Our Learning – English


Primary SPAG Glossary

As requested by some parents, please find links below for some useful English books. These will help you to support your children with work at home, and your children can use them to remind them of skills learnt in school.
Click here for English book

Please sign up to the free website Oxford Owl for free online ebooks that follow our school reading scheme.

Oxford Owl

Primary SPAG Glossary

Maths and English Evening – 9th March 2017

Maths and English evening 2017 presentation

Monthly Writing Competitions

This academic year we have started a monthly writing competition on our school Newsletter/Facebook page. The winners so far have been Meadow in Year 4 for a fantastic poem and Natalie in Year 3 for an excellent story.
See below for the next few competitions:

Dec Comp

Dec Comp 2

Feb Comp

Feb Comp 2

Handwriting and Presentation

Since September 2016 we have been using the Pen Pals Handwriting Scheme. This involves a handwriting gym where children in every year group practise full body movements to support the fine motor skills needed for writing. The interactive scheme visually demonstrates letter formation and joins before allowing the children to practise the handwriting for themselves.

This academic year we have introduced a half termly ‘Handwriting and Presentation’ award. Two children are chosen from each class to receive the award for their efforts and improvement with their handwriting and presentation across the curriculum. The children receive a certificate, badge and iPad session to reward them for their dedication!

handwriting award

Best Piece of Work

Every child from Year 1 to Year 6 has a special ‘Best Piece of Work’. This piece is focused on writing but can be written work from English, Extended writing, Science, Topic, R.E or any subject! The writing is photocopied, laminated and always accessible. The best piece is chosen by the teacher and the child to celebrate their understanding, presentation, handwriting and any focused targets the child may have achieved. Every time a child completes written work they are encouraged to ‘beat’ their best piece.

Peer Reading

At least once a term the Academy holds a peer reading session where the children swap classes and read with their peers. The children absolutely love the chance to share books with others and use their own reading skills to support each other. It has proved a great way of developing children’s love of reading and friendship.
Autumn Term – Christmas Jumper Day peer reading. Children bring in their favourite Christmas related story to share.
Spring Term – World Book Day peer reading. Children bring in a book by their favourite author to share.
Summer Term – Summer time peer reading. Children bring in a book about a topic they’ve enjoyed learning about this academic year to share outside in the sun!

peer reading

Reading Scheme

At Ardley Hill Academy our current reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree. As the UK’s most successful reading scheme, Oxford Reading Tree is currently used in over 80% of primary schools and has helped millions of children from all over the world learn to read … and love to read. Rooted in reading for pleasure and with systematic phonics at its heart, Oxford Reading Tree’s well-loved characters, breadth and varied writing styles give children everything they need to become confident readers.
Oxford Reading Tree books include series such as Floppy’s Phonics, Biff, Chip and Kipper, Traditional Tales, Songbirds Phonics, inFact, Story Sparks and Project X Code books.
Although this is our school reading scheme we always encourage children to read a range of texts at home too. Child friendly newspapers such as First News, menus, graphic novels, magazines and posters will enrich their vocabulary and encourage discussion which will deepen their understanding.

Roald Dahl Day – September
Each year Ardley Hill Academy celebrate Roald Dahl’s birthday with a Dahlicious Dress Up Day! All the adults and children dress up as their favourite Roald Dahl characters and shared their favourite books by him. Each lesson has a Roald Dahl twist too! Some activities included measures and capacity inspired by ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ and using prefixes and suffixes to create ‘BFG’ Gobblefunk words. There was also lots of fantastic illustrative art work based on the style of Quentin Blake.

We raised £185.20 this year for the Roald Dahl Marvellous Children’s Charity.
To find out more about this please go to http://www.roalddahl.com/charity

National Poetry Day – October

Every year the Academy takes part in National Poetry Day. In 2017 each class created and performed a poem linked to their topic learning as well as learning a Harvest related poem (off by heart!) which was recorded onto our school Harvest CD and performed to grandparents at our Harvest assembly.

Last year to celebrate National Poetry Day KS1 and KS2 entered a national poetry competition set by Young Writers. The KS1 theme was ‘Poetry Safari’ and KS2 wrote their poems based on the theme of ‘Once Upon a Dream’. All the children wrote fantastic poems and were keen to explore new genres of poetry such as limericks, narratives and kennings.
The younger children did not miss out! In Pre School children listened to a range of exciting poems and in Wales and Ireland classes the children listened to, acted out and wrote whole class poems based on their weekly theme work.
January 2017 update – We are delighted to announce that a huge number of KS1 and KS2 children’s work has been selected for publication! We are very excited to receive our copy of the published poetry books in early March!
March 2017 update – We hope you have received your copy of the published poetry books featuring the poems written by Ardley children. We have both our school copies on display in the KS1 and KS2 areas of the school so please pop in if you would like to have a look.
For more information please go to https://www.youngwriters.co.uk/

Poetry Day

Reading Week – 27th February – 3rd March 2017

This year Ardley Hill Academy had their very first Reading Week! During the week children took part in a Get Caught Reading competition (with winners in each year group all getting a book prize!), linked their English, Maths and Topic learning to reading, explored e-books and completed the Usborne Sponsored Reads! The week also coincided with World Book Day and a visit from the author Josh Lacey!

World Book Day – 2nd March 2017

This year we were blown away by the creative and unique outfits for World Book Day! This year we had a whole school assembly to celebrate all the different book characters we had in school, completed peer reading across year groups and linked our English and Maths learning to books. In addition the staff worked closely with FOAH to put on a fantastic evening event including a movie (book based!) night, dinner and then a bedtime story by the teachers. This year nearly 200 pupils attended this wonderful event!

World Book Day 17


Author Visit – Josh Lacey – 1st March 2017

On Wednesday 1st March we were very lucky to have the published author, Josh Lacey, visit the Academy! He led a whole school assembly reading extracts from his Dragonsitter and Grk books followed by a question and answer session. Throughout the day he completed creative writing workshops in Year 4 and 5 which allowed the children to explore their own story writing ideas and get personal feedback from a real author! A lucky group of Year 6 children also interviewed Josh Lacey about his life and being an author. At the end of the day Josh Lacey sold and signed his books on the playground.

Josh Lacey 17


Author Visit – Sue Batten – 21st April 2017

Sue Batten came in to read her brand new book, Colin and Carrie Stories, to the children in KS1 this week. The children loved hearing the stories read with such enthusiasm and having the chance to ask questions to a real author!

Author Visit – Gillian Overitt – 8th June 2017

Gillian Overitt, author of Max’s Magical Dream, visited us this week to share extras from her books during assembly. Children in KS2 had the chance to interview her and find out more about how she creates characters, plot ideas and include all the SPAG vocabulary they are learning! Lots of children even managed to get a signed copy of her brand new book too!

Usborne Sponsored Read

During Reading Week the Academy took part in the Usborne Ready, Steady, Read and Ready, Steady, Listen sponsored reads. We were delighted with the amount of reading the children engaged in and amazed that the Academy raised £960 to spend on books! Each class now has a special selection of books to enjoy as a class thanks to this wonderful sponsored read.

Usborne Sponsored Read 17

Scholastic Book Fair

We are pleased to be associated with the Scholastic Book Fair which takes place at least twice a year at Ardley Hill Academy. The book fair will usually be in school during the week leading up to and including the Festive Fair (December) and Midsummer Fair (July).


Drama Club

Watch this space for more details from Mr Wilby.


As requested by some parents, please find links below for some useful English books. These will help you to support your children with work at home, and your children can use them to remind them of skills learnt in school.

Click here for English book