Welcome to our ENGLISH page! We have been doing so much this Term to promote excellent learning, understanding, reading and writing!
In AUTUMN 2 / HALF TERM 2, we adopted a new programme called VIPERS
(Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval & Sequencing / Summarising). This has replaced our previous Guided Reading lessons and is already having really good effects in building engagement, interest and enjoyment across school. We've done team-building, observations, groupwork and lots more to help the children learn well and build a lifelong engagement and enjoyment of books and reading.
After our inspirational AUTHOR VISITS earlier in the Term, we have been developing lots of exciting writing! We have already completed one WRITING CHALLENGE - 50/100/150 words on the theme of ANIMALS. Our latest one is about SHIPS, SAILING & SEASIDES.
The winners were decided upon by the SCHOOL COUNCIL and read out in a special assembly, where £10 Book Tokens were awarded for the best in each Key Stage group!
Welcome to the ENGLISH page for the School!
Here, we turn dreams into reality, capture the soul on a page, lose ourselves in a thousand worlds and a thousand dreams, capture inspiration from the air and live again the lives of others through the eyes of our minds!
This year, we follow the paths of wherever our TOPICS take us - to Ancient Greece, the darkness of the Stone Age, sailing the skies in balloons or back in time to stalk across the desert sands learning about Ancient Egypt!
Our Topic-Led Learning approach was chosen to maximise the children's engagement with their studies and so much that we do criss-crosses the curriculum to add far more depth, breadth, wonder and adventure than studying it dryly and separately might. So instead of learning a list of spellings, we might pick out spellings to fit a caveman hunting trip. Instead of analysing grammatical tenses from present to past, we might use flashbacks in a story to travel in mental moments between a cracked scroll rescued from the Library of Alexandria back to the long-ago days where it was first scribed, sitting at the feet of the Statue of Zeus himself.
Each day, the children have GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling) lessons, focusing on the Babcock "No Nonsense" spelling scheme, learning key skills such as tenses, description, conjunctions and prepositions.
Every 2-3 weeks, the children will plan, draft, edit and improve an Extended piece of writing. This will usually be linked to our Topics (eg: a Victorian letter, a diary of an American Road Trip, etc) but it could equally be a write-up of a scientific investigation or a PSHCE-linked speech about the dangers of extremism - or a highly descriptive narrative poem about a trip through the depths of the ocean.
Whichever it is, the main thing is that it will be developing the children's Writing Skills, which come in each year in three main categories: Working Towards, Working At and Working Beyond ("Greater Depth") age-related expectations. WT skills are mainly about securing the skills learned in their previous year, WA will the main skills they focus on and to challenge the most-confident writers, WB(GD) skills bring in some of the elements that they will encounter in their next year of learning. Thus, we try to support, encourage and help less-confident writers consolidate their learning, while also providing challenge for those who wish to become great writers.
READING AT FEATHERBANK
Last year, we invested so much effort and care into trying to INSPIRE the children to read and to make that reading meaningful. We put together a number of initiatives, including:
* The READING BOOKMARKS, which gave parents ideas, tips and suggestions to help discuss reading with their children at home and to support their children in developing their confidence as writers, as well as improving their Comprehension skills.
* READING UNDER THE STARS! This was a week of magical reading adventures in school, bringing the twinkling lights, crackling fire and marshmallow-filled hot chocolate of a cosy reading evening at home into school, to be enjoyed by children and families alike! Hopefully, it inspired many families to read more with their children and encourage them to become life-long readers!
* BOOK FAIRS = Both an Autumn and a Summer Book Fair helped us to bring new books into the lives of the children, as well as raising some extra money to allow us to expand the school library with new MYSTERY, CLASSIC and SPOOKY books, which added to the HOW TO DRAW and AUDIO BOOK sections, which were also new last year.
...AND NOW, THE END IS NEAR...
Only joking! Well, it is nearly the end of the school year, so it's great to look back on all that has been achieved in English this year.
We have had amazing progress shown by the children this year; many of whom have pleasantly surprised themselves in what they have managed to achieve. The level of skill and creativity being shown across the school is splendid.
We have our new Library display "THIS SCHOOL WRITES", which is showcasing all the brilliant writing taking place across school.
We have developed reading and engagement with books and stories this year yet again, by adding not one but two new sections to the Library - a "HOW TO DRAW" section and also our fabulous new AUDIO CD section, where children can borrow audio books to enjoy the stories that they love at home, in the car and maybe even sitting out in the sun!
We also took part in the LEEDS BOOK AWARDS and went to the ceremony, which was such good fun! We got to meet and chat with authors, watch competitions on-stage (and even take part!). We got books signed, bought new books and had a thoroughly splendid time!
Here's looking forwards to a lovely summer and ongoing learning from the children!
SUMMER TERM IS HERE!
As the sun starts to peek out from behind the relentless rainclouds, we are slowly realising that summer has come to Featherbank!
We have been encouraging people to GET OUT AND READ in the glorious weather. We're currently running a SUMMER READING CHALLENGE to win some book token vouchers for the upcoming Book Fair!
We are also cheering on our YEAR 6's, who will very shortly be tackling their ENGLISH SATS. So revision is in the air, tension is high and everyone needs to be working their hardest to make themselves proud!
Let's see what the summer can bring!
Spring Term at Featherbank is one of great devotion to reading, stories and challenging ourselves to explore exciting and interesting books!
Year 5 are enjoying the adventure of the Leeds Book Awards - challenging themselves to read the best 6 books as voted for by the shortlisting panel.
We will be reading, discussing, reviewing, voting and putting our best choices forwards for the coveted prize!
Keep your eye on the event webpage at https://www.leedsbookawards.co.uk/home.php
for more information!
SPRING UPDATE - JANUARY 2018
As January brings us rain, snow and hail, we are doing our best to stay creative, be inspired and enjoy good stories together!
READING UNDER THE STARS was a massive success, with a huge amount of families coming to share happy reading time together with us!
We had a crackling log fire, twinkling fairy lights, comfy seats, mats & cushions, squirty cream, hot chocolate and marshmallows! The teachers wore onesies (and awesome fluffy slippers!) and everyone had a huge amount of wonderful fun!
We had lovely comments from everyone who stopped by for a chat afterwards. Lots of requests to do it again and many, many thanks from families.
We hope that you had a brilliant time and created some magical memories with your families!
ELEMENTARY (School?), My Dear Watson!
Yes, we have a new adventure happening in the Library this term!
After lots (and lots) of requests from the children for some more CLASSIC literature, we now have a brand-new set (two, in fact!) of children's literature!
Our full collection of Children's Classics and also the Gothic Classic collection is now available to borrow and read from the Libary!
So, whether you fancy a spooky drama or a light-hearted adventure, you now have the chance to step into even more worlds of imagination!
I CHALLENGE YOU TO A MYSTERY!
The latest development in English and Reading at Featherbank is our new MYSTERY SECTION of the LIBRARY!
After seeing that lots of people last year were really excited and interested in taking out the small handful of puzzle / problem-solving interactive books, I decided that we really should do something about this!
Therefore, I put together a new section in the Library, buying new books for School and creating a whole new nook where children from Reception through to Year 6 can find interactive and challenging books that will intrigue them, engage them and get them thinking!
So far, the support and interest has been incredible!
For younger readers, we have USBORNE YOUNG PUZZLERS...
For Key Stage 1 and 2, we have USBORNE PUZZLE ADVENTURES...
For Key Stage 1 and 2, we have SPOTTING QUEST books...
We have DOCTOR WHO adventure books...
We even have a couple of MOSHI MONSTERS adventure books...
We have three books written and published by a school who wrote their own CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE STORIES...
...and for Key Stage 2, we have the legendary FIGHTING FANTASY CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE books!
They are brilliant and it is lovely to see children being really keen to dive into a book and explore worlds of imagination, mystery, problem-solving and puzzles!
NATIONAL POETRY WEEK
We had a brilliant week in school for NATIONAL POETRY WEEK in Autumn 1!
Across school, children explored different styles of poetry, from nonsense poetry to rhymes, Viking Kennings to Japanese Haiku. Autumn poetry was celebrated in Year 4, while in Year 5, we learned about Lewis Carroll's JABERWOCKY from 'Alice Through The Looking Glass'. We also created spooky poems in time for Halloween, such as poems in the styles of Jack Prelutsky!
Photos were taken, poetry was read out and people had a brilliant time!
We have a new poetry display by the ICT room showcasing some of the best poetry samples, as well as pictures from classes throughout the school!
Year 6 visited Horsforth Library's Ballroom on Friday 21st July 2017 to watch a performance of "Billy Shakes" by the Wrongsemble theatre company.
As you can see from the photographs, the children were engrossed and entertained throughout by a very talented company!
In assembly on Monday 17th July, every child in Year 2 was presented with a dictionary to take with them into Key Stage 2.
Mr Scaife and Mr Milford presented them on behalf of Rotary Club of Aireborough - a very generous gift which many children were proud to show off to their parents at reading morning this week.
Today saw the first ever National Writing Day and, of course, we had to mark this at Featherbank. The whole school took part with children and adults writing for pleasure for about an hour. The idea was to write about whatever you wanted to - it could be fiction, non-fiction or poetry.
On 14th June 2017 we were visited by the author, Tom Palmer, to write Chapter 7 of "The History Children", a mystery story set in Leeds with each chapter written by children in a different part of Leeds. Each chapter featured a piece of local history. The Featherbank chapter included Dr. Brian Boffey, a Horsforth man who invented Jelly Tots.
During the day, Tom worked with a group of children from Years 4, 5 and 6 to plan, draft, write, edit and publish their chapter. Our group had so many ideas that it made it hard to choose!
At the end of the afternoon Tom held a whole school assembly to explain the process to everyone and celebrate the achievement of our writing group. He took some excellent questions from our children before signing copies of his books.
You can read the whole story and find out more about Tom Palmer and Dr. Boffey by following the links below.
We really do have some remarkable writers at Featherbank and this display is evidence of that: a range of work from Reception children right through to Year 6.
What amazing writers we have!
On Tuesday 16th May, six members of the Leeds Book awards group travelled to Pudsey Civic Hall to attend the award ceremony for the 9-11 category. There were 500 children from 32 Leeds schools there. This was the culmination of several months spent reading six new books, all published in 2016.
The shortlist was excellent and can be viewed using the link below, along with reviews written by children from across the city.
Performance Poetry in Year 3
Year 3 children have learned and performed the poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll as part of their learning in English. (NC: "Preparing poems and play scripts to read aloud and to perform, showing understanding through intonation, tone, volume and action."
Today they performed to an audience of Year 1 and 2 children .... and they were great!!
English around school.
Photographs of our work from Reception class right through to Year 6.
Featherbank celebrated World Book Day in a different way this year.
Children brought in their pre-loved books and we held a book sale in the library during the afternoon. Every class was able to visit with their teacher and many children went away with one or more books to enjoy. All the money raised will go towards the purchase of new books for the library.
On Thursday and Friday we also held story swap sessions where the teachers moved to a different class to read for 30 minutes. Who came to read to YOU?!
We had a lovely first Friday back after Christmas with children and staff bringing in a book that they loved, had been given or had read during the holiday. Some staff wrote about their books and we took lots of beautiful photographs of our children reading together.
Here is a link to useful guide which may answer your questions about the teaching and learning of phonics.
We hosted a Book Fair in our library from 22nd - 28th November enabling many families to browse and buy books. This also supports school because, as well as enthusing the children and promoting reading for pleasure, we are able to spend a percentage of the takings from the fair on books for school.
Some lucky children received a £5 voucher to spend on a book by designing a poster to advertise the fair.
New reading books and reading records
for the new school year!
We hope the children are enjoying the wide range of new reading books
they are now able to choose from! We also hope that parents are finding
the new reading record books helpful. These are personalised for different
year groups and contain a wealth of useful information, as well as space
for that vital home/school communication.
We do enjoy hearing about what children like to read at home
so please let us know in this record book.
Help us to take care of our new resources by always transporting them to
and from school in book bags, keeping them in a safe place while at
home and keeping them clean and dry.