Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Real Secret Garden

Did you see  the Great British Food Revival on BBC 2 last Wednesday? It was all about rhubarb. I love rhubarb and we grow (or used to) so much of it in England; mainly in the Wakefield area. The dimple-cheeked presenter of the show, Gregg Wallace, visited  Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire to interview the head gardener there. Apparently Clumber […]

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Holly’s Poem

  How tremendous is this? Holly’s poem was sent to me by her headteacher, Mr Tim Redgrave. Mr Redgrave was so proud of Holly’s achievement he wanted to share it with me and now I want to share it with you:  World War II Bouncing around, On my Mother’s knee, Smiling, so happy, As you can see.   A […]

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Quality Quick Reads

I was inspired by this blog by a librarian in America. It’s all about reaching children  who can read but are reluctant to do so. Children for whom books are a bit of a chore, for whatever reason. The solution was to stock the school library with short, funny, pacy, brightly illustrated and well written books that […]


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Huddersfield Town play Preston North End today in League 1; two teams with a mighty pedigree.  Huddersfield Town are currently in second place and go into the match with a record run of 38 games unbeaten. In honour of that feat I have mashed up John Masefield’s poem Sea-Fever . With sincere apologies to Mr Masefield: Town-Fever […]

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That Wimpy Kid…

It’s funny how some book titles capture the imagination isn’t it?  I wonder what it is that makes that happen?   If anyone knows please send me the recipe! At the moment Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid is EVERYWHERE. It’s number 1 in the Children’s bestsellers for the nth week running. It’s a film. […]

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Problems with leaving comments?

Hmm. This is strange. I’ve had two comments now from pupils at City of Leicester College who have tried to find the blog about the school but can’t. Their comments appear on my post from May 21st called ‘New Look Blog.’ This has happened before which explains why ‘New Look Blog’ has 38 comments from […]

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St Paul’s Catholic School, Milton Keynes

I ended Book Week on a high with a visit to St Paul’s Catholic School in Milton Keynes yesterday. The Y7s I met were a great bunch. I began with the whole of Y7 in the theatre and then had two sessions of creative writing in the library.  Impressive standard of writing, you lot! Thank you […]

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Happy National Poetry Day

This is me on National Poetry Day, imagining I’m still teaching and it’s my turn to take assembly.  We’re in a small English primary school, somewhere in the East Midlands. The kids have filed in to the hall to a CD recording of that classic we all know and love: ‘Autumn Days.’ And action: Me: (the kids’ […]

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‘Art explains things that words can’t manage’

I am reading the amazing Mal Peet’s Life: an Exploded Diagram at the moment (review to follow). In it 12-year old Clem has just started grammar school.  He’s struggling to fit in but finds art lessons a relief. He describes his love of ‘the surfaces of things’ and goes on to reveal how, despite his art teacher’s sniffy approach to the Still […]


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Author Visit: City of Leicester College

Huge apologies for the camera fail today. I must have been on the wrong setting when I took these. Either that or the Y7s at City of Leicester College were moving so fast the camera couldn’t cope. I’m posting them anyway, feeling that blurry shots are better than no shots at all. Anyhow I had a great […]


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