Category Archives: English

Book Week 2016 – Sponsored Read


Book Week this year has been jampacked with exciting reading opportunities. To start things off, we launched a sponsored read and challenged all children, from Nursery to Year 6, to read for 15 minutes everyday for a week.

Each year group was challenged to earn as much money as possible through reading sponsorship, with the promise that whatever they earned they could keep and spend on lovely new books for their classrooms.

The response from the children and parents was overwhelming, with a grand total of £1391 being raised for new books.  Usborne, our book sponsor, then gifted a further £834 of free books to say well done to Billesley!  A whopping £2225 for the children to spend.

A special mention went out to 14 children, who between them raised an amazing £650! They received a thank you certificate during our Monday assembly and a rapturous round of applause.

Each Year Group is now currently browsing the Usborne catalogue and choosing the books they want to purchase,  read and keep in their classrooms. Wonderful, wonderful stuff!

I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to all the parents and children for being so generous and helping the school to raise such a fantastic amount of money, to help inspire reading.

Reading is the key to success.

Mr Hudson


Book Week 2016 – Author Visit


As part of a very busy Book Week, the children in Years 3,4,5 and 6  were paid a visit by John Dougherty, a local author who has written children’s stories, such as….

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John delivered a rip-roaring assembly to Years 3&4 and Years 5&6, in which he caused riotous laughter, sings songs, reciting poems, telling jokes and answering the children’s questions. Importantly he talked lots and lots about books, reading and being an author.


In the afternoon, John ran a workshop for a group of children who the teachers felt needing inspiring to read more regularly at home. John read excerpts from his and other authors books, and got the children chatting all about what they liked and didn’t like about the books he was reading out loud to them.


Reports back from the children were very positive and we look forward to helping them become more inspired by books, comics, web pages and newspapers – ANYTHING to get them reading more often.

Why do want them to read more often? Because we know that if a child reads regularly at home with mum or dad, they do much, MUCH better at school, in ALL subjects.

We want our children to achieve and to achieve they have to read.  Simples.

If you would like help or advice about how to help and encourage your child to read more at home, please speak to Mr Hudson.

Book Week 2016 – Howbraveisthewren

img_0725As part of Book Week, we were delighted to welcome a very special visitor to Billesley, to help in our quest to inspire every child to read every day. Children reading everyday is our top priority as we know what a HUGE impact daily reading has on a child’s education and happiness.


Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 met Jenny from Howbraveisthewren, who drove in the playground in her wonderful reading caravan and mobile bookshop. The children visited Jenny in small groups and shared inspiring stories, all read by Jenny.  She asked the children lots of questions and listened to their thoughts and opinions. Jenny was so impressed by the children of Billesley, how well they listened and how insightful their comments were.


Both the children and staff alike returned from the caravan enthused and inspired with lots and LOTS to talk about. Everyone loved their time with Jenny and we look forward to welcoming her back to Billesley Primary School.

Remember – ALL research clearly shows that children who read regularly do much better at school than children who do not.  It is that simple.  We suggest 10-15 mins everyday.  If you would like to talk about ways to help your child read at home, please speak to Mr Hudson.

Mr Hudson presents….

This is the second, in what will be a series of blog posts, showcasing different examples of the amazing work going on in English at Billesley Primary School. These young men have been studying the poem The Sound Collector by Roger McGough with Mrs Lynch in Year 4.

After exploring the use of language, rhyme and imagery, the children were tasked with writing their own poem inspired by the original.  Not only have these budding poets written a masterpiece apiece (boom) but they were also prepared to perform their poems, with sound effects and actions!

Sit back and prepare to be WOWED!

Alien Bee 2016

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On Friday 6th May, Billesley Primary held its very first Alien Bee competition – and what a roaring success it was!

An Alien Bee is a bit like a Spelling Bee, but instead of spelling the words, the children have to read them. However that’s not the hard part!  All of the words in the Alien Bee are alien words, which means they are not real, sensible words; rather, they are complete and utter nonsense words – all made up using the different sounds that the children practice everyday in their phonics lessons. The job of an alien word, is to find out if the children know their sounds and can use them confidently.

Throughout the previous week, each class held a competition to find their class-champion- alien- word-reader, culminating in the grand final in front of  friends and family on Friday afternoon.  The stage was set……

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Each class finalist competed against the other finalists from their year group, each taking turns to read  alien words, until they got one wrong.  The competition carried on until only one person was left standing in each year group.


Oh it was a tense and exciting affair! Nails were bitten and breath was held. Audible gasps and spontaneous applause echoed, until only three brave warriors were left, holding their small but perfectly formed trophies aloft.

Our congratulations to our three champions and all our finalists; you embodied the Billesley spirit  perfectly – confident, able, courageous and above all, fantastic role-models to your peers.  We are very proud of you all. Three cheers!

Mr Hudson

Presenting our work…

This is the first, in what will be a series of blog posts, showcasing some of the amazing work going on in English, at Billesley Primary School. Children having a real purpose and audience for their writing, is an essential component for motivation and enjoyment; not to mention ensuring that the vocabulary, clause structures and use of grammar befit the task at hand…

Here is part of an adventure story, written by a Year 5 student, in which she is transported back in time (via a time-travelling tent) to the V.E day celebrations in London 1945. A rip-roaring first person narrative, full of wonder, colourful characters and bona fide accents to draw the listener in.  Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

Currently at Yardley Wood Library, there is a display of Year 5’s written historical recounts of the life of Anne Frank and some very moving war-inspired poetry.  It is all beautifully presented and is a testament to the hard work of both the children, and their wonderfully dedicated and talented teachers Miss Zielinska and Miss Watson.

Mr Hudson

Staff reading INSET

This week, as part of our continued drive to raise standards and improve outcomes for our children, the teachers supported each other in a reading standardisation task. Each teacher brought a selection of their guided reading assessment records, and a selection of the children’s work, relating to our daily guided reading teaching.

After the parameters of the task were set, pairs of teachers critically reviewed their colleagues work, measuring it against agreed expectations and school policy. After discussing their findings, they were able to then identify what their colleague was doing well, and what areas of teaching practice could be developed moving forward.

Training such as this takes place every week at Billesley Primary and our teaching staff work incredibly hard to support each other and ensure we as a school continue to achieve excellence in everything we do.

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World Book 2016

For World Book Day, everyone dressed up as their favourite character from their favourite book or comic.  As usual, the children and staff at Billesley did themselves proud and made a HUGE effort; all raising money for our BIllesley Autism week.

The day started with the children being read a story by a completely new teacher! At 9.10 am precisely, every teacher in the school headed off to a different classroom clutching their favourite book. Down the corridors, I saw Postman Pat off to deliver his story, closely followed by Mary Poppins, Cruella De Vil and Where’s Wally.  Behind them, Harry Potter, Superman, a big brown bear, a dinosaur, a white rabbit, Alice in Wonderland and a crayon!

It was a sight behold and no mistake!

Here are some photographs of the special story times……

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But this was just the beginning……

Throughout the day, the whole school wrote a follow-on story. Two teams, comprising of all of the classes in the school, wrote a story  – together! The stories started in Reception and slowly made their way through the school, with each class reading the story so far, and then, writing the next page.

At the end of the day, there was a school assembly in which Mrs Clifton and Mr Rogerson, read both of the stories to the children. They were fantastic! They are currently being typed up for publishing!


The Tent……


On a cold February morning, a strange occurrence occurred…..

As the children of Billesley came to school, they were greeted by the unannounced arrival of a mysterious tent; a tent pitched in the playground no less!  Crowds gathered and questions were asked. Eye-brows were raised and  telephone calls were made. The immediate area was cordoned off and an emergency assembly called……..

From within, sounds of snoring could be heard, suggesting perhaps a weary traveler in need of rest. Indeed a note in the most peculiar handwriting (handwriting  of a time now past) asserted much the same – ‘let me rest‘ – penned in earnest.  The note made reference to acts beyond the imagination – time travel to worlds unknown……

Later evidence of movement, hunger and consciousnesses. A faint whistle drifted through the air and beyond…

The children wrote letters of enquiry to learn much more, and on the following day received their replies.  The  plot thickened….

Such an event inspired much debate and discussion, children eager to give their opinion; keen to postulate the existence of a person or persons unknown.

Mr Hudson – English Leader.

Star Wars Competition

Mr Hudson asked the children in Reception and KS1 to enter his Star Wars competition. The children had to draw a picture of their favourite Star Wars character.  The children also had the chance to enter ANOTHER competition to win some fantastic Star Wars books for the school library.

Below are the runners up and the winner.  Have a  look at  their brilliant artwork. Very impressive.

     Ismail   – Stromtooper and Yoda               Konain – Yoda

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                         Seema – Yoda                                   Tawsiful – Yoda

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            Azlaan   -Stromtrooper                      Maria – Princess Leia

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                                     Arash is the WINNER for his fantastic C3-PO

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Well done to everyone for entering.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed for wining the books!

The entry forms have been posted.