Here’s a top 3 of new things that we have used and enjoyed this year in our KS2 classes. Top 3 - UKS2 Novels 1.) The Storm Keeper’s Island Catherine Doyle’s first foray into primary school aged novels is a magical triumph. Set on the island of Arranmore, off the west coast of Donegal, we follow Fionn and his sister on an adventure through Irish mythology and modern day dramas. Characters and settings are vividly described with the power of nature and magic always at the fore plunging us into swirling atmosphere of coastal delights. The wit of both Fionn and his grandfather bring wry smiles throughout the story but also serve to make them both lovable and believable. As a non-linear text, it hops from past to present to culminate in a tense but satisfying conclusion. It’s not only a book filled with both tender and anxious moments between family members but also one packed with danger and adventure. My top book of 2018! 2.) When the Mountains Roared
This story by Jess Butterworth sends us from Australia to the Himalayas on an emotional journey following the footsteps of Ruby, a young girl troubled with the recent death of her mother. Ruby’s resilience and stoic determination is a pleasure to read and the story contains enough of a mixture of action and character building to make us root for her at the end. The subject matter of leopard poachers makes us even more emotionally invested and sends out an important message to a younger generation of readers.
3.) The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day
This is a mind-boggling whirlwind of science and adventure where the lead female character has to solve the mystery of the terrifying events occurring in her own home. Flipping between reality and a parallel universe, Maisie uncovers some hard truths and, by the end, the science gives way to a very human, emotional sucker punch. Because the story contains only a handful of family members, the density of the scientific theories within are juxtaposed delightfully with the realities of life as fraught siblings and dysfunctional family members. Think Black Mirror for kids! If that’s not a seller then nothing is. Top 3 Blog Posts of the Year 1.) @jon_hutchinson_ Beyond Knowledge Organisers; building the best curriculum in the world. https://pedfed.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/beyond-knowledge-organisers-building-the-best-curriculum-in-the-world/ 2.) @solomon_teach Reading Comprehension: a new approach
https://medium.com/solomonkingsnorth/reading-comprehension-a-new-approach-570d39ffac79 3.) @learningspy Why English is not a Skills Based Subject https://learningspy.co.uk/featured/why-english-is-not-a-skills-based-subject-2/ Top 3 Resources of the year 1.) Tom Palmer’s Defenders: Russia 2018. Tom wrote a new chapter each night after the set of World Cup games that day. Ingenious and had the children on the edge of their seats! https://literacytrust.org.uk/resources/defenders-russia-world-cup-2018-football-story/ 2.) An Idiom a Day - Something we made and use all the time to give children the origins and meaning of phrases we use everyday. https://www.mracdpresent.com/product-page/an-idiom-a-day 3.) Times Table Rockstars - Both the online platform and physical resource have worked wonders in the last year to improve the fluency of children’s multiplication skills, making accessing arithmetic and reasoning far easier. https://ttrockstars.com/login
We'd love to know what made your top 3 this year too!