Mrs T's English Blog

What has Mrs Tunnicliffe been doing?

Friday 28th November 2014


Today we looked at identifying feature of a discussion text and we did a spelling sentence and we relooked at an old SATs tests and discussed our level 🙂

I was selected as star of the day because I was flexing my absorption and listening muscles.


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Biographies – could you help us?


This week we are trying to apply our knowledge and write a biography of our heroes: someone we look up to and admire. This might be a famous person; it might be someone in our family.

We have researched our famous person today using search engines on the Internet but there are some facts that we are finding it tricky to find, especially for our less well-known heroes. So, we (or rather Mrs Tunnicliffe) is taking to social media to try to contact our heroes!

If you are one of those heroes and have found this page, first of all – thank you! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. If you do, we’ll be sure to share our biographies with you when they’re done. If you could read through the questions and then answer them in a comment below, we would be eternally grateful.

Here are the questions:
When were you born?
Where do you live now?
What is your mother’s name?
What is your father’s name?
Did you go to school/university? If so, which one(s)?
Where do you work now?
What are you most proud of?
Can you tell us anything interesting about yourself that we may not find on the Internet?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Nelson Mandela biography text map


This is the text map we have been using in English this week to learn about the life of Nelson Mandela, our current learning hero.
Next week, we are going to start innovating this text to write a biography about Jub, the main character in the book ‘The lost happy endings’.






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Which is the most powerful synonym?


Have a go at this ‘Diamond Nine’ activity to order the synonyms in order of their effectiveness.

When you’ve finished, explain your reasons in the box to the right.

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Our work on sentence openers

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Have a look at our padlet!

July15 (2)



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How we ‘do’ writing targets at Riders


One of the things we have been working  on this year is our writing targets and how we help children to know what they have to improve on to make progress in their writing.

More now than ever in the age of social media, we need to learn to be clever with our words: we communicate with the world with our worlds; we appeal to politicians and companies using vocabulary and persuasive sentences; we write notes of love of appreciation to our BFFS and loved ones which are heartfelt and designed to bring a tear to the eye. We need to be able to teach the children at Riders how to best use language and writing to get what you want.

So this is what we have done:

We have created target cards that start at year one and track a child’s learning journey through from when they first starting writing (at a level 1c) to the point that they are beginning to master their language and thus their reader (we call this a 5a). Each child is given a target card which is appropriate for their point at their learning journey. The target card is aimed at the sub-level above where they are currently. This means that if a child is currently at a 3c level, they are given an ‘I am working towards a 3b’ target card. This helps children know where they are and what they need to do to improve.

The target card looks like this by the time children reach year six:

WP_20140528_002 WP_20140528_003 WP_20140528_005

At year one, they begin as smaller targets cards which are more focused on a particular writing skill i.e. punctuation, letter formation, phonics or adding detail to sentences. These same targets are then carried through years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. In years 3 and 4, children have a pop out card that goes at the back of their writing book, but the targets are still the same.

So, how do children meet their targets? 

Every now and then, children do a ‘Big Write’: an independent piece of writing where they get time just to write. During this time, the children will focus particularly on their writing targets and what they need to do to improve. Teachers will choose one (or sometimes two) targets from the list that they need to most. In Holly’s case (above), she is particularly working on improving precise descriptions of place, characters or events and her teacher has added that she needs to use ‘amazing vocabulary’ to do this. On the right side, you will see that there is an opportunity for Holly’s teacher to tick off what writing skills she has shown in a piece of work. Holly has obviously been successful in her last two ‘Big Writes’ as she has ticked off a lot of her targets!


Here are some other examples from earlier on in the year:

ellie zane

When children complete their target card, it is stapled in their book and they are given the next card. Sometimes, there are a few targets that are holding children back. Rather than hold a child back, they are moved on to the next card but their old target is transferred on to the new card, using the spare spaces at the bottom – easy 🙂

So… has it helped?

The simple answer: yes.

Children have been very positive about their target cards as they help to know what to ‘do’ next and how to improve. We can personalise them too so that they make sense to the children they are meant for.

As teachers, we are having lots of discussions about the target cards: do some of the targets need changing? Shall we remove the levels? How do we use the target cards when it comes to assessment? Lots of questions on how to improve the cards but they have definitely helped this year.


I will come back and give some more information on how we set targets for Key Stage One at a later date 🙂




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Writing exciting sentences


Temple Run 1

Today in year six we wrote some ‘exciting sentences’ based on the popular app, Temple Run. ‘Writing exciting sentences’ is a book from Alan Peat (@alanpeat) which gives models and examples of amazing sentences.


Today we  looked at two sentence types:

When; when; when, then.


Tell: show 3 exampes;__.


We wrote on tables too (we call them ‘blue boards’) which helped us to explore our ideas and gave us space to think. Have a look at pictures of some of our examples below.


Paige & Katie:




Erin & Chloe:


George & Daniel:










Our class models:


Accelerated Reader Stars – 28/02/14


This week’s reading stars are:

1st 100%

Ben D – 3O

Riley D – 4BL

Chelsea H – 4BL

Leonie – 4A

Hayden C  – 3O






5th 100%

Lewis M – 5p

Josh N – 4a

Kerry B – 3O

Tyler B – 3O

Callum – 4A






10th 100%

Myles – 4A

Kamrun – 4BL

Tyler – 3O

Mercedes – 6P







30th 100%

Daniel – 4A

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Amazing Work at Riders Page


I have set up a new page to showcase the amazing work I see at Riders. I was inspired by Mercedes in year six when she brought in the first chapter of her soon-to-be story. I was so impressed, I had to share it! Check it out by clicking HERE.

More work coming soon!



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