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Reporting from the scene of the Great Fire of London

We recently discovered the Read Write Perform has now been used in over 2000 schools around the world. This is incredible! For a fairly new approach, to see it grow so quickly has been amazing. The best part is the positive feedback we receive from teachers, who say it has revolutionised the way in which they teach English. At present, there are 10 packs, we have mapped out around 30+ to hopefully get to a point where schools could do a pack a half term from year 1-6. Unfortunately, due to the amount of detail and quality that goes into the packs, they take a while to write.

However, we love how teachers are now innovating on the approach. After trying one of the teaching packs, teachers and schools understand the pedagogy behind the approach and now use the overview to plan their English. This includes some of the teachers in my school. So Year 2 have been writing newspaper articles about the Great Fire of London. Using the ReadWritePerform approach, the children then performed their…

Remembrance Day Activities

Although Remembrance Day has passed, I wanted to share a couple of activities we did across our school to learn about this important and significant day.

In KS1, the pupils created videos using the fantastic Adobe Spark Video app to share their knowledge and understanding about Armistice Day; how it happened and how we remember it.

Here is one of their examples:


In KS2, the pupils created greenscreen videos as paperboys sharing the news about the end of the Great War. Brilliant little task which challenged the children to think about abstraction and constraints with their writing. They had to be paper boys spreading the news about Armistice day. The challenge was to grab people’s attention but it had to be short, almost speak in headlines. The boys in the video would love to hear what you think, so please leave them a comment! 


Watch this space, as this will be developed into a READWRITEPERFORM pack soon. 
As a whole school, we created a Padlet wall for families to share stories of re…

Improving Oral Speaking in EYFS/KS1 through Digital Storytelling

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One of the best ways in which I use iPad in the classroom is to encourage and improve student's speaking and listening. In a culture of teaching, where we are so accountable to prove what we have done in books, I fear we do not develop young children's oral speaking skills. In my opinion, if a child cannot talk you through a story, I don't believe they can effectively write one. So over the past few weeks, I have been using one of my favourite apps - Puppetpals HD Directors Pass, to improve and develop children oral storytelling.

The app, which I have enjoyed using for a number of years, allows pupils to add pictures of characters alongside background and record their own cartoon. It lends itself brilliantly to so many different areas of the curriculum. Working with Reception over the past few weeks, we have focused on using it to allow pupils retell stories they have been reading in class. Here are a couple of recent projects the students have created:

The Tiger Who Came …

I Love The Power Of The Internet!

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This is something I share a lot on my training. I explain how, as teachers, we need to embrace the internet and demonstrate how to use it safely. I also demonstrate how when utilised in the right way, it can have an incredible impact on children's learning. I have previously blogged plenty of examples where the internet has enhanced our learning in class and the experiences my pupils have had from it. 
This week I've had a much more personal example of how incredibly powerful the internet is. A close family friend is currently undergoing a lot of treatment to battle Leukemia. Rather than me tell you all about her battle, here is our superstar Emmie talking all about her current illness:


Now before Emmie was diagnosed with this illness, my wife had managed to get tickets for her and her Mum to attend the Little Mix concert in Manchester alongside my wife and daughter. Everyone was really looking forward to seeing their favourite band perform. Unfortunately, over the past week,…

Mr P's Round Up of Christmas Adverts - 2017

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So it is that time of year again and already our TVs are flooded with different adverts. Over the past few years, I have blogged a number of ways to use some of the more popular adverts in class, which you can read here:

Mr P's round-up of Christmas Adverts 2016
Developing Emotional Literacy through a great Christmas Advert
John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015
John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014
Sainsbury's Christmas Advert 2014

So as Christmas is all about traditions, here are some ideas for this year's adverts.

Before I start I must mention some other resources worth checking out. Firstly, the Christmas Letter ReadWritePerform Pack:


There is also my eBook - The 12 iPad lessons of Christmas which you can download by clicking the picture:

So let's start with the most popular - John Lewis and their Moz the Monster advert:


Now as the advert doesn't have any text, John Lewis has provided a book to work alongside the advert. You can grab a copy here.
You may have also seen in the …

Reading Comprehension through Harry Styles

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I love using music in the classroom for a number of reasons. I have previously blogged about using songs for comprehension and you can read about them here - CLICK HERE.
After listening to the latest song released by Harry Styles, 'Two Ghosts' is definitely a song you could use and discuss with your pupils.

Here is a lyric video:


I would first play the song all the way through and ask the children what the song is about - It is about a relationship ending and both leaving as very different people. 
Then consider the lyrics in more detail:

Same lips red, same eyes blue,
Same white shirt, couple more tattoos,
But it's not you and it's not me,
Tastes so sweet, looks so real,
Sounds like something that I used to feel,
But I can't touch what I see.

We're not who we used to be,
We're not who we used to be,
We're just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me,
Trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat.

Consider the first line, who is he singing about? His …

Reflecting on #ReadingRocks - The Power of talking about Books

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There was a lot I took away from #ReadingRocks_17 last week. The keynotes from @TeresaCremin reminded me of how important Reading for Pleasure really is. As she stated, the research shows Reading for Pleasure has the biggest impact on children's success when they grow up. The website she mention ResearchRichPedagogies, has some great information for how to promote Reading for Pleasure in your school. These awesome sketch notes from @Cazzash picked up the main points from her keynote:
Realised the original photo is a bit blurred. pic.twitter.com/0LtXRgFW2h — Caroline Ash (@cazzash) October 14, 2017
It was the same with @MaryMyatt's keynote, a lot to think about echoing a similar message. Again here is another sketchnote from @Cazzash:

That was fantastic @MaryMyatt#ReadingRocks_17@_Reading_Rocks_pic.twitter.com/ZFq9cpcHrx — Caroline Ash (@cazzash) October 14, 2017
A big message from the day was emphasising how important it is for teachers to be readers. I completely agree and t…