Janet Gough, Teaching and Learning Consultant -“ Primary English and Literacy, Editor NATE Primary Matters magazine
Get ready for two more amazingly good books from the -˜Opening Doors' series penned by Bob Cox, this time in collaboration with Leah Crawford and Verity Jones. Drawing on solid evidence and their own experiences, this formidable alliance of authors offer books which have everything a primary teacher needs to inspire and captivate young minds. English lessons which are a far cry from dreary comprehension activities await as these books, one for 6-9 year olds and one for 10-13 year olds, ignite the spark to lead to a rich and deep learning experience.

-˜Teach to the highest level you dare' is advice I frequently offer to primary teachers, and these gems do just that. Children (and their teachers) will be exposed and enthralled by the suggested outstanding texts which range from English and worldwide heritage to contemporary fiction - and also includes pupils' work which has been inspired by these approaches.

Helpfully separated into poetry and prose, which also includes non fiction, the easily-navigated units of work are packed with ideas and suggestions to access what might initially be considered too challenging for young readers. They are not. The authors' experiences show that children delight in discovering famous writers and savouring a wide variety of literary styles.

The chosen texts increase access to literature and cultural capital for both the teacher and pupils and they have the authors' helpful comments and hints throughout the books to guide them. The potential for children to acquire a deeper and wider vocabulary, more knowledge and a wide range of styles is vast. Suggested links to the wider curriculum and suggestions for extensive linked reading to take the learning further are abundant.

Anyone familiar with the approaches in Bob's previous books will immediately feel at home as they are re-presented here. Grammar and punctuation are included, not as uninspiring, isolated -˜spot that adverbial' type of exercises but as meaningful elements of teaching the craft of writing. Children are given choices to extend their own ideas and writing, always inspired by a text or image. Film clips, too, are an integral component, but only where appropriate and connected, not as a hastily churned out diary entry after watching a random animation.

A helpful glossary explaining the terms used, a wide range of core and linked texts, and tried and tested methods to increase the skills of the children and their teachers are all included in these excellent books. If you are a teacher keen to enhance your teaching of English, these new publications from Crown House, available just in time for the autumn term, are an essential addition to your classroom. Not only will your pupils benefit, but you will become a more knowledgeable, wider-read and better English teacher as a result.
Guest | 31/07/2019 01:00
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