'Seeing comes before words... ...It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding land; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it.' 'Images were first made to conjure up the appearance of something that was absent'. Ways of Seeing John Berger 'Memory … Continue reading ‘Mansions in the head’: images, words, and the memories they conjure.
The Promise - Nicola Davies & Laura Carlin Walker Books, 2013 Following my last blog I received a number of requests for the planning ideas that I mentioned, based on Nicola Davies and Laura Carlin's powerful fable The Promise. Before reading on, you may want to watch Nicola Davies talk about the book, the process … Continue reading The Promise: KS2(+) teaching suggestions
Up until 2015, prior to some literary hijacking by Max Porter, hope was the thing with feathers. We know this because Emily Dickinson said so. Hope is a curious word. I used to think it was my favourite word and so an early gift from my then not-yet-wife contrived to keep 'hope' very close at … Continue reading Not reopening but blooming: picturebooks for new beginnings.
Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to work with Hare Street Community Primary School in my home town, Harlow. It's a wonderful school by any measure. Most striking, is the sense of community. It's very evident, almost as soon as you enter the building. Of course, this is predominantly down to … Continue reading One school/one book: immersive whole school book studies
No spoilers. Certainly no endings. No goodbyes. Only beginnings. Three of them. 'There were three of them, three girls.'- Raymie Nightingale, Kate DiCamillo (2016) This much is true. There were three girls. Right there, right from the start. In the space of two short chapters, just seven well-spaced pages, we meet the titular Raymie, and … Continue reading Not goodbye: Kate DiCamillo’s Beverly, Right Here.
This is a drive by blog. Or rather a train-ride home blog. Whichever. It’s going to be brief. It has to be. Today is one of those days that was packed from beginning to end, where you get up at stupidly dark o’clock so that the things that you won’t get around to doing are … Continue reading Three great books, one autumn Thursday
This blog, much like my last post on picturebook biographies, is another complement to a blog I wrote for my employers @HertsEnglish. In that blog I explore statutory writing assessment but will also refer to some ideas for writing in the primary classroom. The blogs on this site serve to go into greater detail around … Continue reading I know where I am going: writing fantastical, personal recounts.
This blog complements another written for my employer's site (visit us on Twitter: @Herts English). In that blog, I offer up some advice on helping children to demonstrate a particular standard in statutory writing assessments. I won't get caught up in further detail here, other than to say that the other blog includes a section … Continue reading Bringing Life to Words (and Pictures): picturebook biographies for children
I think the ending of The Florida Project is one of the most powerful I have seen in a good few years. It’s a film with many strengths. The writing is earthy and fresh. Poetic too... "You know why this is my favourite tree? Cause it's tipped over, and it's still growing." … Continue reading The Florida Project: a sense of an ending
I shan't beat about the bush. This is not how it was supposed to be. I have just spent most of the afternoon writing a blog on the use of short stories in KS2 and lost all of it just before publishing. This is take 2 with some of the heart removed. Apologies. Out of … Continue reading A short blog about short stories…