Monday, 30 November 2009

Year 5: Spelling City

Please learn the 'words' begin with trans spellings by playing some of the games at Spelling City.

Test next Tuesday!

P.S. We'll record the 'Comma Songs' on Wednesday.

P.P.S. Don't forget to bring in your completed 'Evacuee' comprehension tomorrow!

Year 6 Fiction: Writing Longer Descriptions

Please complete a longer description based on the 'Dracula' prompt. Write 200 words.

Don't forget to use a full range of descriptive techniques, including similes, metaphor and personification. You can get tips on planning and writing a longer description here, at

Want to impress? Make sure you use a full range of punctuation and an 'elegant', varied prose style.

Due: Wednesday

(Image by Tony the Misfit; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Sunday, 29 November 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 - I've Won! Yippee!

Phew! With twenty-four hours to spare, I've completed NaNoWriMo 2009. I've written 50,000 words in just thirty days! I've been looking forward to taking part all year, and I'm so delighted that I managed to do it! The last couple of thousand words were a bit of a slog, but what has surprised me most is that the more I wrote, the easier things became. And it really has been enormous fun to spend so much time immersing myself in writing a story.

The novel isn't 'finished' - I've only really completed chapters 1,2, half of chapter 3 and most of chapter 5, with bits of 6, 7 and 8 (don't even ask about chapter four!) - and it will all need an awful lot of redrafting and editing, but I'm delighted I managed to get so much down on paper in such a short period.

Here's to doing it again next year!

Fun Stuff!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

11+ Comprehension Year 5 and 6 November 30th

Year Five
Please complete the 'Evacuee' comprehension, paying particular to the questions about the author's technique.

Due: Wednesday

Year Six
Please complete the 'Hurricane' Latymer comprehension.

Due: Tuesday

Friday, 27 November 2009

NaNoWriMo: The Final Weekend!

All month I've been writing a book for eleven-year-olds...and I've got just forty-eight hours to finish it!

This weekend, you can follow my progress as I attempt to win the annual National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) competition - writing 50,000 words in just 30 days - by reaching the fifty thousand target by the end of Sunday night. Can I do it? Visit Baldworm's Twitter site to follow my progress as I edge towards the finishing line...

Year Five: The Great Escape

Please complete your first draft of your 'Great Escape' story, using plenty of dialogue and shown feelings, please:

P.S. Don't forget we're recording the Comma Song next week.

Year Six: Revising Action Scenes

What a creepy atmosphere!

Task: Please write a second action scene - this time based on Frankenstein's creature based on this video - Frankenstein versus Wolfman!

Write 10-12 lines.

Feeling clever? Try to include the 'rule of three' and 's' verbs

Enjoy O's audioboo:

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Year 6 Fiction: Revision on Incorporating Character Descriptions into the Flow of Your Story

Write the first 15 lines of a short story based on the image above. Don't forget to try to incorporate the description into the 'flow' of your story.

Due: Friday

(Image by Atarkus; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 5 Fiction: Descriptions using Simile and Metaphor in the First 15 lines

We have been creating mind maps to gather descriptive ideas so we can help our reader imagine a World War II P.O.W. camp, like we can see in the video above.

Task: Write a ten-twelve line description of a P.O.W camp on the worksheet provided

Year Six Fiction: Planning Stories

Please complete the planning tasks on the 'goal-impediment-solution' sheet.

Monday, 23 November 2009

How on Earth? should be 2009 Edublog Winner!

My nomination for the 2009 Edublog awards is...

Best Teacher Blog: Mrs Mannan's brilliant How on Earth?

Mrs Mannan's blog is a favourite of all of the girls at Falcons Girls. I love the way that she is constantly trying to open our eyes to the amazing scientific debates in the world around us. With 11+, it is so easy for us all to concentrate on passing a test, and forget that education - learning - is so, so much more important than that.

Leave a comment below or on Mrs Mannan's blog!

Year 5 and 6 Homework: Tuesday 24th November 2009

Year Five
1. Please learn the 'Words that begin with 'circ and circum' spellings for a test next week by spending ten minutes a day at Spelling City;
2. Please work out your tune for the comma song - we will be recording next week when everyone is fit!

Due: Test and recording next Tuesday

Year Six
Please complete the 'Wind' poetry comprehension. Remember, Mr Strand Drops!

Due: Thursday

Sunday, 22 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Day 22: Gulp!

Day 22 has been and gone. I've just scraped over 30,000 words (largely by writing a lot of dialogue), but I really should be at 38,000 by the end of Monday night...gulp! Time is running out. With a quiz on Tuesday and Mr Evans' leaving party on Thursday, it looks like it is all going to come down to next weekend to see if I can beat the 50,000 word challenge in thirty days and become a NaNoWriMo winner...

11+ Comprehension Year 5 and 6 November 23rd

Year Five
Please complete questions 4-8 of the 'Questions about Similes and Metaphors' sheet.

Due: Tuesday

Year Six
This week we're going to look at poetry comprehensions. Please complete the remainder of the 'Simile or Metaphor' questions

Due: Tuesday

(Image by D Sharon Pruitt; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Year 5 Rewriting: Trench

We have been learning about simile, metaphor and personification. Revise by watching the video above.

Task: I want you to write a second draft of your 'trench' description, adding in:
(i) simile
(ii) metaphor
(iii) personification

Don't forget to write five paragraphs.

Feeling clever? Remember to use the joining comma.

Year 6 Latymer Upper-style Comprehension Paper: Trapped

This week we have been looking at answering Latymer Upper-style questions about the different types of sentences/words used in the passage.

Weekend homework: Please complete the 'Trapped' comprehension. We'll go through this on Monday.

P.S. Good luck to those girls sitting the St. Paul's pre-test (which does not count towards the final mark this year) on Monday! Break a leg!

Not a Falcons girl? Oh, bad luck! Download a copy of my Latymer Upper-style comprehension from here. Contact Falcons Girls on 020 8992 5189 to learn more about West London's Most Creative Preparatory School (in our humble opinion)!

(Image by seanmcgrath; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Latymer Upper-style Comprehension Paper: Dracula

Please complete the Latymer Upper-style paper in just 40 minutes. Time yourself using the online stopwatch.

Due: Thursday.

Not at the Falcons Girls? You're missing out! Why not ring the school office on 020 89925189 to learn more about West London's most creative preparatory school. You can download a free copy of my Latymer Upper-style comprehension from my area at - just click here.

(Image by martinsiefke; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 5 Fiction: Using Similes

We have been learning all about similes:

Please complete the 'Tank' simile task.

Due: Thursday
(Image by Cliff1006tm; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Falcons Girls Love Spelling City & Musical Learning with the Comma Song

Year 5
1. Learn the 'Words that begin with 'tele'' for our test next week.

2. I want you to come up with your own tune to go with the words to the comma song. This is an example of musical learning. Play an instrument? You can bring it in and play along!

P.S. Don't forget to complete the 'World War II' comprehension and hand it in tomorrow.

Year 6
Please revise the 'verbs to nouns that end in 'ion' spellings for our test next week.

P.S. Don't forget to bring in the 'Body in the library' comprehension tomorrow!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

11+ Comprehension Year 5 and 6 November 16th 2009

Click on my P-E-E prezi whenever you need to revise the key skill of P-E-Eing all over the page!
(The Prezi above is an example of using technology - in this case, a cool PowerPoint - to help learners remember key skills. )

Year Five
Please complete the D-Day comprehension, paying particular attention to the questions about the author's use of similes. Use this simile prezi to help:

Due: Wednesday

P.S. Don't forget the spelling test tomorrow, and you need to have learnt the words to the comma song, too!

Year Six
Please complete the Latymer-style 'Body in the Library' paper. Remember to be specific when discussing the 'type of sentences' the author uses.

Due: Wednesday

Friday, 13 November 2009

Year 5: Writing a Longer Description

We have been learning about how to plan a longer description. If you're not careful, descriptions of 200-250 words can be really dull, or you can run out of ideas after 50 words.

Learn more about planning a longer description here at; revise descriptive techniques here.

Task: Describe the trench. Write five paragraphs.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Falcons School Year 6 Fiction: Rewriting Your Timed Writing & Prose Prezi

At Falcons Girls we know how technology can help us remember key facts. Use my Prose Style Prezi to help you remember the punctuation and sentence types you should be looking to include in the first 15 lines of a short story.

Task: Please complete the 'Shadowy Noir figure' redraft. Focus on using a varied prose style in the first 15 lines - and make sure you include some personification, too!

Feeling clever? Try making it a non-linear story.

P.S. Don't forget to bring in a tie, hat, coat & beard to shoot our Noir video on Monday!

Alpha Plus Group's Falcons School for Girls loves Sharing Our Writing

Listen to I & C's description using personification. This is an example of using a mini-podcast - an eduboo using Audioboo - to give everybody in the world the chance to hear our brilliant writing:


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

NanNoWriMo Day 11: Nearly at 19,000!

I'm taking part in NaNoWriMo - an international challenge to write a 50,000 novel in just thirty days. I'm over a third of the way into the month now, and whilst this week has been a little busy, the words are flowing just that little bit quicker - it is amazing that the more you write, the more ideas you have!

Today's word count:

Year 6 Fiction: Describing an Office

We have been learning about using light and shadows when describing a location. I am also looking for you to include a semi-colon or two, demonstrating that you can use different sentence structures in your writing.

Feeling clever? Include a simile, a metaphor and some personification, too!

Task: Please complete the Noir Detective task.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Year 5 & 6 Wednesday 11th

In general, however, it is perfectly astonishing

and terrifying how bravely the men fight.

(Andrew Motion)


**Year 5 Homework**
Please complete the 'Blitzed' description, using Bald Worm's descriptive techniques

Due: Thursday

**Year 6 Homework**
Please complete the Noir planning for suspense task.

Due: Thursday

Monday, 9 November 2009

Falcons Girls Love Spelling City!

Year Five
1. Please learn 'by heart' the words to the comma song. Don't forget to you can listen to it at our pupil wiki!

2. Please learn the 'words beginning in 'bi' spellings for our test next Tuesday. Click here to learn at Spelling City.

Year Six
1. Please learn by heart the words to our semi-colon song:

There was a semicolon: a comma and a dot;
he separated clauses that were independent thoughts.
An independent clause is one completed thought,
and two are separated with a comma and a dot.

Example one:
Ron hit John in the face; (semicolon)
consequently, John's face is blue and swollen.
Are you gettin' a clue?
Well, here's example two:
Ron says basketball is his favourite sport;
amazingly, he's really good for being so short.

Between the two clauses, in case you forgot,
is Mr. Semicolon; yep, a comma and a dot.
Mr. Semicolon is also used between
a bunch of items listed that have commas in those things.

We're going to record this as a video later in the week! Listen to our class audioboo:

2. Please learn the 'words that begin with 'sus' spellings for our test next Tuesday!

P.S. Listen to a funky Nigerian semi-colon song here.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Alpha Plus Education presents Bald Worm Shares a Poem a Week: Sandwich

Falcons girls love poetry! Click play and listen to the poem Sandwich by Valerie Bloom. The video has a bit of 'hiss', but it is well worth persevering.

Monday means 11+ Comprehension Homework!

Year 5
Please read the next section of 'Blitz!'. We'll be having a fun quiz on the action so far on Wednesday!

Year 6
Please complete the XXX paper. Give yourself just five minutes to read the paper & forty minutes to answer the questions.

Due: Wednesday

(Image by anjamation; used under Creative Commons agreement)

NanNoWriMo Day 8: End of Week One

I've completed the first week of National Novel Writing Month - the international challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. I'm taking part to show the girls at FSG how satisfying it is to write for pleasure.

I've now completed Chapter 1 and I'm halfway into Chapter 2, writing a really fun scene where a thief, Count Grassi, comes face-to-face with a brilliant detective from Scotland Yard.

Word Count:

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Alpha Plus Group's Falcons School for Girls is West London's Most Creative Preparatory School!

The Falcons School for Girls is West London's most creative preparatory school. Up until now, I've been restricted to what I could share on the blog; from today, I have written permission to post videos and photographs taken in the school. This means it will be easier to share our brilliant kinaesthetic, visual and musical learning with the world!

Thanks to Miss Spurling for creating this brilliant video of our Falcon Time activities.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Day 5: An Accident with Something Sharp

Day 5, and I'm a good fifth of the day into my 50,000 word target for November. Tonight, I was working on a long suspense scene, but broke off to write a comic passage where a friend of Mr Whiskerton - the crack shot cat - has a rather nasty accident...

I came across this video on a Victorian blog whilst doing some research for an exciting coach chase scene that will appear in Chapter 3 (or maybe at the end of Chapter 1). This is a video of the traffic on Blackfriars Bridge...shot in 1896. One thing to remember is that the buses would have been covered with colourful adverts, just as in 2009.

Today's word count:

Year 5 Fiction: The Silver Sword

Wow! We've completed our spy project! I can't wait to get to share your completed spy base suspense videos on Falconstube next week!

We're now beginning our World War II topic. Have you visited the Year 5 World War II wiki page, complete with reading lists?

Task: Please read the Silver Sword pack and complete the question sheet.

Year 6 Fiction: 'Femme Fatale' Rewrite

We've been writing 'Noir' stories. Listen to one of the first drafts, and keep your ears peeled for some brilliant use of personification:

Task: We've been thinking about creating atmosphere in our stories. Please redraft your 'Femme Fatale' timed writing piece, adding additional Noir slang, developing the atmosphere and working towards the target on your card. Write 1 1/2 sides of A4.

Feeling clever? Next week we are going to focus on the semi-colon. Try throwing in one or two into your story!

Due: Monday

And just for fun:

(Image by bogenfreud; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Day 4: Breaking and Entering

I've never robbed a bank. Honest. And I never will!

But tonight I got to imagine what it would like to break into a Victorian bank- to steal from a crooked millionaire - armed only with a small set of files and an umbrella/harpoon gun.

Isn't writing brilliant!

Word count after day five:

(Nearly 1/5th of the way there!)

Brilliant 'Comma Song' on the FSG pupil wiki page!

Miss Nicholson has done it again! She has recorded a a superstar Year Six girl singing 'The Comma Song', setting it to a blues tune! It really is brilliant!

This is another example of using music to help us to remember 'dull' or 'difficult' information.

Want to listen? Just click here and press play on the mini-podcast player!

(Image by debird; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Year 6 Fiction: Noir Suspense

Please write the homework suspense scene, using as many of our suspense techniques as possible. Don't forget, try to avoid cliché!

Due: Friday

He's Back

Saturday 14th November at The Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London

Don't miss this chance to join Anthony Horowitz as he talks about Alex Rider's latest adrenaline-fuelled adventure. For more information and to buy tickets
Call: 01497 822 629


Ticket price: £5.00

Please note that due to popularity, Anthony will only be signing one book per person at each event.

NaNoWriMo Day 3: A Quick Dash

Yesterday was day 3 of the global challenge to write a novel of 50,000 words in just thirty days. I'm taking part to show you that writing is fun!

Unfortunately, I had an event after work, so the only time I had yesterday was a quick half-hour before breakfast - I dashed off 700 words about the bank my characters are attempting to rob.

Word Count: 7,900

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Year 5 & 6 Wednesday Homework

Year 6
Please complete the Verbal Reasoning pack for tomorrow.

Year 5
Please complete the Jane Blonde rescue task, using as many of Bald Worm's action techniques as you can, please! Watch this video before you begin:

We're recording our Spy base movies on Friday!
(Image by Ryan Somma; used under Creative Commons agreement)

Monday, 2 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Day 2: Trying to Make a 'Boring Bit' Less Boring

It is day 2 of the global competition to write a novel - a 50,000+ story - in just 30 days. I want to show you that we write not to pass exams, but for the joy of writing!

Today, I've been working on part of my story where the poet Count Grassi meets his arch-enemy. This could be quite a dull part of the book, so I spent a couple of hours tonight trying to make it quite...a little bit...sort-of funny.

Today's word count:

Year 5 and 6 Tuesday

Year 5 Spellings
1. Please learn the 'auto' spellings for our test next week Tuesday.

2. Please complete the 'Suspense' comprehension for Wednesday. Please staple the sheets back together if you pulled them apart!

Year 6 Spelling Revision
1. Please revise the unstressed vowels words - very common mistakes, these! - for our test next Tuesday. We can't be spelling any of these words incorrectly in our stories and comprehensions!

2. Please complete the 'Warburton' comprehension for Wednesday. I want 25 out of 25, please!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

NaNoWriMo Day 1: Beginning the Novel

I'm taking part in National Novel Writing Month, writing a 50,000 word novel in just thirty days. That means I need to write at least 1,663 words per day. Gulp! My story, The Crimes of Count Grassi, is about a girl, Rebecca, who lives with her strange Uncle, the poet Count Grassi. Only Rebecca knows the Count's secret: when night falls, Count Grassi is a thief!

I began writing my NaNoWriMo novel today (Sunday). I 'set the scene' in chapter 1, describing my character Count Grassi's study. I also set up the first crime.

It was fairly easy to reach my word count today, so I tried to 'go big' and rack up a lot of words, so if it get harder later in the month I'll have already bitten off a good chunk of my 50,000 word target. Today's word count:

11+ Comprehension Year 5 and 6

Year 5 Comprehension
Please complete the 'longer P-E-E answers' Scratch comprehension. You can download another copy of this comprehension here.

Due: Wednesday

Year 6 Comprehension
Please complete the Warburton comprehension. Don't forget to pay particular attention to the longer mark questions.

P.S. Don't forget to give Mum/Dad your 11+ Reference form!

(World War II image by gbaku; used under Creative Commons agreement)