bit of urgency, or pace for me.

Cola Bottles

Some are sweet, some are sour. Name two similar books, one you liked and one you didn’t.

I enjoyed Divergent WAY more than I enjoyed The Hunger Games. I went through a phase of reading a LOT of dystopian fictionand definitely think that Divergent bests Hunger Games for me. I know, controversial.

Fried Eggs

Some love them, some hate them. Name a book that matches the way you feel about Fried Eggs.

Image result for freshers book

I didn’t get on with Freshers as well as everyone else did. I don’t really know why, I just didn’t get it? But there are so many people who love it!


No matter what you do, they’re everywhere. Name a trend or trope you are tired of reading.

Oh god. SO MANY. However I think the ones I hate most are “good student becomes a bad student to impress the cool kids” or “girl needs saved by boy”. These both bother me incredibly and I could dedicate hundreds of words to them both.

Gummy Bears

Name your favourite fictional creature or animal.

Image result for lion the witch and the wardrobe

So many of the characters in ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ – Mr Tumnus, Aslan… this book makes my heart so happy!

Pick ‘n’ Mix!

So many sweets, so much variety. Name some of your favourite diverse books!

If you fancy doing this tag then feel free! Most of the people I want to tag have already done it! Knock yourself out! 

Let me know on twitter, or in the comments, if you disagree or agree with any of my choices, I love a good natter! 

S x

#DesertIslandBooks – scoutfinch_75

Good morning!
How are we all? Today I send another of my lovely twitter friends off to the island of doom and difficult book choices! Today’s victim of #DesertIslandBooks is the lovely Anna who tweets over at @ScoutFinch_75 and she is sharing some brilliant books (including some INCREDIBLE MG) with us! 


DIB rules

You are allowed to take 6 books of your choosing. These can be any 6 you wish

Right. Six books. Only six books… this is torture! But choose I must, so here goes,

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I have read this more than fifty times and am currently rereading it again.
“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”Oscar Wilde

After the Fire by William Hill
I read this earlier this year and this line pretty much sums it all up,
“The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade. “
Moonbeam’s story has burned itself into my thoughts and refuses to let me be.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I have adored this book since I first read it 25 years ago.

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
I adore children’s book and this is one of my favourites! Feodora is an incredible heroine. Oh and I’m taking my signed hardback with me!

The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Another children’s book, every word created bewitching images that stayed with me long after I finished reading. Gorgeous!

Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg
Dark and chilling. Beautifully written, Green is another character that will stay with me forever.

You are allowed to take a snack of your choosing, this will be provided in unlimited

Milk chocolate covered pretzels, the perfect combination of sweet and savoury.

You may choose from unlimited supplies of tea or coffee.

Tea please!

You are entitled to carry with you ONE music playlist/album (not exceeding 15 songs).

My favourite songs change according to my mood so I shall have to pick a variation!

  • Demons– Imagine Dragons
  • Piece by Piece– Kelly Clarkson
  • The Things We Lost In The Fire – Bastille
  • Superheroes– The Script
  • Just Give Me A Reason – Pink ft. Nate Ruess
  • Tomorrow– from Anne (2014)
  • Going Back to Hogwarts – Team Starkid ( A Very Potter Musical )
  • Hedwig’s Theme – Harry Potter
  • Alone Together – Fall Out Boy
  • Defying Gravity– Idina Mendez
  • Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy– The Nutcracker
  • Bleeding Out– Imagine Dragons
  • Dreams – Bastille ft. Gabrielle Aplin
  • End of the World – The Carpenters
  • Say Something– A Great Big World ft. Christina Aquilera

You MUST CHOOSE ONE BOOK and ONE SONG from your playlist/album that you get to keep when the Desert police come along.

Now this is just mean! But rather than loose everything, I’m going to go with

Song – Demons by Imagine Dragons

Book – To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

In addition to this book, you will be given the entire works of Shakespeare and the Bible.

Erm, how much trouble would I get into if I tried to bargain with the Desert Police and get them to let me swap them for one of my books? Lots? Okay, in that case, thank you for giving me more reading material… and *light bulb moment * I will also have two heavy missiles to throw at any ferocious beast that makes an appearance ( these books along with my tree climbing abilities are sure to keep me from becoming lunch! )

Thank you so much Anna for your brilliant choices! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Kate Jane Neal

Words and Your Heart: beautiful, poignant, perfect for teaching children about kindness.


“Your words are amazing! This book is about your heart. The little bit inside of you that makes you, you!”

I love a picture book (as regular readers of my little blog will know), so when I come across a new picture book that I have never seen, that makes such a big impact on me, I know it is a winner. I came across Words and Your Heart in a supermarket. I’m not going to lie, I picked it up for the incredible cover, but when I read it, it struck a chord. 

Since this week is Anti-Bullying Week in the UK, this book is absolutely PERFECT resource. This book is all about how words have power and that the good and the bad words we say have an impact on people. I’m going to be taking this book and reading it to Year 6. However, this book is PERFECT for Key Stage 1 – I have a firm belief that picture books shouldn’t just be for one Key Stage though. 


The illustrations in this book are gorgeous too. 


There are so many things you can do with this book, with such a wide range of classes. This would be a perfect book for an assembly, story time or PSHE lesson. 


It’s important that children know that their words matter, that their words have power. This book is the perfect book to use to highlight this.

I am so glad I found this book. It came at the perfect time. 

What are your favourite books for teaching kindness?
When you think of “kindness”, what do you think?

Let’s talk!

S x


Desert Island Books – WaterstonesUxbr

Hello there! Welcome to another edition of #DesertIslandBooks. Today I have the very mysterious twitterer over at @WaterstonesUxbr being shipped away to the island! I suggest you go and follow them, even if you don’t live in Uxbridge! They’re lovely! And recommend good books, so go go go!

Anyway, #DesertIslandBooks. Rules:

DIB rules

Why am I on this island?
Have I been exiled? What did I do, Steph? WHAT DID I DO?!

I almost got this confused with Richard Herring’s Desert Island Dicks, where you have to
choose six Richards to take to a desert island… 
Ok. Here we go…

Six Books:
All My Friends Are Superheroes, by Andrew Kaufman.
Over the course of a short plane journey, a man has to lay himself bare and somehow
save his relationship… This may well be my favourite book of all time, and it’s just over 100 pages long!

A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers
This is the very best of modern sci-fi and it does what all great science fiction should do in that it is all about character. The sci-fi element is of little importance, as is the crew’s
mission. The characters are so well done, so bloody well done, that you’ll want to spend more time with each of them. It made me laugh, cry and just feel good. Essential.

The Bees, by Laline Paull. 
Oh my god, this book! It’s A Handmaid’s Tale by way of A Bug’s Life, and it’s one of the most gripping books I’ve ever read. Warning: if you don’t like spiders, don’t read this!

I know this will seem a bit of an odd choice for a desert island, but I’m going to take
Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi.
This book, the story of Charles Manson and his infamous “Family”, has so much going on it is easy to forget that it all actually happened. A broken yet charismatic man, teenagers with nothing to lose, and the summer of love coming to an horrific end.

Considering you let someone else have a comic book series, I’m having one too!
THEM’S THE RULES! (I’m not sure… but since it’s you!)
I was going to go for the same title, actually (Saga) but instead I’m going to go for
Preacher, by Garth Ennis.
It’s full of blood and blasphemy and is intense as hell yet each and every character is
worth spending time exploring… and it has a character called Arseface. Who doesn’t want to read that?

The Princess Bride, by William Goldman.
It’s got the lot; kidnap, fighting, politics, comedy, thrills, spills, a giant, monsters, sword
fights and true love.

I’ll swap my unlimited supply of tea/coffee for an unlimited supply of Cherry Coke, thanks. I don’t really want tea unless it comes with biscuits to dunk, and coffee is clearly the work of Satan and his little horned helpers.

Mechanical Animals by Marilyn Manson.
This Bowie-tinged album still sounds as fresh and unique as it did the first time I heard it. It’s almost timeless; this is how I imagine the future to sound.

Song to keep:
The Speed of Pain
“There’s a knife in my back for every day that I’ve known you.”
Beautifully bleak.I imagine there will be plenty of sun, sand and blue skies so this will remind me that life isn’t all beaches and mermaids (will there be mermaids?). (I mean I don’t want to spoil the surprise!)

Finally, the book I’ll keep when the island police come along (who ARE these people?
Do they have a jet-ski with a siren on? Police sharks instead of sniffer dogs?!) will be The
Princess Bride. I could quite happily read that and only that for the rest of my life.

Now. When should I start packing?
*looks for his bermuda shorts which he last saw sometime in 1996*

HA! What a funny post. I most certainly am game for Cherry Coke and a few books I haven’t read! Thank you so much, wise one of Waterstones Uxbridge for agreeing to be shipped away to an island with (or without) mermaids! 

S x

Maths week: Week 10

Last week was pretty mad at school! It was Maths week! Every subject is having a curriculum week and Maths was the first subject up! There was a whole load of activities going on, some I got to join in with, some I sadly missed out on! 

Monday was formal observation day. The head and the maths coordinator observed all of the KS2 teachers on Monday, just to see what was going on in all of the classes! I was lucky enough (ha?!) to get it to coincide with needing a formal observation, so I was more formally observed, BUT it went really well. The kids were really engaged! We were looking at multiplication of 3- and 4-digit numbers by a teen number, and we used a brilliant NRICH investigation at the end of the lesson, which really got them thinking. I will definitely be using that investigation again! I got some lovely feedback from my observation from both the Maths coodinator and the head teacher, so that was a great start to my week!

Keep your eyes on my blog over the next few weeks to see what Literacy we were geting up to in Year 6. I am so proud of them that it deserves a whole blog post to it!

On Wednesday, the parents and governors were invited in to see a Maths lesson too! At one point there were approx. 14 parents, the chair of governors (who is also our class governor), all 31 of my kids and the 2 adults supporting for my lesson, so that was a very full classroom! I am very lucky to have the support I do and I couldn’t get through my lessons if I didn’t have the amazing TAs I do! For Wednesday’s lesson, we were looking at negative numbers. I’d be telling lies if I said I wasn’t nervous at the prospect of parents coming in to my lesson, but it went well. I would even go so far as to say in future it’s something I would like to encourage. It’s important to build those relationships with parents! As ever, the kids were brilliant. The chair of governors had some lovely things to say about the lesson too, so that’s always great!

We also went on a trip to the Hatton Gallery, at Newcastle University. We have started looking at Pop Art in Year 6, so to coincide with this there is a brilliant exhibit on at the Hatton. We went and learned a bit more about Pop Art and then the children got the chance to produce their very own piece of Pop Art too! I’m hoping to make a display of their work, let’s see if I can find a board at school to use! 

This last week went over in a blur! I was poorly for a bit of it, and I am still a little poorly BUT I am definitely looking forward to the week ahead. This week I’m teaching more Maths, leading PE in Y6, on a Maths course, finally getting to observe a few other teachers, it’s Anti Bullying Week and we’ve got auditions for Christmas Play too! EEK.

This week: exhausting, draining, brilliant.

Don’t forget if you have any questions, I am more than willing to answer! Comment, tweet or message me! 

S x



S4S – War books

Guten morgen!

Tis I Sunday again, how are we all? What is going on in your lives today? Antyhing exciting? 

Today, I am off to a memorial service, so thought it was only just to do a #SixforSunday about:

War books

As usual, these may be books I’ve read or books I want to read! 

  1. Anna and the Swallow Man – Gabriel Savrit
  2. The Book Thief – Markus Zuzak
  3. Letters from the Lighthouse – Emma Carroll
  4. Goodbye Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian
  5. Once – Morris Gleitzman
  6. Wave Me Goodbye – Jacqueline Wilson

(This ended up being mostly children’s books… not sorry!)

Now the war is one of my favourite  things to watch/read about so please shot loudly your recommendations at me! I would love to see your #SixforSunday posts too! Tweet me or leave them in the comments and I will check them out! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Oliver Jeffers

So… Oliver Jeffers everyone. If you know him and his books, you probably love him. I know I most certainly do. Most teachers I know do. I could talk about his books forever and a day and not quite get across how much I adore his books.

But anyway, his newest book ‘Here We Are’ is published next week and it is amazing. It is everything I want in a children’s book AND SO MUCH MORE.


“Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.”

‘Here We Are’ is one of the kindest, most beautiful picture books of the year (and yes that is a BIG claim, but I truly believe it). It’s a book filled with information about the world, filled with messages that are important for us to deliver to our children. I didn’t realise it was a book he had written for his son, and then last few pages absolutely made me crumble. I think that is an incredible idea

This book is filled with all of the usual charm of Jeffers’ books – they’re beautifully illustrated, poignant, meaningful and uplifting – with an added extra little something. You learn from this book, you yearn to read more, you’ll smile (if you’re sentimental like me, you’ll cry) and you’ll want to share this with anyone and everyone you come across. 

This book is special. This is a book that I want to share with all of the littles in my life. It sounds like a conversation, like he is talking to his son, so reading it aloud is beautiful. I know it had the children at school gripped and they all adored it. It has been in some very gentle hands ever since, with the idea that I will most definitely buy another copy

There’s some brilliant science-y bits in there too! 


This book is an advice manual written for Oliver Jeffers son, but it is most definitely a manual that ALL of us can take on board. 

Look after each other, look after our world, look after your world.  

I cried. I smiled. I had my heart warmed.
That’s what I want from my picture books!


How cute is this dude too? (He’s hidden inside the dust jacket!)

Thank you so much to the wonderful people of HarperCollins Children’s for sending me this book… I just adore it. 

Have you read any of Oliver Jeffers’ books?
What is one piece of advice you want to leave for our next generation?

Let me know in the comments, or tweet me (@eenalol). I would love to make a post with all of your wonderful pieces of advice!

S x