Mrs T's English Blog

What has Mrs Tunnicliffe been doing?

100% Club


This week we have some new children joining our 100% club. These children have achieved their first 100% on Accelerated Reader this week!

Aaliyah – 4A

Callum – 4A

Daniel – 4A

Keira – 4A

Trinity – 5S

Keira-Tate – 5S

Well done to you all!

I look forward to awarding you your 5 x 100% certificate!

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Riders Junior School Ready Readers!


We now have three children who have achieved more than 5 points and have earned the Ready Reader certificate!

The children are…

Charlie (5S)

Lewis (5P)

Elsie (5P)

Congratulations! You three are now working towards the independent reader certificate!

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What are you working towards with Accelerated Reader?


On Accelerated Reader you can work towards lots of different certificates which show how you are progressing through your reading. Here are the different levels you can work towards and how you can achieve each of the levels.

Ready Reader

Earn 5 AR points on books.

Independent Reader

Read independently and pass Reading Practice quizzes for 3 books at a 1.2 book level or higher.
Earn 10 more points.  (You need 15 now in total)

(Points earned for Ready Reader are not included!)

Rising Reader

Read independently and pass Reading Practice quizzes for 3 books at a 1.6 book level or higher.
Earn 10 more points in independent reading. (You need 25 now in total)

Super Reader

Read independently and pass Reading Practice Quizzes for 3 books at a 2.0 book level or higher worth 1 or more points each.

Advanced Reader

Read independently and pass Reading Practice Quizzes for 3 books at a 3.0 book level or higher worth 2 or more points each.

Star Reader!

Read independently and pass Reading Practice Quizzes for 3 books at a 4.0 book level or higher worth 4 or more points each.


We already have some Ready Readers in our school! Blog post to come later explaining who they are!



Mrs T’s progress through Accelerated Reader


As many of you are working through Accelerated Reader and taking your quizzes, I am too! I’ve set myself the challenge of being the first member of the school’s Millionaire Club and then welcoming some of you in to it later on in the year. I know some year 5 children that are already working towards it!

After you’ve taken a quiz, your dashboard will be displayed which shows your progress through Accelerated Reader. Here, you can find out how many words you have read. Here is mine:

AccReader progress so far

I am quite proud of myself as I have read over 300,000 words but I also noticed that 100% of the books that I have read are fiction so I need to broaden my reading and try reading some non-fiction books. That’s the challenge I’m setting for myself!

What challenge are you setting for yourself?

Wonder by RJ Palacio



Author:   R.J. Palacio

Title: Wonder

Date of Publication:  January 2013


AR Level: 4.8


Summary of book

The story follows a young teenager, August, as he spends his first year at school after a number of years being home schooled. August is an ordinary boy. The only difference between him and other children in that he has a facial dis-figuration which he was born with. The book covers his first year as he builds his confidence, makes (and loses) friends and learns the ups and downs of normal school life. The book is told from August’s point of view in some chapters but it’s also told from others characters’ points of view which enriches the book.


Who should read this book?

This book is good for everyone aged 9 and up as it makes you think about who you are and how you treat other people. I think adults would like this as much as children so it’s a lovely one for parent and child to read. I think boys and girls will like it equally as much as one another.


Who are the main characters?

August, 12ish

Via, August’s sister

Jack, Summer, Julian – some of August’s classmates


What can I learn from it?

Lots! This is a book about bullying and it really helps you to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’ and connect with a variety of characters. It helps you to understand people, family and friendships a little more and definitely reminded me not to judge a book my its cover!

This book also covers the issue of grief and bullying so be careful reading this if you’re sensitive to either.



Bullying, friendship, identity, school, families, self-confidence, grief, death of animals, jealousy


What will excite a reader?

The character perspective keeps on changing so you get to see situations from a variety of points of view which is really interesting. August is such a likeable character and, as a reader, you grow attached to him quite quickly. August is quite funny to so I giggled at a few of his jokes and smiled when he smiled. The chapters are nice and short too so it will keep you interested.


What did Mrs T think of it?

I loved it! It really made me think about myself and the way I thought of others. At one point in the book I was balling my eyes out (really!) as it triggered some memories in me and was so heartfelt and genuine (see spoiler below if you want to find out more). I loved the ending and was smiling for a good hour after finishing reading it! I would definitely read it to a class as I feel it is so relevant to children today and we can learn a lot from it.







***Spoiler Alert – read with caution***
In the middle of the book, August has a pet which sadly has to be put down. This is quite an emotional part of the book and, as most children have experience of losing animal friends, this may upset a few children – it certainly made me remember past friends! There is also a scene where August is ambushed for no reason by some unfamiliar children.  Although this is resolved and it all turns out all right in the end, it may be a little too distressing for younger children.

The 100% Club!


This is going to be the first of many posts where we celebrate the children achieving 100% on their Accelerated Reader quizzes! Let’s remind ourselves of the awards:

1st 100% = sticker in assembly

5th 100% = certificate in assembly + free book!

10th 100% = certificate in assembly + another free book!

Let’s see how we’ve got on so far:

4BL 100%ers

Well done to Megan, Reece, Jem, Thomas S, Levi and Charlotte who have all achieved their first 100%

5P 100%ers

Well done to Katherine, Bridget, Jamie, Brandon, Amy, Kai and Terri who have all achieved their first 100%

Kaci has achieved 100% on two quizzes

Grace, Elsie and Ethan have achieved 100% on THREE quizzes so far!

Saffron is the first in the school to earn a certificate for 5 100%s – well done Saffron!

5S 100%ers

Well done to Shayla, Leanne and Dylan who have all achieved their first 100%

Charlie, Alfie-Lee and Archie have achieved 100% on two quizzes

Maria and Shakira have achieved 100% on THREE quizzes so far!

Members of staff

Mr Blake-Lobb has achieved his first 100%

Mrs Tunnicliffe (me!) has achieved two 100%s so far

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Unexplained debris crashes in to school car park!


Today was an exciting day at Riders! When I got in to school this morning, I was shocked to see weird objects sticking out of the ground. Parts of them were embedded in the soil and trees had been pulled down. Have a look at a few pictures to see what we saw this morning:

WP_20131001_020 WP_20131001_016 WP_20131001_009 WP_20131001_007 WP_20131001_003

Then, we looked on the BBC News website and realised that our school had been on the BBC News! Have a look at the news report below:

BBC News Report

We decided to call an emergency assembly and called everyone together. Two police community support officers, PCSO Elgar and PCSO Taylor  came to the scene to conduct some further investigations.


They came to the school to appeal for information about what we thought had  happened. It was amazing how many imaginative ideas were shared and we saw some excellent detective skills as children and teachers explored the scene, trying to work out what on earth had happened!

PC Stone appealed for people to write to her at the Waterlooville Police Station so we all did just that. We spent the morning writing to PC Stone, explaining our ideas and giving her our theories for how the mysterious objects came to rest in our school.

Here are some pictures of children exploring the site. I will have a look through some letters and will post examples of some of the most creative ideas so watch this space!

IMG_5134 IMG_5136

If you have any idea about where the strange debris may have come from, let 4A know as they are leading the blog investigation! Check out their blog post about it here

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The reveal of the new library assistants…


I have spent the evening looking through the applications and I have come to a decision. It was so difficult to choose, I’ve had to choose eight rather than six. I’m also going to have some stand-by library assistants for when the others are away.

Here are the lucky few…
Group One:
Lorna 6T
Mercedes 6T
Jasmine 6T
Katherine 5P

Group two:
Tia 6T
Catherine 6T
Daniel 6T
Matthew Lee-Barnes 6T

Stand-by assistants:
Thomas S 4BL
Maddie 4BL


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New library assistants coming soon!


With all of the improvements in the school library, including the introduction of Accelerated Reader, our library assistants are going to have their work cut out for them this year! Last year our library assistants kept the library clean, tidy and organised. Sadly, they’ve now moved on to Park Community School so we are looking for some new library assistants! We have six spots available. Three will work during lunch times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and three will work during lunch times on Tuesday and Thursday. Every child in the school had the opportunity to apply for a job as a library assistant and each had to fill out an application form, explaining why they thought they would be a good library assistant. I will be announcing the successful applicants tomorrow (Monday 30th September) and they will start their training this week!

I will post photos of the library assistants on my blog so that you know who to call if you have a library related query.

Good luck to all of you who have applied – I’m looking through the applications as I type and it’s proving to be a very tough decision!

The Wolves in the Walls


Wolves in the walls

Author:   Neil Gaiman

Title: The Wolves in the Walls

Date of Publication:  2007


AR Level: 3.9


Summary of book

The story is about a girl called Lucy who lives with her brother, mother and father. She hears some strange noises coming from the walls of her old house and thinks that it is wolves. The story tells what happens when the wolves DO come out of the walls!
This book is a picture book with some amazing, thought provoking illustrations. It is a little scary though and may scare very young children.


Who should read this book?

Most people will like this book. It is really fun to read aloud (I read it to year five) and they really enjoyed it. However, I think very young children may find it a little too scary. Some of the illustrations are a little worrying at times – although all turns out ok in the end.


Who are the main characters?

Lucy, her brother, her mother and her father.


What can I learn from it?

You can learn a lot about illustrations from this book. Also, the text is written a bit like a calligram – the font of the text matches the meaning of the word. It’s set out a bit like a graphic novel so is very interesting to look at. It uses a LOT of onomatopoeia so if you’re learning about onomatopoeia in school, this is a great one to read! Also, it is an interesting play on ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ so it could be linked to that.



Ownership, family, truth, lies, courage, animals, scary stories


What will excite a reader?

The illustrations are amazing! The author is excellent at building up tension and he chooses just the right words to explain the sounds that the creatures are using. It also has quite an interesting twist at the end!


What did Mrs T think of it?

I loved it! I read it to 5P and they all enjoyed it too. Some of 5P even asked to miss their fife lesson as they wanted to hear what happened in the book! It took about 25 minutes to read and we were all interested all the way through. I can’t wait to read it to another class!

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