Y4 Bristol and Somerset


  • The Boy the Bird and the Coffin Maker

    Following our art creations, each member of Year Four Reading Gladiators invented the next adventure for Tito and Alberto. Elen Caldecott taught us when inventing stories, to begin at the end, so our children decided whether it would be happy, tragic or a cliffhanger. Then they made story boards to continue the story from the moment Alberto and Tito set sail. Everyone’s ideas were different: some kept the atmosphere similar, some magpies from other known stories and some changed the mood to humour. Some told their stories and some worked in groups to act them out. Such an engaging few sessions and so much effort put in. We made videos of our storytelling.

  • Ira and Zach’s Memory Scrapbook

    This photo collage represents a few pages from our Scrap Book. We loved getting creative, using all sorts of collage materials, making secret letters, hiding messages within the pages and using real natural materials and even train tickets to create our Memory Scrap Book. We have also created a slide show to show all our pages. This will be blogged or emailed. We loved this book and felt great empathy for the characters.

  • Memory Book

    Our Y4 Gladiators have enjoyed making their memory book pages.

  • Wansdyke’s Map

    Cherries class enjoyed this book, especially the French and phonics links!

  • Submission by St Teresa’s Catholic Primary, Bristol

    Yr 4 COMING TO ENGLAND St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, Bristol

    This is the Powerpoint presentation our Year 4 Gladiators have produced after reading 'Coming to England' by Floella Benjamin.

    Download the file

  • Goldfish Boy – our questions

    Ater reading The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson,  we wrote these questions to put to the author

    1.If the book was longer, would Old Nina find her son?
    2. Will you make Goldfish Boy number 2?
    3. Are you going to do more mystery books or try a different genre?
    4. Will you make a goldfish boy series, or maybe a series about something else?
    5. Who inspired you to be an author?
    6. What makes a good mystery book?
    7. What inspired you to write the goldfish boy?
    8. Do you get ideas from other famous authors?
    9. Are all your stories going to be in real life settings?
    10. Do you think your stories will always have a ‘real’ issue like OCD, ADHD, ASD etc?

    Reading Gladiators from Cherries class at Wansdyke Primary


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 22nd Jul 2018, 12:05pm
    Do look out for the Light Jar, Lisa's new book.
  • Submission by St Teresa’s Catholic Primary, Bristol

    The Wild Swans Challenge (St. Teresa’s Catholic Primary School)

    The Gladiators selected the key events in the story which they felt would be good to act out. We chose some simple costumes and props to help us represent different parts of the story and went outside on the school grounds to photograph the scenes. It was a cold, cloudy, windy day which helped to set the scene!

    Download the file

    Submission by Filton Avenue Primary School

    What happens next? The Boy, The Bird and The Coffin Maker storytelling

    Following our art creations, each member of Year Four Reading Gladiators invented the next adventure for Tito and Alberto. Elen Caldecott taught us when inventing stories, to begin at the end, so our children decided whether it would be happy, tragic or a cliffhanger. Then they made story boards to continue the story from the moment Alberto and Tito set sail. Everyone's ideas were different: some kept the atmosphere similar, some magpies from other known stories and some changed the mood to humour. Some told their stories and some worked in groups to act them out. Such an engaging few sessions and so much effort put in. Our videos of the story telling are on Dropbox. We hope you enjoy them. I was impressed with the language and phrases that the children invented. It proves that they are outstanding readers with a passion for narrative!

  • Bristol’s Challenge Day artwork

    What outstanding presentations today. All our schools should be so proud as every presentation was exceptional and the ideas were all presented in such creative ways. All our children showed such respect for each other too. Just brilliant!


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 22nd Jun 2018, 12:54am
    Sara gave us a wonderful report about your day. We are so impressed with everything that you have done. Congratulations to all the Bristol schools.
  • Designing a new cover…

    Following an amazing Challenge Day, our Reading Gladiators designed a new cover and blurb for the book of their choice.


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 22nd Jun 2018, 12:52am
    Hi Filton Avenue - I heard that you were absolutely awesome at the challenge day. Well done to all of you and thank you for sharing these wonderful book jackets.
    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 26th Jun 2018, 10:42am
    You have been a joy Filton Avenue Gladiators! We have been so impressed with your consistent enthusiasm and wonderful work on the books this year. Give yourselves a cheer!
  • Coming to the end!

    St.Teresa’s Gladiators look contemplative as they reflect on the wonderful books we have shared this year and begin to prepare for their final challenge.
    Good luck to all the Year 4 Gladiators!


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 15th Jun 2018, 12:39am
    Hi St Teresa's You have been amazing Gladiators! I wonder which books you have enjoyed the most. Good luck with the final challenge!
  • Camp stops play!

    Cherries went on camp last week and my reading gladiators were gutted when they realised it meant we missed the Boy and the Coffin Maker submission, as this was a story we loved!

    Daisy didn’t let 3 days away stop her reading though.

    We all enjoyed reflecting on the magical element of the last book and we thought maybe you could only see the Island if you believed in it, a little like some of the other stories where this happened (Christmasaurus -Tom Fletcher and One Christmas Wish -Katherine Rundell).


    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 23rd May 2018, 1:39pm
    Please email it to us still or post it as an update as we'd love to see it! You certainly had glorious weather for your camp. Isn't it lovely to be able to read outside? It's great to see you making connections with other books too. Well done.
  • The boy, the bird and the coffin maker.

    We used the inside cover images to discuss who the characters might be, where they have been and where they are going. Also, what they are searching for. We then imitated the images in our own artwork. We are finishing the story now and Megan’s comment was, “But that’s not the end… I need to know what happens next!” So we will be inventing our own storyboards to tell Alberto and Tito’s next adventure.


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 21st Apr 2018, 7:30am
    Hello Filton Avenue. We are always impressed by your artwork. What a creative group you are! Please do post storyboards when have done them becuase we would like to know what happens to Alberto and Tito next as well.
    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 23rd Apr 2018, 9:58am
    Stunning! I think Megan speaks for all of us. It is story that really draws you in isn't it and we just don't want to leave Allora. Looking forward to reading your storyboards.
  • Busy making memories!

    St. Teresa’s Year 4 Gladiators are enjoying getting creative with the ‘Little Bits of Sky’ challenge.


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 23rd Apr 2018, 1:24pm
    Those lovely smiles say it all!
  • Questions for Floella…

    Great home learning from Macy this week. Can’t wait to find out the answers.


    Ali Knight 1st Mar 2018, 6:45pm
    What great questions! I'd love to know the answer to question 3.
  • Coming to England ourselves!

    In our Reading Gladiator group, we all have families to came to England. So our home challenge this week was to find out what it was like for them, compared to Floella Benjamin’s experience back in 1960. Macy recorded her discussion in her Reading Journal. She also thought of some questions to tweet Floella Benjamin. (apologies that photo is upside down!)

  • Letter from…

    Without giving away the story, in one part, Ira discovers a letter. She replies and hides the letter to be found by someone else. Our Gladiators decided to write their own letters ‘to whom it may concern’ and have hidden them in secret locations. One girl was happy to share her letter. We thought other schools might like this idea too.


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 8th Feb 2018, 1:40pm
    What an excellent idea. I am sure others will pick this idea up. Now you've given us something to think about as well.
    Kathleen Emerton-Court 22nd Feb 2018, 11:08am
    Love this idea! I will do something similar with my group here in Essex, thanks for the inspiration
    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 22nd Feb 2018, 11:59am
    Ali Knight 28th Feb 2018, 5:12pm
    We loved this idea too! Our Reading Gladiators suggested making it look old and crumpled by tea staining it.
    Jane Baker 6th Mar 2018, 3:49pm
    Thanks Ali - we often age our writing with tea! However, in this case, Summer was determined it look new as she was writing for now. We did all put our letters in envelopes and hide them though, so maybe in twenty years, they'll b discovered by another pupil at the school and by then, they really will be old!
  • Memory Book Challenge

    Yes I am one of those teachers who got the book order muddled so we have just finished ‘Little Bits of Sky’. The group absolutely loved collaborating on making a Memory Book as if Ira or Zach. They used lots of collage art ideas as they felt it was a very special book and deserved special effects! We look forward to submitting the finished book for the next mini challenge.


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 8th Feb 2018, 1:41pm
    Hello Filton Avenue Gladiators. It looks as though there is some interesting collaboration going on here. We look forward to seeing the finished result. Well done everyone!
  • Year 4 Reading Gladiators from St.Teresa’s

    We were very lucky to spend an afternoon with David John, who came from Trinidad to be a professional rugby player. He told us all about his life in Trinidad and his move to England.




    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 26th Jan 2018, 7:25pm
    That's Amazing! You should send a tweet to Floella Benjamin, I am sure she will be interested to know where your enquiry has led you. Thank you for sharing.
    Jane Baker 7th Feb 2018, 7:14pm
    Wow this is amazing. What a brilliant opportunity.
  • Mistake?

    We’ve loved the description so much in this book. We were a bit shocked when Wansdyke’s beady-eyed Hayah spotted a grammatical error on page 35. Did anyone else pick it up? !


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 16th Jan 2018, 10:17pm
    First of all, well done Hayah. We think you have spotted the noun phrase 'tropical scented water'. It is conventional when two adjectives modify a noun to use a hyphen. However, even though we might learn that at school, it isn't a hard and fast rule and sometimes professional writers might choose not to do this because they want to create a particular effect in their writing. For instance, with the noun phrase 'tropical scented water', there are a number of choices. The writer could write tropical-scented water, or perhaps tropical scented-water. I am sure you can work out the different meanings of those two phrases. If you say the phrases aloud and listen carefully as you repeat them, you will probably hear that you emphasise different words when you say them. Now do the same with tropical scented water, and you can hear each word has the same weight or emphasis, and the phrase has a different meaning to the two hyphenated examples. The writer might have deliberately chosen to do that. Here's another example, do you know the group the Black Eyed Peas? They could have called themselves the Black-eyed Peas but have chosen not to hyphenate the adjectives. The Just Imagine team are impressed that you picked this up. And you are right to notice it. Of course the only way we can find out if this was a deliberate artistic choice and not an oversight is to ask the writer. And if you are learning about hyphenating adjectives in noun phrases at school, then it is important to do that while you are learning about the conventions of punctuation.
    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 17th Jan 2018, 8:11am
    There's an excellent children's punctuation book that I think you would like called Twenty-odd ducks by Lynne Truss. When you have read the book, you might like to make your own cartoons for the different examples that you spot!
    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 18th Jan 2018, 6:49pm
    Oh, I think you might have spotted the typographical error 'a instant', which should be 'an instant'. Isn't it fascinating how easy it is to read the correct words, even when they are incorrect? We'd love to know if this was the mistake that you spotted. Are you going to tell us?
    Alice Hall 19th Jan 2018, 10:14pm
    Yes it was the 'a instant' but we love the sound of the book you've recommended. This text has given us plenty to talk about but now we've even more!
    Jane Baker 7th Feb 2018, 7:16pm
    I spotted 'a instant' too. This is a common writing error in my class so it will be a great teaching tool that we learn from mistakes and hopefully will help us all improve our work.