See our introduction to Hamilton's Harry Potter Inspire/Revise unit.
'The best term ever at primary school'
That was the verdict of the children I spoke to last year at Sherwell Valley Primary School n Torbay, Devon. I was amazed, not because children were discussing a favourite term, but because the term to which they were referring was Spring Term of Y6 – their last before SATs. This is normally when most children feel they hit a low point in their primary school career. Ruth Merttens, Hamilton Education Director
Stand outside a school in February, and parents of 11 year olds will tell you that their children feel pressured, that the curriculum has narrowed to SATs practice, spellings, grammar and punctuation, and that the teacher seems almost as stressed as the children. No-one is having fun, no-one is inspired, and it is certainly not the best term ever!
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS!
INSPIRE AND REVISE
At Hamilton, we were so impressed by the way this teacher had effected this transformation (whilst still achieving excellent SATs results) that we have shamelessly copied her idea (THANK YOU KATIE!). From today, we are providing all of the necessary English revision for SATs, including spelling, grammar and punctuation, through inspirational and highly motivating contexts. We will be using sets of related texts to focus and motivate revision.
Study like Granger
Protect like Weasley
Live like Potter
The revision is carefully structured around the different text types, and every bit of grammar you need to revise is provided within these motivating and humorous contexts. There are PowerPoints for the teaching and children's activities for comprehension – it is all there, structured and resourced for you – ready to go! There is no reason why Y6 Term 2 should not be stimulating as well as robust in terms of SPAG, comprehension and writing.
With banners on the walls and a Sorting Hat on the shelf, you can turn your class into Hogwarts! Children draft howlers, predict the sorting, write instructions and commentaries for Quidditch, and end up writing newspaper reports for Rita Skeeter! And throughout, the grammar and punctuation revision is systematic and sustained.
In the Torbay school, several children who had never previously read a book told me they were now on Harry Potter 6. Those children did well in their SATs. But far more importantly, they left school reading and talking about books and wanting to write. What’s not to like?
Coming next: The Greek myths – including Percy Jackson.