English in Action

Year 2 pupils found an unexpected surprise in the garden. They found a little red cape, a hat, a scarf, logs of wood, a picnic basket and even an axe! This reminded us of the Little Red Riding Hood story so we have decided to write our own versions of the traditional tale. 
Poetry Recital - October 2021
Following on from the wonderful Literature Festival visit, the children in y5 and 6 were inspired to recite and write their own poems. The poem they recited was about litter in the oceans and how it affects the animals. Everyone in the class had to recite 2 lines of the poem and then they performed it all together on the field. After, they write their own poems about the environment. They chose the topic and wrote a poem using rhyming couplets.
Cheltenham Literature Festival - October 2021
On Monday 11th October, y5 and 6 were fortunate enough to have the fabulous opportunity to visit Cheltenham Literature Festival. They were privileged to watch Cressida Cowell (author of How To Train Your Dragon) talk about her life and what inspired her to write novels for children. 
After, the children attended the CLPE poetry awards. This was super exciting as there was a diverse range of children's authors performing their poems. The highlight of this ceremony was seeing Michael Rosen perform 'Hot Food' to the audience. The children absolutely loved it.
The day was filled with enjoyment and inspiration for all of the children.
Autumn 1 2021
Year 1
At the beginning of the term Year 1 learnt the story of the Three Little Pigs and performed this in front of other children in school and their family members! The children have worked so hard to remember the story and the Talk for Writing actions! We have changed the Wolf in the story to a different bad character, the children have made pictures and used adjectives and similes to describe their character.  We then went on to write our own versions of The Three Little Pigs using our new character!
The children have been busy writing wanted posters as the Little Pig went missing! The Little Pig is safely back in Chestnut class. The children have now been helping the Wolf (who now wants to be kind) plan and organise a tea party! We have written invitations and made a shopping list of all the things the Wolf would need for the tea party. 
Well done Year 1
No Pens Day - 25th November 2020
All of the children in school took part in No Pens Day. They were learning in a different way and tried to see if they could learn in lessons without having to write. All the children loved taking part and said they would like more time in class to learn without having to write. 
Monday 2nd March 2020
Poetry workshop
Annie Cavill very kindly came to school to carry out a poetry workshop with pupils in Y5. The children listened to some of her work and were then inspired to write their own. Everyone in Y5 wrote their own poems and performed them in front of the class. We can't wait to write more poems to enter the Mitcheldean Poetry Competition next term.

World Book Day 2019
We had a fantastic day celebrating books and authors at Ellwood.  The children held book swaps and we enjoyed 'mystery reader' sessions at the end of the day.  
Mrs Wright would like to thank everyone for dressing up in fantastic costumes of favourite characters.  Also, Vicky Logan for speaking to the children about the local libraries in the morning assembly and Nikki Davis for organising the book fayre and half term sponsored read.
We managed to raise over £600 for new topic books!
Well done and thank you to all the children and parents for supporting this event.
Whole School Pantomime Trip - December 2018
Monmouth Theatre
December 2018
Debi Evans ‘Author Experience’ at Ellwood Primary School
‘The Secret Adventures of Rolo’
Debi Evans will be in school to introduce her fantasy adventure series about a time travelling dog and dragons in assembly and inspire creative writing. Signed and dedicated books can be purchased by completing the form & returning to school.
Tuesday 27 November 2018
Rolo is a rescue dog. When he settles in his new home he discovers he is ‘the chosen one’; whatever that might mean!  Aided by a dragon, the little Jack Russell embarks upon an incredible secret life by night when he undertakes historic adventures. Rolo appears during moments in history, witnesses and sometimes influences events. All 4 books are written as if narrated by Rolo, interspersed with his everyday life in humorous blogs, loved by children and adults.
Are You Looking for a Brilliant Book to Read?
These lists will help children to choose engaging, high-quality texts to read. 
In our classrooms, we have used the lists to find great class books.  Willow children are enjoying 'Wolf Brother' (by Michelle Paver) and Sycamore children are reading 'Stig of the Dump' (by Clive King).  Children in Beech, Chestnut and Oak have already enjoyed listening to (and reading) many books from their list. On Roald Dahl Day, we all enjoyed listening to 'The Enormous Crocodile'.
At home, please encourage your child to think about their selections when choosing their library books.  Do you have any of the recommended books on your shelves at home?  When your child has read a recommended book, they should put their name on the list of titles in their class.
One Hundred Brilliant Books to Read in Reception, Year One and Year Two:
One Hundred Brilliant Books to Read in Year 3 and Year 4:
One Hundred Brilliant Books to Read in Year 5 and Year 6:
We can easily find our 'One Hundred Brilliant Books to Read' as they have gold star stickers on them and they have their own extra-special shelves!  The shelves don't stay full for long, though!  We love being exposed to great reads in our classrooms and our teachers choose books from the lists for our class books, too.
Samantha Densham’s Visit to our School
Great excitement ran through our school on Thursday 25th January, 2018, as we welcomed Sam Densham.  Sam is our ‘Author of the Month’ and we were absolutely delighted that she agreed to visit us.
Sam ran an inspirational workshop with all children in Years 5 and 6 to begin.  She explained all about her life and work and she was hugely impressed with how much we already knew about her!  Sam wrote, directed and produced the fantastic Aladdin production that we watched at the Savoy Theatre in Monmouth, earlier this month.  She explained that she has written many pantomime scripts and she also thoroughly enjoys acting.  She has written novels, too - but she has never been brave enough to get them published.  We were overwhelmed when Sam offered to read the opening few pages of her most recent novel to us.  We are the only people who have ever heard it!  It was fantastic.  
Throughout the workshop, Sam referred to Willow Class’s ‘Working Wall’ and she was thrilled that we teach the writing process in such a clear way.  She emphasised the importance of the ‘editing and evaluating’ stage - and she explained that she often makes many, many changes to her work as she writes - and as she reads - her texts.  It was wonderful for our children to hear how real writers polish their work - just like we do at Ellwood.
Afterwards, a Year 5 and a Year 6 pupil confidently introduced Sam to our whole school in an Assembly.  Then Sam talked to the children and answered their fabulous questions, before asking if she could return to our school again soon!  She praised the pupils and said that she had never met such wonderfully enthusiastic, polite children.  What a compliment! 
Sam then presented our weekly awards and she was very excited to meet our ‘Writers of the Week’.  She was overwhelmed by the standard of our children’s writing and she was delighted to see that each piece of work on our Writing board in the hall was about our Aladdin experience! Well done to Oak, Chestnut and Beech classes for writing superb recounts of our trip - and well done to Sycamore and Willow for writing fascinating letters to the cast of Aladdin.  It was fantastic to have real purposes and audiences for our writing and Sam said that the cast would be delighted to read our letters and opinions about our trip.
Sam mentioned that her lifelong ambition is to perform at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall.  After her visit, Willow Class wrote letters to the theatre (using emotive, persuasive language) to help make her dream come true.  We really hope that we are successful!
We love meeting real authors and meeting Sam was no exception.  She was full of enthusiasm for writing and performing - and we all feel inspired after meeting such a kind, helpful lady.  We can’t wait to welcome her back in a couple of weeks.  
Thank you, Sam! 

Whole-School Theatre Trip

We enjoyed a fantastic start to our English Week at The Savoy Theatre, Monmouth, today.  OH YES WE DID!

Three buses were needed to transport us (including a huge 70-seater) and we were all very excited as we pulled away.  At the theatre, we laughed, sang, danced, cheered and occasionally hissed when the baddie, Abanazer, appeared.  Our children were superb members of the audience and the staff at the theatre praised their impeccable behaviour and huge enthusiasm.  There was a lot of dancing in the aisles!  The pupils were especially enthralled as the company, Spontaneous Productions, had joined with the local youth theatre academy, The Savoy Youth Theatre. This meant that the chorus and smaller roles within the pantomime involved children and young people who were the same age as some of our pupils! Their singing, dancing and acting has inspired many of our pupils!

We are very grateful to our fabulous ‘Friends of Ellwood School’ who donated towards the cost of the trip so that costs could be lowered for families. We also feel very lucky that our staff members (including our wonderful lunchtime supervisors) are always willing to attend these occasions so that trips can go ahead.

We had to wake lots of happy, tired children as we arrived back at school and we were all very excited that it was dark upon our return. We hope the children slept well this evening! Thank you for your support and for allowing your children to experience the magic that was Aladdin.

Since the trip, our wonderful writers have been busy!  Well done to all of the children in Oak, Chestnut and Beech for creating fantastic recounts of the experience.  Our older pupils produced impressive, personalised letters which were sent to the cast of Aladdin.  We love having real purposes and audiences for our writing – and we love having real inspiration to write.  Well done, everybody!  You are all superstars!

Our Aladdin Work
Can you tell that we were inspired?
Buddy Reading
Year 6 pupils take their ‘Buddy’ responsibilities very seriously.  Each week, they look forward to spending time with their buddies in Oak Class. Year 6 children love hearing their buddies as they read their reading book aloud and they are trusted to write a comment in Oak children’s Reading Records!
When Oak children have had time to enjoy reading their book aloud, they choose a book from their book corner for the older children to read to them. The children often choose books from their list of ‘One Hundred Brilliant Books to Read’ so that they can tick it off when they have enjoyed the story.
Both classes have a fantastic time and Year 6 can’t believe the progress that the little ones have made with their reading since September.
It is a pleasure to watch the buddies playing together at playtime and the little ones know that their buddies are always there if they ever need anything.
Macbeth Trip
On Tuesday 3rd October, 2017, Sycamore Class and Willow Class enjoyed an incredible Macbeth-themed experience at the enchanting Puzzlewood forest, just down the road from our school. 
Throughout the day, the children used fantastic improvisation and drama skills, together with teamwork and cooperation.  We enjoyed an outdoor workshop that was led by a wonderful professional actress.  She helped us to think about the characters within the famous play and she encouraged us to create our own gory spells.  Her enthusiasm for the play and its language really inspired us - helping us to show great confidence as we became wicked witches who scared and impressed her in equal measures!
After a short break, Macbeth himself came to collect us so that he could lead us into the woods for the performance.  We became his army and we were very excited as we followed the path! 
The play was captivating and we loved following the actors around into new areas of the wood.  It was a wonderful setting and we enjoyed the most perfect weather - a crisp Autumn day with beautiful sunlight shining through the leafy canopy.
As the story unfolded, we became entranced.  We worked hard to try to understand Shakespeare's use of language and we joined in with the witches as they cast their spell. 
Our listening skills were superb and the acting team commented on what a superb audience we were.  We are very proud of all of our fabulous children who represented our school fantastically well - and we are all looking forward to producing inspired work in our classrooms.
Please enjoy our photographs below to see a taste of our special day.  We hope our memories will remain with us forever! 
September, 2017
This month, we have enjoyed two whole-school celebrations of language.  It was great fun finding out all about Roald Dahl and we really enjoyed celebrating his Birthday.  All classes enjoyed listening to one of his classic tales, 'The Enormous Crocodile' - and a variety of work was produced in his memory.  What a great day! 
We also enjoyed celebrating National Poetry Day.  Each class enjoyed hearing, reading and performing poetry.  Children in Willow Class entered the Premier League Primary Stars poetry competition which focused on the theme of 'Resilience'.  The children wrote some beautifully imaginative poems and we can't wait to hear from the judges in the Spring term.
UPDATE! January, 2018
Pupils in Willow Class were delighted to receive a letter congratulating them for being amongst the first one thousand schools to return their 'Resilience' poetry competition entries.  To reward the children's hard work and enthusiasm, a book bag full of brand new poetry books was sent by the Premier League Primary Stars to the class.  Fantastic!  Well done, Willow Class!
We are looking forward to finding out whether any of our writers have been chosen as winners in the competition but in the meantime, the children know that they make us proud each and every day at Ellwood School. 
Phonics Meetings
If you were unable to attend either of the Phonics meetings, please use the presentation below to understand how we teach and learn phonics at Ellwood School.  Please see Miss Peart (Oak) or Miss Abbott (Chestnut) if you are unsure about any aspect of our methods.  Many thanks.
On Thursday 25th and Friday 6th April 2019 local poet, Annie Cavill, came to provide poetry writing workshops in Beech and Sycamore.  Annie had fantastic poems and she inspired us to write our own!
Author visit
We had a wonderful, fun filled day with author, Steve Clifford. Steve spent the day carrying out different workshops with all of the children in the school. There was lots of reading, story writing and even song writing happening across the school. Everyone has been inspired by Steve's work and were lucky enough to have the opportunity to buy a signed copy of one of his books. 
Author of the Month
Chestnut class have been busy dedicating their reading corner to our author of the month, Julia Donaldson. They were able to share and talk about their favourite books written by Julia.