Friday, 12 December 2014

KS2 - Writing our own storyboards.

KS2 ( 7- 8 yr olds)

As part of their 'Fairytales' unit, our students look at how to write a storyboard. They learn how to use a storyboard to plan a story; using 'a start', 'a middle', and 'an end'.

 Not only are they writing about fairytales, but they are writing in English. Although English is their mother tongue, all of our students are at school in France, Holland, or further a field.

Below is some of the lovely work we have had back for this unit:

                    Adnan's storyboard for 'The Snowman'.

                             Iman's storyboard for 'The Little Match Girl'.

Lynden's storyboard for 'The Little Match Girl'.

                                      Christy's storyboard for 'Room on the Broom'.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Blackhen's Top Ten Books for Christmas

Christmas is a lovely time to give books and receive them. It is a great way of encouraging children to read and to feed their imagination. This year there are dozens to choose from, whether you buy them online or from a bookshop. Whether you want a pop-up book, noisy book, book without pictures or sticker book.

I still think some of the best are those I loved as a child or as a mother, reading to my two children. They are imprinted on my mind and still hold a special place for me.
We have had a good perusal of books on offer for children this Christmas and have come up with our list of ten books. Some of them are classics and a few are not so well known.


The First Christmas’ – Jan Pienkowski
I love this very traditional book about the Nativity story, because of the wonderful silhouette illustrations.

‘Father Christmas’ – Raymond Biggs
This book still makes me smile and we use the film version of the story in our English course for 6-7 year olds. The book tells the story of a grumpy, miserable Father Xmas, who is fed up with his job.

The Jolly Christmas Postman’ – Allan and Janet Ahlberg
This is a wonderful book for young readers. The book includes real letters that children can take out of the envelopes to read. A delightful book for Christmas.

'Jacqueline Wilson Christmas Cracker' - Jacqueline Wilson
Jam - packed with Jacqueline Wilson goodies! There are festive puzzles, tasty Christmas recipes, perfect present tips and fun Christmas facts. 
'The Best Christmas Present in the World' - Michael Morpurgo
A haunting story from one of our best loved children's writers. A very appropriate story for 2014, the year of the Centenary of WW1.

'Odd Socks Learns All About Christmas' - Melinda
Odd is hoping for a present from Santa. But does Santa ever give presents to cuddly toys?

The Most Beautiful Christmas Story Ever ' - Adina Pasa
Adina is not having good Christmas. A boy at school keeps telling her that Santa doesn't exist.



'Dear Santa' - Rod Campbell
A wonderful book for very young children. Lift the flap on every page and find the present!

‘The Night Before Christmas’ – Clement C. Moore     
The much loved classic Christmas poem is brought to life in this gorgeous picture book. A beautiful present for any child.

'Father Christmas Needs a Wee' - Nicholas Allan
Father Christmas has been drinking drinks since half past three.... Find out what happens in this brilliant and funny counting book.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Key Stage 3 - Gothic Literature


One of the units for our 12-13 year old students is 'Gothic'.

Most of our older students have heard of 'Dracula' and 'Frankenstein, but have not studied the texts or genre of Gothic literature in their French schools. They only know of the characters from films and comics.

In the unit of four lessons, they look at:

1) The Gothic genre
2) Research Dracula or Frankenstein
3) Design a book cover for a Gothic novel
4) Write an interview with a character from a Gothic novel

We believe it is important to have a mixture of written and creative tasks in the units for all of our students. Here are some of the wonderful book cover designs we received this year.

I am always impressed with the imaginative and creative designs they come up with!

 I love the 'foggy' atmosphere that this student has been able to achieve with her front cover for Dracula. I also like the choice of font for the description for the book.

This poster is brilliant! It was all hand drawn by Dan and is really quite creepy when you see it in the flesh!