Reading and Writing
'Reading and Phonics Workshop'
On Thursday 6th October, we held a 'Reading and Phonics Workshop' where we outlined our aims and expectations for reading and phonics at Almond Hill. During the workshop, we shared the ways in which we teach reading and comprehension, the additional provision that we provide to further develop the children and the information and resources that are available to support at home.
This half-term, we will be inviting parents into school for a reading afternoon. This is an opportunity to come in and listen to the class reader with your child and get tips for how to help with reading at home e.g. asking questions and discussing unfamiliar vocabulary. This will take place on Thursday 8th December 2.15-2.45.pm. Any parents who wish to, can take their children home at 2.45pm after the reading session this allows time for Letchmore parents to collect siblings. At Almond Hill, reading is one of our key focusses and we would love to see as many parents there as possible.
Our Book Recommendations
- Why water is worth it by Lori Harrison
- After the Fall by Dan Santat
- Tell me a Dragon by Jackie Morris
- Beyond Platform 13 by Sibeal Pounder and Eva Ibbotson
- I love this tree by Anne Clybourne
- The Minipins by Roald Dahl
- Owen and the Soldier by Lisa Thompson
- The Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton
- Firebird by Misty Copeland
- Elspeth Heart and the Magnificent Rescue by Sarah Forbs
- Lob by Linda Newbery
- Cat Tales by Linda Newbery
- I believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo
- Beaver Towers by Nigel Hinton
- Knighthood for Beginners by Elys Dolan
- The Tunnel; by Anthony Browne
- Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by
- Same but Different
- The Colour Monster
- The Pea and the Princess
- Beware of the Story Book Wolves by Lauren Child
- Frost by Holly Webb
- Remarkable Reptiles by Jake Williams
- Quick, Let’s Get out of Here
- The World's Greatest Space Cadet
- Paint me a Poem
- The puffin Book of Utterly Brilliant Poetry
- Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg (performance)
- The Dragon who ate our school by Nic Toczek (performance)
- The Sound Collector by Rodger McGough (performance)
- The Snail and The Whale
- Atlas of Adventures
- Super Joe does not do cuddles
- Atlas of Adventures
- Voices in the Park
- The Barnabus Project
- Ziraffa Giraffa
- The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo
- Charlottes Web by E B White
- Oliver Seawigs by Philip Reave and Sarah McIntyre
- Kensuki’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
- A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison
- The Magic Place by Chris Wormell
- Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo
- The Book of Anima Super Heros
- The Artic Fox by Jackie Morris
- Ice Bear by Nicola Davis
- The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
- The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers
- The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner
- It’s a no money day by Kate Millner
- Flight for Freedom by Kristen Fulton
- Deep in the Green Wood by Wes Magee
- Hot Like Fire Hello by Valerie Bloom
- Sensational! By Roger McGough
- Being Brave at Night by Edgar Guest (performance)
- Sick by Shel Silverstein (performance)
- There’s a Monster in the Garden by David Harmer (performance)
- The Plight of the Bumblebee by John F McCullagh
- Varjak Paw by SF Said
- Leon and Place Between
- The Iron Man
- The Sounds of Silence (poetry)
- Teaching Texts
- The Dream Snatcher by Abi Elphinstone
- The girl of the Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
- The Last Wild by Piers Torday
- King of the Cloud Forests by Michael Morpurgo
- Beetle Boy by MG Leonard
- The Train to Impossible Places by P. G. Bell
- Secret Suffragette by Barbara Mitchel Hill
- Eagle Warrior by Gill Lewis
- The Boy who Flew by Fleur Hitchcock
- Pages and Co by Anna James
- The lost Tide Warriors by Catherine Doyle
- Animals Grimm: A treasury of Tales by Kevin Crossley-Holland
- The Girl who stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook
- The Apollo Time Capsule
- Under the Parrot Sky by Rachel Delahaye
- The Blizzard Wizard: Tales of Ramion by Frank Hinks
- The List thing
- The Fantastic Flying books of Mr Morris Lessmore by W. E. Joyce
- I Dissent - Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes her mark
- The youngest Marcher – The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks a young civil Rights Activist
- William Shakespeare: Scenes from the Life of the world's greatest writer by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom
- Pax by Sara Penny Packer
- The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie
- Lost Magic
- The Magic Box
- Juggling with Gerbils
- Life doesn’t Frighten ne by Maya Angelou (performance)
- The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alred Lord Tennyson (performance)
- The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll (performance)
- Macbeth by William Shakespeare
- The Highwayman
- Deadman’s Cove by Lauren St John
- Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis
- Cog Heart by Peter Bunzl
- Strange Star by Emma Carroll
- The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange
- The Horse with Chcken Legs by Sophie Anderson
- Into the Jungle by Katherine Rundell
- Return to Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- North Child by Edith Pattou
- The Princess who flew dragons by Stephanie Burgis
- The Somerset Tsunami by Emma Carroll
- Nevertell by Katherine Orton
- A Story Like the Wind by Gill Lewis
- Clockwork by Philip Pullman
- Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
- Short by Kevin Crossley-Holland
- The Tear Thief
- Can I build another Me?
- The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad
- Sulwe by Lupita Nyong
- Weslandia by Paul Fleischman
- The Viewer by Gary Crew
- Ted Hughes: Collected Poems for Children
- Charles Causley: Collected Poems for Children
- The Tyger by William Blake (performance)
- The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (performance)
- The Listeners by Walter de la Mare (performance)
- Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen
Pre-Loved Book Sales
I am very grateful to the parents and children who are engaging in our monthly preloved book sale. I am incredibly pleased to tell you that these book sales (which were first brought in by a previous school government) funded the purchase of new books for the classes which were given out in assembly this week. We are dedicated to sustaining and improving our class libraries. I purchased the books from David's bookshop in Letchworth who give us 20% discount and delivery free of charge! It is a really lovely bookshop where I selected some books this month for those more reluctant readers, diverse novels encouraging wider representation and picture books with a moral or personal development message. I hope the children will enjoy reading them. We have a book sale once a month.
Year 3 Author Visit
Year 3 have a very exciting week in English as the author of our new book 'SuperJoe Does Not Do Cuddles' will be visiting Almond Hill in person on Friday. Michael Catchpool will be spending time sharing his book with the children and then doing a class based Q&A throughout the morning. Children in Year 3 are also hoping to show Michael some of their writing on SuperJoe and share their amazing ideas. Keep an eye out in next week's newsletter where we will share with you how the author visit went and what Year 3 found out about their new book!
Parent meeting slides - 9th March 2023
Glossary of Grammatical Terms
A clause is a group of words that expresses an event or situation. It usually includes a subject and a verb A clause usually forms part of a sentence.
Tara always eats last thing at night.
Although this is a sentence in its own right (known as a "main clause"), a clause can also represent just part of a sentence.
When a clause does not convey a complete thought, it is known as a subordinate clause.
Trying her hardest to gain weight...
After Tara has eaten her tea...
Main (independent) Clause
A subordinate clause (or dependent clause) is one that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence, because it does not express a complete thought.
A compound sentence comprises at least two main clauses. The two clauses are joined together using a conjunction such as and, but, or, then, yet.
A complex sentence comprises one main clause and at least one subordinate clause.
If the subordinate clause is used to start the sentence, a comma must be used to connect it to the main clause.
A noun phrase is a group of related words which play the role of a noun. Like all phrases, a noun phrase does not have a subject and a verb.
The shopkeeper will only allow 2 children in at once. (normal noun)
The grumpy shopkeeper will only allow 2 children... (noun phrase)
Give it back to the boy. (normal noun)
Give it back to the boy on the boat. (noun phrase)
Subordinating conjunctions are used to join subordinate clauses to main clauses. Common examples include: although, because, since, unless, until and while.
An adverbial clause is a group of related words which play the role of an adverb. Like all clauses, an adverbial clause includes a subject and a verb.
The cleaner says she left the printer cartridge here. (normal adverb)
The cleaner says she left the printer cartridge where she always leaves it. (adverbial clause)
An adverbial phrase is a group of related words which play the role of an adverb. Like all phrases, an adverbial phrase does not include a subject and a verb. An adverbial phrase answer the questions: how, where, when or why.
Tony decided to move to Reading yesterday. (normal adverb)
Tony decided to move to Slough in June last year. (adverbial phrase)
A pronoun is a word that can be used to replace a noun.
Marcel is tall enough, but he is not as fast as Jodie.
(The word "he" is a pronoun. It replaces "Marcel".)
Personal pronouns are the words I, you, he, she, it, we, they and who.
‘You’ is the most commonly used impersonal pronoun. Indefinite pronouns refer to people or things without saying exactly who or what they are. EG. Anybody, anyone, nobody, anything, everyone, many, others.
A relative pronoun is used to link one phrase or clause to another word in the sentence. The relative pronouns are: who, whom, that, which, where, when. (Whoever, whomever and whichever are also relative pronouns.)
1st person – refers to the speaker/writer – I or we
2nd person – refers to the person/people being spoken to – you
3rd person – refers to the person/people being spoken about – he, she, they, it
Modal verbs give more information about the function of the main verb that follows it. The function shows that we believe something is certain, probable or possible.
The modal verbs are: must ought can could may might will would shall should
He could swim when he was young. Can she really sing?
That might be a problem. Could I ask a question?
A prepositional phrase is a group of words containing a preposition and its object ( a noun or pronoun)
Inside his house
Under the old bridge
Behind Mrs Grumble’s shed, lay an old, rusty spade.
Among the dark shadows, I could hear deep breathing.
An imperative sentence gives a direct command. It can end in a full stop or an exclamation mark, depending on how forceful the command is:
Clear this desk by tomorrow!
Please tidy your room.
Writing can be classified as "emotive language" when there has been a deliberate choice of words to express strong emotion. Most ideas can be expressed in a manner that is positive or negative, welcoming or threatening, depending on the words selected.
They were killed.
They were executed - murdered in cold blood. (emotive version)
Shades of Meaning
A writer can force an entire image into the mind of a reader by simply choosing the right word with the perfect shade of meaning.
Examples: He walked along the corridor.
He glided along the corridor.
Active Voice and Active Sentences
Verbs are said to be in "active voice" when the subject of the sentence performs the verb in the sentence.
An active sentence is the opposite of a passive sentence. In an active sentence, the subject performs the action of the verb.
Tony is trimming the hedges all week.
("Tony" - active subject, i.e., doing the action (trimming))
Passive Voice and Passive Sentences
A verb is said to be in the "passive voice" when its subject does not perform the action of the verb. In fact, the action is performed on the subject.
The bridge was blown up by engineers.
subject verb (in "passive voice")
In a passive sentence, the subject does not perform the action in the sentence. In fact, the action is performed on it.
Anita was driven to the theatre.
(In this example, "Anita" is the subject of the sentence - subject of the verb "was". However, she did not perform the action of the verb "to drive". The action was done to her; she was the recipient of the action.)
Nowadays, kites are protected.
("kites" - passive subject, i.e., the action is being done to them)
The olives are stoned and crushed in this area.
("olives" - passive subject, i.e., the actions are being done to them)
In a passive sentence, the person or thing doing the action is often preceded by the word "by".
Determiners include many of the most frequent English words, e.g, the,a,my,this.
Articles - a/an, the
Demonstratives – this/that, these/those
Possessives – my/your/his/her/its/our/their
Quantifiers – some, any, no, many, much, few ,little, both, all, either, each, every, enough
Glossary of Gramattical Terms Continued
a phrase where adjacent or closely connected words begin with the same phoneme: one wet wellington; free phone; several silent, slithering snakes.
a word with a meaning opposite to another: hot - cold, light - dark, light- heavy.
A word may have more than one word as an antonym: cold - hot/
warm; big - small/tiny/little/titchy.
words which have the same meaning as another word, or very similar: wet/damp.
Avoids overuse of any word; adds variety
These are verbs that are used together with other verbs. For example:
we are going Lucy has arrived can you play
Coherence and cohesion
An effective text needs to be coherent and cohesive.
The term coherence refers to the underlying logic and consistency of a text.
The ideas expressed should be relevant to one another so that the reader can follow the meaning.
A word made up of two other words: football, headrest, broomstick
A conditional sentence is one in which one thing depends upon another.
Conditional sentences often contain the conjunction if:
I’ll help you if I can.
If the weather’s bad, we might not go out.
Other conjunctions used in conditionals are unless, providing, provided and as long as.
Direct speech and indirect speech
There are two ways of reporting what somebody says, direct speech and indirect speech.
In direct speech, we use the speaker’s original words demarcated with inverted commas.
Helen said, “ I’m going home.”
In indirect (or reported) speech, we report what was said but do not use the
exact words of the original speaker.
Helen said (that) she was going home.
Use of a metaphor or simile to create a particular impression or mood. A writer may develop an idea of a character’s military approach to life by using phrases and words which are linked with the army, such as: he was something of a loose cannon (metaphor); he rifled through the papers; his
arm shot out; he marched into the room; he paraded his knowledge.
words which have the same spelling as another, but different meaning: the
calf was eating/my calf was aching; the North Pole/totem pole; he is a Pole.
Pronunciation may be different: a lead pencil/the dog’s lead; furniture polish/
words which have the same spelling or pronunciation as another, but
different meaning or origin. May be a homograph or homophone.
words which have the same sound as another but different meaning or
different spelling: read/reed; pair/pear; right/write/rite. A homonym.
words which echo sounds associated with their meaning: clang, hiss, crash,
use of language to create a vivid sensory image - often visual. May include:
Vocabulary choice of synonym, for example sprinted/ran/raced, selection
of adjectives and adverbs
simile he ran like the wind
metaphor his feet had wings
a form of metaphor in which language relating to human action, motivation
and emotion is used to refer to non human agents or objects or abstract
concepts: the weather is smiling on us today; Love is blind.