Sunday, 31 May 2009

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: Jerusalem

Bald Worm loves poetry! We kick off this half-term with the poem Jerusalem by the brilliant, visionary poet William Blake.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

This poem became a famous hymn

Year 6 Shakespeare Project: Bring in Your Work So Far!

You have are now working on your Shakespeare Research Project! How is your research going?

Task: Please bring in your work so far tomorrow (Tuesday).

(Image by hownowdesign; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 5: Revise Your Romeo and Juliet Lines!

Please look over your 'Romeo and Juliet' lines - you need to be word perfect for tomorrow. Make sure you know your cues, too!

(Image by Mr J's Travels;used under Creative Commons agreement)

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Introducing Bald Worm's Book Club!

We love reading at Falcons Girls. I'm starting my own informal book club to encourage Upper School girls to read even more!

I'm going to read The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2009 - and I'd love it if you'd read it with me!

So what is this story about? While visiting her grandmother's house, an old photograph leads Tanya to an unsolved mystery. Fifty years ago a girl vanished in the woods nearby - a girl Tanya's grandmother will not speak of. Fabian, the caretaker's son, is tormented by the girl's disappearance. His grandfather was the last person to see her alive, and has lived under suspicion ever since. Together, Tanya and Fabian decide to find the truth. But Tanya has her own secret: the ability to see fairies. And, after disturbing an intruder in the night, it emerges that someone else shares her ability ...The manor's sinister history is about to repeat itself ...

I want you to read this book at home. It would be great if Mums, Dads and siblings joined in, too! If you want to join me, get hold of a copy of The Thirteen Treasures and start reading it over half-term. I'll post a few thoughts and questions on the opening chapters the week after half-term, and you can add your voice to our discussion by clicking on comments.

Learn why it became the Waterstones Book of the Year here.

Bald Worm's Book Club - you can join today! Yeah!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Falcons Girls on Flat Classrooms

Girls in Year 5 and 6 try to convince you why it is important that teachers create collaborative projects with schools across the world

Year 5 Half-Term Homework: Continue the Passage

One task the examiners love to set in the 11+ exams is 'continue the story' or 'write the next chapter of the story' writing tasks. Learn how to tackle this sort of question here.

And Bald Worm is too good to you! Download two 'continue the passage' tasks from my box at

Task: Please draft and then type up two 'continue the passage' stories, based on the passages.

Have a great week off - and enjoy your reading, too!

Bald Worm Share a Poetry (Programme) a Day: Off By Heart

Ask your parents to let you watch (either live - BBC 2 on Friday night - or on the BBC iplayer) a BBC special by Daisy Goodwin on performing poetry

Off By Heart follows primary school children from across the country as they take part in a national poetry recitation competition - the first of its kind.

The film follows 12 finalists who progress from regional heats to a grand final where they face a judging panel including Philip Pullman, Benjamin Zephaniah - author of 'Turkey Christmas' - and Dawn Postans, Head of Examinations at LAMDA.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Year 6 Half-term: Shakespeare Project Research Poster

1. You are going to begin your research for the Shakespeare Research Project.

Use libraries and the internet to begin researching your topic. Take notes as you go - and turn your notes into a colourful mindmap or visual notes like the picture above. Try to gather as much material as possible so you're got plenty to work with whilst we rehearsing next term.

2. Make sure you keep on top of your Romeo and Juliet lines!

(Image by Austin Kleon; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Coming Soon...

Shhh! There is a secret project coming to an iPod near you...the Bald Worm storycast. Keep your ears to the ground...

(Image by by zoomar; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Bald Worm Shares A Poem a Day: The Poetry of Zen

Bald Worm loves poetry - and here is a traditional Chinese poem. Watch the video above - by teemue - an animated backdrop as you read the poem out loud!

All the birds have flown up and gone

A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.

We never tire of looking at each other

Only the mountain and I.

- Li Bai, Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty

Year 5: Spelling Age Test Tomorrow

Tomorrow is your Spelling Age test - so spend half-an-hour revising our spelling rules at Spelling City.

Year 6: Shakespeare Project - Picking a Topic and Planning Research

You are going to begin your Shakespeare research project over half-term.

Task: Decide which of the Shakespeare research topics you would like to cover, and make a list in your red 'Shakespeare' book of the aspects of the topic you want to research, e.g. if you're studying the plays, which plays are you going to research and include?

Monday, 18 May 2009

Year 5 Comprehension: SATs-style comprehension

In Test Week you'll have the opportunity to try a SATs-style comprehension test. These are a lot easier than 11+ comprehensions, but you need to remember one key rule: there are a lot of questions, so you need to work quickly.

You may want to try completing the comprehension in 45 minutes. Use the online stopwatch to help.

Homework: Please complete the 'On Dangerous Ground' comprehension

Due: Tuesday

(Image by steeljam; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 6 Spelling: Doubling Consonants

Tomorrow is your Spelling Age test! Gulp! But don't panic - just visit my page at Spelling City and brush up any spelling rules that leave you sweating!

Homework: Revise doubling consonants at Spelling City.

This may help, too!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: If

Bald Worm loves poetry. Enjoy If by Rudyard Kipling.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Year 6 and 5: Test Week Revision

Next week is Test Week. This is nothing to worry about: just do your best and you'll be fine! Click on the links below to revise key techniques and our spelling rules:

Year 5 Tests

Monday: Year 5 will be writing a longer description
Tuesday: Year 5 will write a story. You may find the videos at the Falcons Youtube channel useful, too.
Wednesday: Reading and Spelling Age Tests
Thursday: Year 5 will complete a comprehension

Year 6:

Monday: Spelling Age test
Tuesday: Reading Age test

Your scores will be reported in the end-of-year report.

(Image by Jeheme; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Year 5 Fiction - Revising Longer Descriptions

1. Revise how to plan a longer description at

2. Write a long description (at least a side of the paper) for the street scene longer description task.

Make sure you use a range of descriptive techniques - which you can revise at

Due: Friday

Year 6: Shakespeare Research Project

We love Shakespeare, and we can't wait to perform his brilliant Romeo and Juliet for the parents.

Year Six are going to begin an independent research project next week.

Task: Please visit, read about the project, read the rubric and decide which of the topics you would like to research.

(Image by suttonhoo; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: Daffodils

Bald Worm loves poetry - and you should, too! Today, let's enjoy Daffodils by William Wordsworth

I wander'd lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Obama Loves Poetry, Too!

We love poetry at Falcons Girls - and so does President Obama! This is from today's Guardian newspaper:

President Barack Obama and his cabinet colleagues were today preparing for the first White House poetry party.

Consolidating his reputation for cool after his performance as a stand-up comic on Saturday night, Obama has invited poets and writers, backed by jazz musicians, to perform in the east room tonight.

Obama promised on the campaign trail that if he was elected, he would throw the White House open to as wide a range of people as possible. Tonight is intended as part of that.

But it is also because Obama is fond of poetry. He said on the campaign trail no one should graduate from university without having read poetry and has been spotted with a copy works from the Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott in his back pocket.

(Image by jtmimages; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Fun Stuff!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: Macavity

Bald Worm loves poetry...and you'll love 'Macavity: The Mystery Cat' by T.S. Eliot.

Year 5 Fiction: Description Revision

We're revising descriptive techniques. There are games and activities here on the pupil wiki. You may find my mini-guide helpful:

Task: Please complete the description of the Marimion hotel room.

Due: Thursday

(Image by JoeMadison; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 6 Poetry: Idiom Poetry Display

There are many idions in common use which say one thing on the surface (the literal meaning), but actually mean something else.

Task: In neat, write up your final version of the 'foolish questions' idiom poem, and draw pictures of some of the idioms as if they were to be taken literally. What does someone look like if they're all ears? Or if they have eyes in the back of their head? Use pencil crayons, not felt tips.

(Image by focusforaword; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Monday, 11 May 2009

Year 5 Word Work: 'y' into 'i' Spellings

Have you watched the latest Bald Worm mini-guide? The sharp eyed amongst you may have noticed that I've added a 'video bar' to the blog, so you can catch up on all Bald Worm's videos!

In class we were studying the colon - one use of which is to connect two sentences if the second is a restatement or further explanation of the first:

Minds are like parachutes: they only work when they are open.
I devised a new exercise plan: I would get up early and jog every morning.

1. Complete the comprehension from last night. Make sure you mention 'characterisation' when answering question 9!

2. Learn the 'i' into 'y' spellings at Spelling City.

P.S. This is the Bald Worm blog post number six hundred! Woo!

Bald Worm Shares A Poem A Day: Ode to a Nightingale

Bald Worm loves poetry! Enjoy a poem byJohn Keats :'Ode to the Nightingale'.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Year 6 Poetry: Idiom Poetry

Please write a second draft of your idiom poem. Try to use a a-b-c-b rhyming pattern.
Find more idioms here.

Due: Tuesday.

Year 5: Comprehension - Underline Key Words in the Questions

In class, we talked about the importance of underlining the key words when studying comprehension questions.

Click here to learn more about 11+ comprehension.

Task: Complete the new 11+ comprehension

Due: Wednesday

(Image by Montyy; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: Jabberwocky

Bald Worm loves poetry. Today, enjoy Lewis Carroll's brilliant Jabberwocky.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Year 5 Fiction: Redrafting

Writing is rewriting.

Task: Please write a second draft of your 'Diamond' story, making sure you pay attention to the 'self-assessment rubric'.

P.S. Make sure you avoid the Grumpy Examiner's 'pet hates'

Due: Monday

(Image by Swamibu; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: She Walks in Beauty Like the Night

Bald Worm loves poetry! Listen to today's poem, by Lord Byron

SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o'er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 15
But tell of days in goodness spent,—
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Year 5: Montmorency Story

We've been using the punctuation pyramid.

Please complete your 'Scarper in the Sewers' story based on your story mountain plan. Don't forget to include Bald Worm's characterisation techniques.

Due: Friday.

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: Talking Turkeys

Bald Worm loves poetry. Benjamin Zephaniah has been on a mission to spread the word about poetry to a different audience since the age of 11. Here he pleads on behalf of Turkeys United at Christmas time.//

Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas
Cos turkeys jus wanna hav fun
Turkeys are cool, an turkeys are wicked
An every turkey has a Mum.
Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas,
Don't eat it, keep it alive,
It could be yu mate an not on yu plate
Say, Yo! Turkey I'm on your side.

I got lots of friends who are turkeys
An all of dem fear christmas time,
Dey say 'Benj man, eh, I wanna enjoy it,
But dose humans destroyed it
An humans are out of dere mind,
Yeah, I got lots of friends who are turkeys
Dey all hav a right to a life,
Not to be caged up an genetically made up
By any farmer an his wife.

Turkeys jus wanna play reggae
Turkeys jus wanna hip-hop
Havey you ever seen a nice young turkey saying,
'I cannot wait for de chop'?
Turkeys like getting presents, dey wanna watch christmas TV,
Turkeys hav brains an turkeys feel pain
In many ways like yu an me.

I once knew a turkey His name was Turkey
He said 'Benji explain to me please,
Who put de turkey in christmas
An what happens to christmas trees?'
I said, 'I am not too sure Turkey
But it's nothing to do wid Christ Mass
Humans get greedy and waste more dan need be
An business men mek loadsa cash.'

So, be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
Invite dem indoors fe sum greens
Let dem eat cake an let dem partake
In a plate of organic grown beans,
Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
An spare dem de cut of de knife,
Join Turkeys United an dey'll be delighted
An yu will mek new friends 'FOR LIFE'.

Year 6 Shakespeare: The Scottish Play

Part 2:

Part 3:

In class you watched the animated Macbeth, and read Geraldine McCaughrean's prose version of the story. You also completed a worksheet.

Homework: On blank A4, create a poster promoting Dunsinane Castle as a tourist attraction. Make sure you use persuasive language!

Due: Friday.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: The Charge of the Light Brigade

Bald Worm loves poetry. This famous poem is by Alfred Lord Tennyson, was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and remains one of the most popular poets in the English language.

The Charge of the Light Brigade was a disastrous charge of British cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. It is best remembered as the subject of a famous poem entitled The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, whose lines have made the charge a symbol of warfare at both its most courageous and its most tragic.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
'Forward the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Some one had blundered:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Year 5: Word Work

Our new spellings are here at Spelling City.

Test next Tuesday!

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Day: The Cats' Protection League

Bald Worm loves poetry! Listen to Roger McGouth's The Cats' Protection League:

Midnight. A knock at the door.
Open it? Better had.
Three heavy cats, mean and bad.

They offer protection. I ask, 'What for?'
The Boss-cat snarls, 'You know the score.
Listen man and listen good

If you wanna stay in the neighbourhood,
Pay your dues or the toms will call
And wail each night on the backyard wall.

Mangle the flowers, and as for the lawn
a smelly minefield awaits you at dawn.'
These guys meant business without a doubt

Three cans of tuna, I handed them out.
They then disappeared like bats into hell
Those bad, bad cats from the CPL.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Year 6 Pop Song '09: Preparing for Music Lessons!

Elvis lives!

Task: You are going to write one last ballad. Don't forget to:

1. Brainstorm

2. Write a full 'story' plan

3. Turn your plan into a 25 word synopsis

4. Break your 25 words into 3/4 verses

4. Pick out a phrase from your synopsis that can act as a chorus

5. Write and redraft your synopsis. Use the online rhyming dictionary to help.

You'll be turning one of your lyrics into a pop song with Miss Nicholson - so make this ballad your best yet!

(Image by OddSock; used under Creative Commons license)

Year 5 Fiction: Revising Contrasting Thoughts

We are revising the use of 'thoughts' in a piece of creative writing. You can learn more about including thoughts at

Task: Please complete the 'arguing men' task on the worksheet.

Due: Tuesday. Enjoy the long weekend - why not take the chance to read some of these books.

(Image by Carf; used under Creative Commons agreement)