Thursday, 29 October 2009

I've Joined the National Novel Writing Month!

Gulp! I've just committed to writing a full-length novel - 50,000 words or more - by midnight on 30th November! National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo - is an international competition, challenging people to write a complete novel -50,000 words of more - in just thirty days. Over 87,000 people around the world have signed up to writing 1,500 words (that's about six sides of A4) every single day for the next thirty days.

Why have I signed up? Two reasons:

1. I've been tinkering on and off for a couple of years with an idea for a story about a girl thief - and the time has come to get it down on paper, once and for all.

2. The one thing I really dislike about the 11+ exams is the thought that it teaches pupils that 'you write stories so you can pass a test'. By taking part in NaNoWriMo, I hope to show all the girls at FSG that writing fiction is something we can do for the sheer fun of it, rather than to impress the Grumpy Examiner.

Wish me luck! I'll be updating you on the blog as I aim for the magic 50,000 word target!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Nine Parts of Speech Song

Miss Nicholson and a Year Six pupil combined to create this catchy song to help you revise the parts of speech! This is an example of using music to help us learn grammar

Thanks, Miss Nicholson and our superstar singer!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Alpha Plus Education Group Sister School: Cliff School

Year 5 at our sister school in Yorkshire, Cliff School, are now keeping a blog. Click here to visit! Why not leave a comment and say hello?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

11+ English Year 6 Fiction: Character Description Audioboo


We love describing characters, but character descriptions can sometimes break the 'flow' of a story. We have been learning about incorporating character descriptions into the 'flow' of our narratives.

Listen to my 'eduboo' audioboo before you start writing! You can also listen to S's example character description audioboo:

Task: Write a second dialogue and description between two of the characters at the party. Make sure you write the description from the point-of-view of one of the other characters.

Due: Thursday

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

11+ English Year 5 Fiction: Suspense and Action

We have been learning about combining suspense and action. You can revise these key skills at my short story techniques website,

Task: Imagine you and a friend are enjoying a nice day in the park...until you realise you are being watched...watched by something green, slimy and very hungry!

Don't forget to watch these videos to remind yourself of our key techniques.

11+ English Year Six: Complete the Evelyn Waugh Comprehension

Please complete the 'School Sports Day' comprehension - due tomorrow.

(Image by No Trams to Lime Street; used under Creative Commons agreement)

11+ English Year Five Comprehension: Action Techniques

Please complete the action techniques comprehension in your A4 purple book. Don't forget to revise the action techniques before you begin.

Due: Thursday

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Year 6 Comprehension: Warburton

Please complete the Dr Pagan's Prep. School Sports Day paper in your purple comprehension book.

Pay particular attention to who you think is speaking the lines!

Due: Wednesday

Year 5 Spelling: Prepare for the Spelling Age Test

Please prepare for our Spelling Age assessment on Tuesday by revising at my area in Spelling City.

Due: Tuesday

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Year 5 Fiction: Redrafting Rescue!

We've been looking at how to write brilliant action scenes.

1. Task: Please write an action scene between two boys, using our action techniques.

2. Next week is our Reading and Spelling Age tests. Please revise our spelling rules at my area in Spelling City.

Year 6 Timed Writing: Redrafting

Task 1: Falcons girls know that writing is all about drafting and redrafting our work. Make sure that:
(i) You've included one or two pieces of reported speech;
(ii) You include lots of 'shown feelings'

Task: Please redraft your 'Orphan' story.

Due: Monday.

Task 2: Next week we have Spelling and Reading Age tests; next Friday will be your first mock exam day, with tests in English comprehension, English composition, Mathematics and Reasoning. We'll sit these tests in the hall...and complete all four before lunch. You'll receive your results in the Year Six Autumn term report.

Please prepare for these assessments by (i) revising key skills at Bald Worm and by watching the Bald Worm mini-guides at Falconstube and (ii) revising our spelling rules at my area in Spelling City.

Year 6 Verbal Reasoning: Logical Reasoning

Please complete the 'logical reasoning' pack for Friday.

Due: Friday

(Image by Wadem; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 5 Fiction: Rescue!

Please finish writing the first draft of your rescue story. Write 1 1/2 sides of A4. Your aim is to include our suspense techniques:
* Impact sentences (3-4 word sentences)
* Using dashes
* Scary sounds
* Suspicious movements in the shadows
* Mentioning how dark and cold it is
* Asking questions, e.g. "Was I alone?"
* Talk about the character sweating
* Talk about the character’s heart
* Have the character call out, and tell themselves that there is nothing to worry about.

Feeling clever? Don't forget to include lots of characterisation.. This video introduces you to some of the key skills for making your character seem real:

Due: Friday.

Year 5 Spellings and Comprehension

1. Finish the 'Jane Blonde' comprehension from last night.

Due: Wednesday

2. Learn the irregular plural spellings for our test next Tuesday. Learn these words the fun way - at my area of Spelling City.

Year Six Prose: Introducing Reported Speech

Watch the video above for an introduction to reported speech.

Reported speech is a little tool that can spice up a dialogue - and the Grumpy Examiner loves it! Remember, the more little tricks you throw into your story, the more you will impress your readers!

Task: Please write a dialogue - a conversation - between a chef and an angry customer about a bad meal. Write 1/2 page of A4.

Your challenge? Include some reported speech. (Don't make it all reported speech - include two or three examples over the half page.)

Feeling clever? Try setting out the dialogue in different ways, e.g.

Bob frowned: "You call that soup?"

Due: Tuesday

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Week: As Kingfishers Catch Fire, Dragonflies Draw Flame

Falcons Girls love poetry! Enjoy this 'musical' poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Friday, 2 October 2009

Year Six Comprehension: Oliver Twist North London Girls' Schools' Consortium-Style Comprehension Paper

Bald Worm has a treat for you! I've created a comprehension in the style of the new North London Girls' Schools' Consortium paper. Download a copy from here.

Task: Please complete the 'Oliver Twist' comprehension
Due: Wednesday.

(Image by Smabs Sputzer; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 5 Comprehension: P-E with Jane Blonde

We've begun our spy project!

Homework: Complete the 'Jane Blonde' comprehension. Stuck on a question? Visit Bald Worm's comprehension blog:

Click here to visit the fantastic 'Jane Blonde' site!">

We have been learning about P-E-Eing all over the page!

P.S. Spelling Test on Tuesday! Revise the words ending in u here.

Due: Wednesday

Bald Worm's Book Club: The Remarkable Adventures of Tom Scatterhorn

I'm going to read 'The Remarkable Adventures of Tom Scatterhorn: The Museum's Secret.' Why not read this with Mum and Dad, and discuss it at dinner? Or you could ask someone at home to read it to you as a treat before you go to bed!

Order a copy of the book here.

Read an interview with the author, Henry Chancellor, here.

Watch an interview with the author here.

Falcons Girls love reading!

Year Six Fiction: Redrafting the 'Christmas Pudding'

Please redraft the 'Christmas Pudding' story you wrote during our timed writing session.

Missed school today? Download a copy of the task here.

Focus on including lots of shown feelings and meeting the target on your target card.

Due: Monday.

Have a great weekend! Don't forget the Dickens reading list at our pupil wiki.

(Image by Matio; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Year 6 Dickens: Distinctive Voices

In class we've been looking at Dickens' technique of using distinctive voices. Listen to our first-draft audiboo of some of the conversations between a Cab Man and Mr Pickwick:

Task: Please redraft your Cab Man & Pickwick conversation, making sure you use all of our characterisation techniques.

P.S. Don't forget the reading list and useful links at our pupil wiki.