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

Year 6 - Combining Suspense and Action Techniques in a Short Story

L.O. To combine suspense and action techniques

You are going to write 1 side that combines your suspense and action techniques.

Don't forget that you can revise action techniques here, and there is all the information you could possibly need about story structure at

Due: Friday

Year 6 Comprehension: Repetition

Please complete the 2008 Boarding School paper. Don't forget that you can learn about questions about an author's use of repetition here.

Read it - annotate - underline key words & then P-E-E all over the page!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The London Maths Championship

We love Mathletics - and now you've got the chance to show off your brilliance in The London Maths Championship.

Thousands of kids will battle it out in a one-off mathematics challenge. Go to the Mathletics site to learn more!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Fun Stuff - Area Rap!

Musical learning is one of the best ways to make sure that you remember 'dull' or difficult information!

Year 6 Noir Fiction - Femme Fatale

L.O. To include complex sentences in a dialogue

Last night we revised the use of complex sentences.

Write a dialogue (1/2 page) between a innocent man and a dangerous femme fatale, where the femme fatale wants to con the man into giving her something she wants - like his wallet!

Try to include complex sentences in your dialogue, e.g.

"Look, doll face, do I look like a rat?" (I've 'bracketed off' doll face)

Feeling clever? Don't forget to present your dialogue in different ways.

America Votes!

Who will become the most powerful person in the world? If you could vote, who would you prefer? Learn more - including a video about what American children think of the election - by clicking here.

This map will show you who has won!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Year 5 - Word Work

L.O. To know how to spell words ending in an 'a'

Please complete the 'words endingi in an 'a'' worksheets.

If possible, revise your spellings using the list I've created at Bald Worm's area at Spelling City.

Year 6 Prose - Complex Sentences

We've been looking at how important it is to include complex sentences in a story.

Homework: Plan a story for 'The Forest'. Write the first ten lines of your story, setting the scene (e.g. describe the forest), making sure that you include at least three complex sentences, and compound, simple, impact and fragment sentences

Feeling clever? Include a colon.

P.S. Why not try this 'parts of speech' revision game?

P.P.S. The Spelling City word list is here.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Year 6 Comprehension - A Christmas Carol

L.O. To revise the importance of reading the question before attempting to answer a comprehension question

Don't forget to READ THE DASHED QUESTION! (R.T.D.Q!)

Please complete the Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' comprehension - and don't forget to keep revising at the comprehension blog!

Due: Wednesday.

Year 5 Comprehension: P-E-E

Please complete the 'Scratched by a pin' 'P-E-E' comprehension. Learn more about P-E-Eing all over the page at my comprehension blog,

Due: Wednesday