Monday, 22 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Thank you to everyone who voted for Bald Worm in the Edublog awards. Unfortunately, we didn't quite win - you can see the final results here - but all the girls at FSG can be proud that we were nominated for your brilliant podcasts, videos and slideshows.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. The image above was created using Wordle, and Chapter 2 of my dodgy novel! Visit to create your own Wordle.

P.P.S. Mr Evelyn Paw is recovering from a trip to the vet's where he lost four - four! - of his best mouse-ripping front teeth. Poor Paw!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Listen to this Blog...and Our Interview Questions!

Merry Christmas, everybody! I hope you're all enjoying your holiday homework - sorry, I mean, your holiday - and aren't eating too much chocolate!

I've added a new tool to the blog: click on 'listen now' and you can hear a mini-podcast of the blog post. This should be brilliant for aural learners, as they'll be able to hear, as well as read about, their homework.

P.S. I've added the 'listen now' tool to the Falcons Interview blog. Why not use it to help you prepare for your interview?

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Happy Holiday Homework!

You lucky girls! Santa has come early, and what's that in his sack? Yes - it is Holiday Homework! Hurrah!

Year Five holiday homework page on Bald Worm's comprehension blog,

Year Six holiday homework page on the pupil wiki.

P.S. Exciting news: You can watch videos of the dances you'll be performing in the School Play, Romeo and Juliet, on our pupil wiki:

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Year 6: Stories Based on a Given Sentence (Wednesday, 10th December 2008)

Please brainstorm, plan & write a complete short story - 1 1/2 sides of A4 - for the following title:

Write a story beginning with the line, 'I had never seen anything like it.'

Don't forget you can learn more about planning a story based on a sentence here at

Feeling clever? Include all of the following:
* Fragment
* Impact sentence
* Simple
* Compound
* Semi-colon
* Colon
* Bracket
* Dashes
* Subordinate clause at the beginning of a complex sentence
* A complex sentence using the bracketing comma

Due: Thursday

P.S. I'll be giving out the Year Six Holiday Homework tomorrow, you lucky, lucky people!

Year 5: Audition Tomorrow!

1. You need to make sure you know your lines for the first Year 5 Romeo and Juliet audition on Thursday.

2. You may want to make a start on your holiday homework pack. Visit, Bald Worm's comprehension blog and podcast site, to read useful advice, find the answers to your pack and learn about the writing tasks!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Year 6: Comprehension (Monday, 8th December 2008)

L.O. To revise the use of P-E-E in longer mark questions

It is the last 11+ comprehension paper of the term! Please complete the 'Alice in Wonderland' Latymer-style comprehension.

Download a copy of the Alice Latymer-style comprehension from my box at My fee? A vote for Baldworm's Blog in the 2009 Edublog Awards! Please click on the badge to the right of this post and vote!

Due: Wednesday

Don't forget their is all the advice you need on answering comprehension questions, and helpful podcasts, at Bald Worm's comprehension blog,

Year 5: Romeo & Juliet

On Thursday we are going to have a little audition for Romeo & Juliet, our school play. I am looking for girls who can be convincingly aggressive!

Please learn one of the parts for Thursday.

Due: Thursday

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Year 6 Comprehension - Xmas Comprehension

You're right, Mr Paw really needs to tidy his magazine rack...but you should see his bookshelves!

Homework: Please complete the 'Xmas' comprehension; there are no really tricky questions, so aim for 100%! To achieve this, you'll need to P-E-E all over the page.

P.S. Don't forget to send me a comment with your suggestions for our reading list.

P.P.S. if you have a moment, please click on the 'Edublogger awards' picture and vote for Bald Worm!

Year 5 Fiction - Type Up Your Book Review & Design a Cover (Weekend homework)

We are taking part in the Books Go Global wiki, sharing our favourite books. Your weekend homework is in two parts:

1. Type up a third draft of your book review and e-mail it to Don't forget to spellcheck your work and read it through before you hand it in. No computer access? Write up your work on A4.

2. On blank A4, create an illustration we can post alongside your book review, e.g. if you were reviewing 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' you might use pencil crayons to create a picture of Aslan or the White Witch.

Due: Monday

We Need Your Suggestions!

Over the Xmas break I am going to be putting together a new Falcons School for Girls 'Free Readers' Reading scheme, Bald Worm's Reading Passport.

Books are a passport to another world, and Bald Worm wants to make sure you're visiting fantastic, imaginative worlds as often as possible!

This is going to be a scheme with a difference - you will have a page in your reading passport for each genre of fiction, and you'll receive a Bald Worm stamp and a certificate in assembly whenever you read three books in any one genre, e.g. when you've read three 'family stories' you'll get a stamp and a certificate!

There will be a special certificate for any girls who manage to read all the books in a genre...and who knows what we'll do if you manage to read all the books in the passport!

You can see some of the books we'll be including in the 'Bald Worm's recommended reads' pages at

My question is this: Are there any books you think should include in Bald Worm's Reading Passport? Who wrote them? Why should we include them? Click on 'comments' and give me your suggestions, book worms!

Take a look at how the Reading Passport is shaping up at the Falcons School for Girls pupil wiki.

Year 5 Book Reviews: Redrafting (Thursday, 4th December 2008)

We're writing book reviews for the Books Go Global wiki so we can share our enthusiasm for reading with children across the world! This is a great example of how Web 2.0 - wikis, podcasts, videos and blogs - allow us to learn in new ways.

Task: Please finish the second draft of your book review. Don't forget to focus on including at least one of the following:
* The listing comma
* The joining comma
* The bracketing comma

Learn more about redrafting at

Year 6 Fiction: Writing the First 15 Lines of a 'Continue the Passage' Composition (Thursday, 4th December 2008)

Please write the first 15 lines of a story - including an exciting first line & setting the scene - for extract 3 'The Hero'. Don't forget you can revise 'continuing a passage' at

Feeling clever? Don't forget to include sem-colons and colons

Due: Friday

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Bald Worm Shortlisted for Award Thanks to Brilliant Work by Falcons Girls!

Thanks to Mrs Mannan's kind efforts, Bald Worm's blog has been shortlisted for an Edublog award - for best teacher blog! These awards are given to the best educational blogs in the world, so this is a fantastic tribute to all the brilliant work you girls have been doing in class and for homework: the judges were clearly impressed with your podcasts and videos!

The winner is decided on which blog gets the most votes, so if you have a moment please visit and vote for your favourite :) You'll make a little bald worm very happy...

We're going to continue to use Web 2.0 technologies - wikis, podcasts & blogs - so you can share your creativity with the world, like our this Year 6 pupil podcast and these Year Five videos.

Next year, let's see if we can win best podcasts, video and pupil wiki!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Year 5 Non-fiction - Book Review

We're beginning our work for the Books Go Global! book review wiki. We are going to share our opinions about books with girls on the other side of the world. This is an example of how we can use Web 2.0 programmes - podcasts, wikis & blogs - to share our creativity with the world!

Please write a first draft of your book review for Thursday. Write one-side of A4.

Due: Thursday

Year 6 Fiction - Continuing the Passage (Wednesday, 3rd December)

L.O. To maintain story structure when continuing a passage.

This week we're learning how to follow on from a comprehension passage. Learn more about continuing a passage at baldworm.

(i) Finish the three plans & (ii) Write the first 15 lines for one of the extracts you've planned for. Try to write in the style of the original. Even though you’re writing ‘the next part of the story’, try to start with an exciting first line & include some description as you open the story.

Due: Thursday

Year 6: Comprehension

Listen to the annotation techniques podcast at

Please complete the 'Didokkai' comprehension. Give yourself 40 minutes to complete this paper. Don't forget to annotate as you go!

Year 5 Homework: Auto Words/Brackets (Tuesday, 2nd December 2008)

1. Learn your spellings for the 'auto' words test next week at Spelling City.

2. Write a description of the cover of one of your books at home. Write 10 lines, using our descriptive techniques, but concentrating on including at least 5 brackets. Remember, brackets contain extra information!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Year 6 - Getting to Know Spelling City

Sorry I was not with you today. Your homework is in two parts:

1. to revise the word lists in my area at Spelling City...and you may want to try typing up your own list of words you know you always misspell.

2. Read the information at on stories based on a passage.

You'll have your usual Monday comprehension homework tomorrow.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Year 5: Second Draft of 'Escape' Story (Weekend)

We've been writing and redrafting our P.O.W. World War II 'Escape'. Your homework is in two parts:


1. Type up your improved story and email it to me at (do not print it!)

or, if you really must...

2. Write it up in pen in your neatest handwriting on A4 paper.

Either way, make sure that you improve it as you write, because writing is rewriting!

Next week we'll record extracts from these stories as podcasts!

Next week you'll begin writing book reviews that will be posted at Books Go Global! This will be the first Year 5 flatclassroom project, where you'll share your work with children on the other side of the world!

Please select a favourite book, and bring it in to school on Wednesday, ready to write a brilliant book review!

Due: Monday

Year 6: Poetry Comprehension (Weekend)

Please complete the 11+ poetry comprehension for Monday. Don't forget that you can get loads of advice on answering comprehensions, and listen to useful podcasts, at Bald Worm's comprehension blog,

P.S. We'll be looking at writing stories based a passage next week, so get revising!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Year 6 Location Description: Crypt! (Thursday 27th November 2008)

L.O. To vary sentence lengths when writing a longer description.
Homework: Please complete your description of the spooky crypt, including all of Bald Worm's descriptive techniques, but with a focus on varying sentence lengths, i.e. your prose style

Prose Style
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: education prose)

P.S. I'll upload the other powerpoints as the week goes by!

Year 5 Homework: Writing a story that includes Action (Thursday, 27th November)

L.O. To include action in a short story.

In class we 'set the scene' for your 'escape' story. For homework, I would like you to complete your first draft - you will have written 1 1/2 sides of A4 in total. Don't forget to include the action scene that you wrote last night.

You can learn more about story structure at Bald Worm.

Year 5 Fiction: Action Techniques 'Escape!' Story (Wednesday 25th November 2008)

L.O. To revise the use of action techniques
In class you planned a story for the title 'Escape!', featuring a P.O.W. escaping from a Nazi prison camp.

I want you to write the last part of this story: the action scene (the 'thumb' from your hand plan). Don't forget to revise Bald Worm's action techniques before you begin writing. Write about 10 lines, using all of our action techniques, especially powerful verbs.

Please annotate your 'finished' work, showing me where you used the different action skills.

Due: Thursday.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Year 6 Fiction: Planning a Longer Description

L.O. To revise planning a longer description

A crypt is a stone chamber beneath the floor of a church - usually a vault or a burial chamber. A crypt is the pefect setting for a 'gothic' description!

Plan (we'll write it tomorrow) a longer description based on the idea of a secret chamber beneath an old church.

Revise Bald Worm's advice on planning a longer description before you put pencil to paper!

Due: Thursday

P.S. Visit the TimeZoneExperiences wiki to listen to your gothic Autumn description here! We love podcasting - it is a great way to share our creativity with the world!

Year 5: Spelling and Prose Style: Using the Adverb-Starter Comma (Tuesday, 25th November 2008)

1. Please learn the Irregular Plurals for our test next Tuesday.

2. Write a poem that uses the adverb starter comma. See instructions on the worksheet.

Feeling clever? Try to include both simile and metaphor in your poem.

Due: Wednesday

Year 6 Prose Style - Bracketing Commas (Tuesday, 25th November 2008)

L.O. To include a long, complex sentences with three of more clauses when setting the scene.

We are going to focus on writing longer descriptions this week - to prepare, and revise our descriptive techniques, please write a description of a frightening, gothic location. Focus on including a long, complex sentence with three or more clauses. Write 10-15 lines.

Feeling clever? Include the colon!

Due: Tuesday

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Year 6 Comprehension - Poetry Comprehension (Monday 24th November)

Some - not many, but some - schools have set a poetry comprehension. If you get one of these you need to write about the author's use of rhyme, rhythm, structure and imagery. Please complete the 11+ poetry comprehension for homework, noting your answers next to the question.

Due: Tuesday

Year 5 Comprehension - Studying an Author's Use of Suspense Techniques (Monday 24th November)

L.O. To understand that an author can build an atmosphere through the use of descriptive techniques

We've been studying a passage of Goodnight, Mr Tom, Michelle Magorian's
classic novel.

Please complete the comprehension. Not sure about a question? Visit the advice section at, and Bald Worm's descriptive techniques can be revised at

Due: Wednesday

P.S. Don't forget you can revise for Tuesday's spelling test by playing these games at Spelling City.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Year 6 - Latymer-Style Comprehension: Trapped!

We've been studying Gothic stories. Why not have fun this weekend reading a fun young teen gothic novel like The Golem's Eye, Century or one of Darren Shan's Vampire novels?

Weekend homework:
1. Please complete the Latymer-Style 'Trapped!' paper; give yourself 40 minutes. Don't forget you can get loads of advice at Bald Worm's comprehension site.

2. Don't forget your verbal reasoning paper.

Due: Monday

Year 5 - Writing a Longer Description: Evacuees!

L.O. To revise planning and writing a longer description; to include simile and metaphor in a longer description.

Please plan and write a longer description (five paragraphs; 1 side of A4 - not five pages; not half a page!): imagine you are an evacuee and you have just moved to a big farm in the country. Describe your new home.

Try to include both simile and metaphor.

Feeling clever? Included the listing and the joining commas

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Year 5 Metaphor

L.O. To understand that metaphor is language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects, often with the form: "The [first subject] is a [second subject].

Homework: Write a short description (8-10 lines) of a bombed street, using both a simile and a metaphor, e.g. the houses were broken bottles. Write 10 lines. Annotate your finished work, showing me where you have used our different descriptive techniques.

Feeling clever? Try to include both listing and joining commas.

Due: Friday.

P.S. Don't forget you can leave comments explaining wby Mrs Mannan should be nominated for an edublog award here.

Year 6: Revising Action Techniques

L.O. To revise action techniques

Write a full action scene based on the plan you created in class (don't write a whole story - just the action scene). Try to include all of Bald Worm's action techniques. Write 10 lines; remember to include plenty of shown feelings. Annotate your 'finished' work, showing me where you used the different skills.

Due: Friday

Year 6 - Latymer-Style Comprehension: Count Dracula

Please complete the Latymer Upper-style Count Dracula paper under timed conditions - give yourself 5 minutes reading time, and 40 minutes for answering the questions. Don't forget you can get loads of advice on this style of paper at Bald Worm's comprehension blog,

Download another copy of this comprehension from my box at

Due: Thursday

Year 5 - Creating Similes

L.O. To revise creating similes
In class you created similes based on a tank. You can download another copy of this task from my box at

Homework: Create a poster defining similes (like the example above, e.g. a simile compares two unlike things using 'like' or 'as'), and an illustration featuring your best simile that you created in class, e.g. The gun was like an angry mouth spitting out foul language.

This is an example of visual learning - creating a colourful poster will help you to embed in your memory the definition of a simile!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Year 6 - Bracketing Commas

L.O. To understand that a subordinate clause can come at the beginning of a sentence

Despite the cold, Mr Paw would occasionally brave the garden for a quick stroll In the previous sentence the subordinate clause is at the beginning of the sentence. It is marked off by a single bracketing comma.

We are beginning our Gothic fiction work.

Create your own Frankenstein monster (by cutting out 'body parts' from a magazine/newspaper and sticking them down in your book), and describe it - using Bald Worm's character description techniques - but make sure you include a subordinate clause at the beginning of some of the sentences.

Write 10 lines; annotate your finished work, showing me the subordinate clauses.

Remember, an elegant prose style can make a big difference at 11+, and beyond!

Due: Wednesday

Year 5 - Spelling 'u and i' & Combining the Listing and Joining Commas

L.O. To combine the use of the listing and joining comma

1. Learn the 'u and i' spellings through playing games at Spelling City

2. Write a description of your bedrooms. Include a simile and Bald Worm's descriptive techniques. Write 8 lines - but the real challenge is to include both the listing and joining comma. Annotate your 'finished' work, showing me where you included the commas!

Due: Wednesday

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Preview - Year 5 Spy Base Movies

The brilliant Year 5 have been learning all about Bald Worm's suspense techniques - first, they built a spy HQ before writing scenes and stories based on Charlie Higson's Young Bond and Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series. Here is the first of the videos - the rest can be seen soon on our pupil wiki! Recording our work as podcasts or movies is a great way to share our creativity with the world -so grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Year 5 - D-Day Comprehension

L.O. To recognise the use of similes in a passage; to be able to explain the comparison being made in a simile

Still not sure about similes? Have a go at one of these downloadable simile worksheets.

Learn more about questions about similes here.

Task: Please complete the D-Day landing comprehension
Due: Wednesday

Learn more about D-Day here.

Year 6 - Latymer-Style Comprehension

This week we are going to focus on Latymer-style comprehensions. Latymer's comprehension paper is divided into two parts:
Understanding, with questions about the events and characters in the passage, and
Comment and Analysis, where you have to study the author's prose style.

Take this opportunity to revise the questions about prose style and an author's technique at Bald Worm's comprehension blog,

Task: Please complete the Agatha Christie Latymer-style comprehension. Not sure about one of the questions? Go onto

Download another copy of this comprehension from my 'box' at

Due: Tuesday.

Learn more about Agatha Christie here.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Year 5 - Longer Descriptions

L.O. To write a longer description of familiar location

1. Write your description of five rooms of your house. Don't forget you can revise longer descriptions here, and Bald Worm's descriptive techniques here.

2. Annotate your work, showing me where you have used the different descriptive techniques

Feeling clever? Try to include some personification

Write 1 side of A4.

Due: Monday

Year 6 Homework - Scholarship-level Comprehension

Please attempt the 2007 Wycombe Abbey Scholarship comprehension.

Play close attention to question 5 - you can get advice on answering 'questions about did you enjoy this story?' at Bald Worm's comprehension site,

P.S. Have you read Journey to the River Sea yet?

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Thoughts on Visit to Notting Hill and Ealing High School

I visited Notting Hill and Ealing High School today, where it was great to see lots of my old Falcons and Ravenscourt Park pupils doing so well. It really is a lovely, warm school.

I had a chat with NHE's Head of English, who stressed what she is really looking for in 11+ compositions is...spark! imagination! excitement! I also had chance to speak to the Head of Maths, who wants girls who are strong at...mental maths.

Year Five - Descriptive Techniques.

L.O. To revise the use of Mind Maps to recall key descriptive techniques.

Homework: Create a second, neat draft of your Descriptive Techniques Mind Map. Use symbols and illustrations; you can revise the descriptive tricks at Bald Worm.

Learn more about Mind Maps here. This is a brilliant method for visual learners to learn key facts!

Due: Friday.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Year 5 - World War II - Descriptive Techniques

L.O. To revise the use of the five senses, colours, light, movement detail and figuarative language to 'set the scene'

We're going to be looking at stories set in the first and second world war - stories like Michael Morpurgo's War Horse. We'll be learning to write longer descriptions, and revising the suspense and action techniques we studied in the 'Spy' unit

You can revise Bald Worm's descriptive techniques here.


1. Imagine you are in a Poppy Field. Write a 6-8 line description, combining as many of Bald Worm's descriptive techiques as you can. Feeling clever? Try to include both the listing and the joining comma.

2. Annotate your 'finished' work with a gel pen, showing me where you have used the different descriptive techniques.

Due: Thursday

Year 6 - Simple Plans

We've been studying the importance of planning simple stories - and we've been trying to include suspense as part of these plans.

Homework: Complete three simple 'hand plans' for the three titles you were given in the first mock examination, but make sure (i) you plan to include suspense and (ii) one of your stories should be set in the Victorian era.

The titles:

1. A Severe Temptation
2. An Extraordinary Discovery
3. Write a story beginning with the sentence, "What on earth do I do now?" she said.

Due: Tomorrow

2008 Edublogs Awards Nominations!

The Edublog awards are a special prize for brilliant teacher blogs and wikis. My nominations for the 2008 Edublogs Awards are...(drum roll, please)...

Best Individual Blog: Mrs Mannan for the How on Earth? Science blog.

Best New Blog: Mrs Mannan for the How on Earth? Science blog.

Please leave a comment telling the judges why you think Mrs Mannan should be shortlisted for the prize.

P.S. She doesn't know I've nominated her yet, so be free with your kind words! :)

Monday, 10 November 2008

Year 5 Word Work - Words Ending in 'o'

Please complete the words ending in 'o' exercises, and try the games for this week's list at the brilliant Spelling City site.

Due: Tomorrow

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Year 6 Comprehension - Read and Reread

L.O. To revise the importance of reading and rereading the passage

Ooh, here's a tough one! Have a go at the St. James' school Shakespeare paper (note: this is a paper attempted in Year 7, not an 11+ entrance paper. Phew!). Enjoy!

Due: Wednesday

Year 6 Comprehension - Latymer Paper

L.O. To revise the importance of referring to the text when analysing an author's technique

Please complete the Latymer 'End of the World' comprehension under timed conditions - give yourself 40 minutes.

Due: Tuesday

Year 5 - Annotate!

L.O. To revise the need to annotate the passage

When I need to mark a comprehension I have to annotate the passage so I can find all the answers; make sure that you are doing the same thing!

Please complete the multiple choice paper - you can check how you did using the answer sheet.

Due: Wednesday

P.S. Don't forget that it is your spelling test tomorrow - revise your words using the fun games and the testing option here at Spelling City.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Year 5 - Redrafting

L.O. To include suspense and action in a short story

We have learnt that story structure is vital - and that the key to writing is rewriting. You can learn about these key skills at

Task: Write a third draft of your 'spies' story. Write one-and-a-half sides of A4. Improve it as much as you can, including all of our suspense and action techniques. We'll record your story as a video next week!

Feeling clever? Revise our descriptive skills, and make sure you include similes/metaphors when you describe your spy base.

Year 6 Fiction - Including Suspense in a Short Story

L.O. To revise the inclusion of suspense techniques in a short story.

Write a 'Noir' story - using our hard-boiled slang - for the title 'A Severe Temptation'. Write 1 1/2 sides of A4. Make sure you include our suspense techniques.

Feeling clever? Write the following at the top of your page, and 'tick them off' as you write

- Fragment sentence
- Impact sentence
- Compound sentence (the joining comma)
- A complex sentence with the adverb starter comma
- A complex sentence with the bracketing comma
- A complex sentence with brackets
- Bracket
- Semi-colon
- Colon
- Dash