English at Homerswood
At Homerswood, we aim to develop a positive attitude towards all aspects of English. We want the children to learn to love reading for pleasure, to feel pride in their learning, and to enjoy the freedom for expression that writing provides.
We provide a range of learning opportunities and study a range of genres across the school. Children get to know authors and use strong examples as models for their own writing. In addition, our cross curricular writing provides further opportunities for children to 'show what they know'.
Spring Term 2023
Spelling Shed League News
For the FIRST TIME, Year 2 smash their way to the front of the league with an amazing 21,374,370 points. The rest of the school are struggling to keep up but year 5 are in second place with
11, 563,662 points. Well done!
To keep up with the live league, visit:
Year 1 lead the way in English
The school community were blown away by year 1's performance in their brilliant sharing assembly today.
Not only did they demonstrate superb speaking and listening skills, they:
* showed us all how to create accurate sentences with their catchy jingle *
* shared their super sequencing skills *
* demonstrated some brilliant tier 2 vocabulary *
* read with clarity, fluency and intonation *
We were all very impressed and the whole school got in on the 'capital letter, finger space, full stop' act with everyone using the action prompts.
I think we can all agree that 'year one rock!'.
A big well done to all of you.
Spelling Shed League News - Year 6 lead the way with 96,000,000 points. Year 5 are in second place with almost 7,000,000. Well done to upper key stage 2!
Check out the scores:
A warm welcome back and a very happy new year to you all. We are looking forward to sharing our learning journeys in English during the spring term, a term that is already looking to be action-packed.
We started the year beautifully with a EYFS visit to our school library. They had the most wonderful time exploring the array of books on offer and, as a follow up, wrote all about the shelves and their favourite books within them.
If you haven't done so already, do head down to the central library for your free membership - it is a wonderful example of a community library and renowned for being one of the very best around.
The spring term is one of my favourites; as the days get longer we get more opportunties to get outside and develop our growing word knowledge. In addition, we get to celebrate the wonderful annual event of World Book Day which is always great fun.
We do hope that you pop along frequently to see what has been going on in English at Homerswood. You are always very welcome.
WIth very best wishes,
Debating club - week two
This week, in debating club, we each made statements and decided whether we agreed (Aye) or disagreed (No), just like in the House of Commons. Opinions were divided and we spent some time trying to make our own points and encourage others to agree. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not. Mrs Dring could not, for example, convince the group that dogs make better pets than cats. She was definitely outvoted and the Nos 'had it'.
Next, we spent some time looking at possible debating topics for our future sessions. As a result of those discussions, we shall be discussing whether:
Everyone should have the same amount of money
We cannot wait to discuss these controversial, meaty topics and are sure that the children will have some wonderful points of view.
Supersonic sentences from year one
What amazing progress in sentence structure our year one children have made. We are very proud of them and their hard work. Just ten weeks have passed between the first and second examples - now THAT is what we call writing development !
Week one: The cat is playing with the ball. He got all tied up.
Week ten :The cat is standing and it didn't know what it is. It is looking what it is. Then he got all tied up when he was playing with it.
Week one: The cat is trying to get that. He got it. He got tangled.
Week ten: One day there was a little cat and he found a string. He was touching it with his paws. He was playing with it and he got stuck. Somebody found him and his name is called Bob. He helped him and put him back in the wild.
NO PENS DAY WEDNESDAY
Wednesday 3rd November marks the first of our NPD Wednesdays this academic year. Across the school, children will be ditching their pens and pencils and learning through speaking and listening activities. Children will be creating videos, making presentations and making the most of our outdoor spaces to promote explorative learning, quality vocabulary and speaking and listening skills. Photographs and details will be here after the event so do come back to visit the site and see all of the wonderful things that have been going on.
This term, across the school, we are focusing on sentence structure. We will be examining the progression of sentence making as children move through the school and throughout the term, we will be talking to the children about their own sentence making experiences. In addition, we will be exploring key research and pedagogies to ensure that every member of the school is confident in creating super sentences.
Wow, wow, wow! Look at this amazing writing which was developed in the remote writing workshop this morning and shared by Thomas and Thomas. Well done to Isabella, Fleur, Priya, Thomas, Thomas and Hazel who are working hard to master their craft of writing.
The gargoyles seethed with rage at the prospect of returning to their cold, grey and shadowy prison, which looked down on the desolate alleyways. Gargoyles brimmed with envy at the freedoms that they were denied - a freedom that would never be awarded to them. The loathing that bubbled inside them grew as they considered their tedious fate. They knew what was ahead of them: cold icy liquid, swirling in their throats, dropping into their empty grey stomachs while wet leaves choked them as they grew with the rancour of the privileged humans. Thick, white glutinous substances would once again stain their moss covered backs.
We are so impressed with this learning. It is full of the wonderful authorial devices that the children have been developing this year. We can see a wide range of powerful verbs, a range of clause structures, a full range of punctuation and some wonderfully impacting adverbials and prepositions.
Phonics for Home and School
A range of resources to help you to help your children with phonics. Click the links for access to a whole host of resources.
* Coming soon - bedtime stories from some staff members *
* SPRING 2021 *
Our Local Library is open
....and ready to support reading and more
Welwyn Library is up and running and supporting the ‘Reading Well’ strategy.
Reading Well for children provides quality-assured information, stories and advice to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. Books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and co-produced with children and families.
Our libraries are such an invaluable resource - especially as the days get a bit wet and grey - we cannot think of a lovelier place to spend time with our little ones and it is all FREE.
Get along to the library on Campus West to see what we love so much.
THE SECRET BOOK SOCIETY
A new secret society book will launch soon. Did you guess the spring term title?
The reviews are below if you haven't read them already.
More reviews for the secret society text
This thought-provoking story really captures your imagination. The author has a nice ability to engage all of your senses, when explaining characters and scenes. There are many different story lines which all gently flow along with the main story, which I enjoyed. The characters all have depth and were easy for me to associate with. I would recommend this book as a very worthwhile read. It will stretch your imagination and keep you interested throughout.
Neil Flack (Roman and Priya's dad)
I loved this book! There was so much that I couldn't wait to discover. I loved the way that the author used phrases that can mean more than what they first appear if you think a little deeper. This story was sad and exciting all at once and had me gripped from start to finish.
I am finding it so hard to keep the book a secret. It is definitely one that I will be reading with Max. A beautiful book!
PS: I am still trying to make the owl hooting sounds with my hands but not mastered it yet.
Sophie Robinson (Max's mum)
Our first review of our first book
Sad touching, hopeful and very well written. The story revolves around a boy who has a new and very sick sibling, has moved house and discovers a ____________ living in the _____________________________.
The author does a great job exploring all the the difficult emotions and experiences without letting the narrative flow get bogged down. A slightly surreal element keeps it interesting all the way to the end!
The Secret Book Society Launches 5th March 2020!
The SBS for parents is a brand new reading group for parents of our children. Each term, we launch a new book (it will be a 'meaty' but short children's book) to 4 randomly selected parents from the society. The idea is that they read it at their own leisure, write a short response to it - which will be shared with the society, and then return it to school, always keeping the title a secret. The books will then be passed on to the next randomly selected member and so it goes on.
The idea is that we get to share quality books and create a buzz around books and reading. Hopefully, the children will come to recognise the (very special and fancy) SBS bags and will get excited when they see that someone has the book as they leave school.
We would love you to join us - just let the office know if you would like to become a member.
This week, year 3 visited the central library in WGC town centre. The children and the teachers had an amazing time and were buzzing with excitement on their return. Some of the children shared their thoughts:
Charlie said, " I liked finding out what was under the purple covers. There were toys from a long time ago and my favourite was the cup and ball.
Dominic told us that, "I liked the activities, playing with the toys from the olden days. "
"I liked the pictures of Homerswood." said Leo.
Mia told us that, "I liked doing the quiz. It was really entertaining."
Sophie agreed with Mia, telling us that, " I liked it when we were doing the quiz. I liked going out and finding the answers."
Evie-Rose had a lovely time too, telling us that, "I liked the quiz because it was lots of fun.I also liked the colourful books."
Finally, Freddie said, "I liked it when we did the quizzes and I liked looking at the books."
Have a look at Ella's wonderful writing. These are all of her own ideas and we cannot wait to hear the next installment.
Unigirl is a unicorn but she is also a girl. She can transform in to a girl or a unicorn. She is really a unicorn but the little girl is her disguise. Unigirl uses her disguise when she goes out.
Unigirl lives in a magical castle in the middle of the fairytale woods. To enter the palace, she has to knock on the big wooden door (that has a photograph of her on it) three times. When there is no one at home, the castle vanishes under a rainbow spotlight.
By Ella W - year 3
Maxwell, Jamie and Evelyn are members of our Booktastic Bunch. Today, we have been reading the Adventures of Captain Underpants and the children were showing their superhero poses. We loved them and hope you do too.
No Pens Day and Musical Theatre Enrichment
This week marked our termly enrichment which included 2 days of no pens or pencils and dance workshops delivered by the wonderful Premier Sports leader, Ruby.
Each class selected a musical and built two days of activities around it. Year 1 chose the Lion King, year 2 selected Matilda, year 3 went with School of Rock, year 4 selected music through the ages, year 5 chose Oliver Twist and year 6 voted for The Greatest Showman.
The two days were immense fun and the children were given the opportunity to learn in alternative ways. They were able to develop their ideas, their vocabulary, their problem solving and team work though active learning exercises. We have seen drama, music, circus skills, costume design, singing workshops, puppet making and more. It really has been an exciting (and brilliantly raucous) few days. We have had a blast.
Photographs to follow soon.
Year 6 explore vocabulary
Can you guess the word that was being demonstrated?
It is a word with a prefix.
It is a 9 letter word.
It is a synonym of clever.
It contains 5 vowels.
Spelling shed news
Year 6 have pushed past year 5....year 3 are on their toes....the race heats up!
Got Caught Reading
Don't forget to snap your little ones reading. It could be anything...anywhere. Comics in the treehouse, newspapers in the shed, a favourite bedtime story with teddies on the sofa...To make it even more special, we share the GCR photographs in our Marvellous Me Assemblies. The children are always pleased to see themselves on the big screen and the whole school loves to see who is reading.
We would love to see more members of our Homerswood community reading in all sorts of locations. We have had some great snaps in the past and would love to add to the collection.
Please email photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org and mark it for the attention of Miss Kettle and Mrs Dring.
Congratulations to Teddie Deether who was given a handwriting award for his fabulous progress in handwriting. His beautiful learning is now proudly displayed on the handwriting wall on the KS2 stairs.
Congratulations to Ruth in year 2, Zak in year 4, Jayden in year 5 and Archie in year 2 who were selected by their teachers for handwriting awards this week. The children shared their impressive improvements and were clapped and cheered by the year 6 children who were extremely impressed. Keep sharing your beautiful writing - we love to celebrate your successes.
Happy Poetry Day!
Today, throughout the school, the children will be taking part in a range of activities to celebrate National Poetry Day. Some classes will be creating poetry, some learning and reciting, whilst others will be creating and performing art around a selected poem. We are all very excited about our day. More details (and photos) to follow.
Our day started brilliantly with a special marvellous me assembly. During the assembly, a member of the school community shared a poem that he wrote to celebrate Homerswood and National Poetry Day. Can you guess who it was?
My school day
It’s Monday morning and time for school.
Shoes and coats on and out of the door.
The teacher smiles as we enter in.
A good morning hello with a comforting grin.
Morning work starts with maths and some writing.
Then onto our topic, Egyptians, EXCITING!
Next daily mile it is our time to run.
Some think it’s boring but I think it’s fun.
Now lunchtime is here, hip hip hooray.
Pasta and crumble then outside to play.
A quick run on the field and a race with my friend.
Then I hear a whistle that brings lunchtime to an end.
The afternoon starts it is time for R E.
I hope this is quick because next we have P E.
Quick let’s get changed, quick let’s get going.
I wonder if it’s kicking, running, jumping or throwing.
Well my days nearly over, so I sit on the rug.
I collect all my letters then it’s off to my club.
Monday was long it’s the end of my day.
So it’s off home I go to my bed where I lay.
Keep scrolling for archived materials
from the academic year 2017-2018
Second Edition of Press Gang now available
The Press Gang have been busy organising, writing and editing their second edition which is on sale now. The children have created a fun, informative and fact-filled edition which features, to name but a few, sports news, celebrity news, a teacher profile and science experiments for you to try at home.
Please support Press Gang and our charity of the year, Willow Foundation, who gain 10 pence for every copy sold.
Press Gang Release Issue #1
After many, many weeks of hard work, the first edition of the Press Gang Newspaper is on sale now. The paper is only 40p and for each copy sold, we will donate 10p to our charity (Willow). The paper is full of fun with quizzes, insider facts about the teachers, comic strip and interesting information.
Copies are on sale during break times, in the dining hall. Get yours now! :)
Every child, from nursery to year 6, made the most of the Samba workshops and used their experiences to inspire their writing. Each class took part in an All-Write session on Thursday and wrote recounts of their experiences.
It was a great success and the teachers were really impressed with the quality of writing throughout the school. It is lovely to see how writing develops and how skills for writing are built upon in each year. Evidence of the gold and platinum statements were clear to see in every year group. What a wonderful way to bring the spring term to a close.
Well done, children.
The Press Gang club were extremely excited to meet Sophie from the WHTimes last week. They interviewed Sophie regarding her job as a journalist and shared all of their hard work ( as they prepare for the first edition to be released). The children received top tips and even took part in a little competition to write the most words in a minute.
Do have a look at the online edition (linked below) to read the full article. The Press Gang Club are feeling very proud of their claim to fame and it is a lovely write-up.
Thank you so much for taking part in this year's World Book Day. You should all have stickers and a voucher to redeem against a book in any of the bookstores taking part. We hope that you had a wonderful day. Well done for coming up with such wonderful costumes and for sharing your favourite stories and books.
Don't forget to continue sharing stories at home.
Thank you to all of the friends and families who took the time to create such a wonderful array of costumes.
We wish you all a very happy World Book Day.
Our Brand New Library
Our library has had a fabulous overhaul and is now ready for use. Each class will visit the library weekly and choose books to read at home. We will advertise the brand new books through assemblies. In January, we are hoping to open the library up to families one day after school so you too can access an opportunity to read with your children.