Y2 Essex


  • How to Like Snakes

    The Reading Gladiators all enjoyed the book and some even changed their opinion about snakes. We have had a very busy few weeks putting on our Christmas play but they did manage to plan and make a poster today. They all could say what they liked about snakes. They found it challenging to all plan and make a poster together but it is a learning curve!!

  • 5 Maps of Izambard

    Greenways Reading Gladiators only just started reading The Secret Railway this week! We decided to create our maps using Page 59 as inspiration which describes Izzambard as it used to be before the Queen was gone. See if you can see our unicorns, golden birds, fairies and flickering fish with crystal-topped wings!

  • Submission by Burnham on Crouch Primary School

    Our Ossiri musical word pattern

    The children were very intrigued by the glossary of traveller words and wanted to use them in our submission. We looked at Richard O'Neill's other book, Yokki and the Parno Gry, which also had a glossary so we had even more to choose from. The children chose a word and an instrument to accompany it. Some children wanted a partner because they felt a bit shy. We had a lot of fun doing this and it made us think about syllables too!

    Download the file

  • Kings Ford’s Dragon

    At Kings Ford Infants the children designed ice dragons, fire dragons and even a sock dragon. Some of them wrote lovely stories alongside their projects. I am so proud of their efforts and engaged responses to being a reading gladiator.

  • Ice Dragon

    They made a dragon together in class and used pale blue paint with darker blue and silver scales. The children decided that they wanted to make an ice dragon. They thought that as the King was very selfish he would still want to own an ice dragon. The King thought if he had an ice dragon he would be able to freeze everything in the world and would be able to be rule the world.

  • We made rules for characters

    Burnham Gladiators really enjoyed discussing rules and boundaries. We talked about rules that keep you safe, and rules that are a bit silly! Chloe didn’t like following rules her sister set because she was bossy! But Archie replied that his family had rules because they loved him and wanted him to be ok.

    With this in mind, we looked at all the characters in the book and thought up sensible rules for each of them. Serenading thought the cyclists should wear helmets, and Chloe thought the family should all keep close together. Edward didn’t want the pregnant mummy to drink alcohol. Bradan worried that Igor would fall because his sunglasses were so dark.

    We had a great discussion about rules and boundaries.

  • Submission by Great Easton Primary School

    Reading Gladiators picnic party!

    Our final collage is inspired by the last page of Each Peach Pear Plum - all our favourite characters from our Reading Gladiator books have come together for a picnic party to celebrate reading and books. Gladiator Iris had the great idea of putting the children's heads on their favourite characters, so they are in the picture too. The patchwork picnic rug is laid in a flowery meadow in the shade of beautiful trees. Leo and Ella (Gus and Iris) are arriving by train. The General (Victoria) is his usual grumpy self, exclaiming "Who wants to go to a silly Reading Gladiators party anyway?" and the little rabbit says "Me!" The elephant (Billy) is of course tronking happily, with Oliver Drew (Aaron) and Erica (William) nearby. Ossiri (Louisa) has brought her tattin django to play at the party. Alina (Ellie) is looking a little mournful, but if she looks behind her she'll see the moon dragons are flying in to join the party - which will soon cheer her up! We were lucky to have three mummies and a big sister to help us create our collage in a very busy and fun afternoon that was the perfect end to our Reading Gladiators journey.

  • Submission by Burnham on Crouch Primary School

    The Autumn Dragon

    We made an Autumn Dragon in our forest schools area, using leaves, twigs, bark, acorns and stones. We wrote a story together about him coming to school but it is our poem that we want to share with you. We each wrote a line of the poem on a leaf shape. When we scatter the leaves and pick them up, the poem changes. It can be read in any order.

    He is crunchy like a crisp.
    He is gold like a coin.
    He is fast like the wind.
    He is sleepy like an old mean dog.
    He is scrunchy like leaves.
    He is as smooth as an acorn.
    He is shiny like a diamond.
    He is bumpy like a rock.

    We think the King would definitely like to own our dragon, because he is so rare, so we are keeping him hidden in the forest!

  • Reader’s Theatre

    We enjoyed our reader’s theatre activity today. It helped us get to know the characters better. We have chosen another section at the end of chapter three to turn into reader’s theatre too.


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 19th Jun 2018, 9:46pm
    It looks as though you are concentrating very hard on your parts. I'm pleased that it helped you get inside the heads of the characters.
  • John Ray Gladiators – Snaking about!

    The Gladiators are really enjoying the ‘hybrid’ style fiction/non-fiction book…although initial impressions for a few were not very positive after looking at the front picture of a girl in a frock with a bow in her hair! It shows that you can’t always judge the contents of a book by its front cover!

    Interestingly, for some the photos of snakes induced quite strong emotions of “Urghhhhh” accompanied by an appropriate shudder, whereas a couple were so logical “because it is a photo and not real”.

    We had great fun working in pairs and trying to slither like a snake whilst the other partner instructed. Those with long hair found this particularly challenging…a good reason why snakes do not have hair!


    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 22nd Jun 2018, 12:56pm
    I wonder if you will like snakes more at the end of the book?
  • John Ray Gladiators are back with a vengeance, and also snakes!

    John Ray Gladiators are very pleased to have restarted after their SATs interlude. Although somewhat behind in books, we are nonetheless carrying on with the next book ‘I don’t like snakes’.
    So far it has received an interesting reaction, tapping into some children’s fears contrasted to others overriding curiosity.
    You may have also noticed that we now have a ‘Gladiator Gossip’ corner in our library for anything that our gladiators feel the other children might find interesting.


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 14th Jun 2018, 12:41pm
    We love the Gladiators gossip idea. One to pass on to the other Gladiator schools.
  • Our role on the wall work

    We really enjoyed thinking about what the General thinks, feels, says and does. The role in the wall activity was great! We also shared our technique with year 1, who used it to discuss Wilbur and Charlotte after seeing a production of Charlotte’s Web.


    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 24th May 2018, 6:33am
    A great strategy to use to explore characters Burnham. I think you have captured the General brilliantly. 'Burning with anger' describes his feelings so well. I like to imagine him going home at the end of the day and complaining about what has happened to his long suffering wife!
  • Our map of Izzambard

    We’ve had a busy term with snow days and science week so we’re a week late finishing The Secret Railway and too late to enter the mini challenge but we had a go anyway just for fun! The gladiators worked really well together to include everything they loved best from the story, and even the Crystal Caves, which they are all eager to read about in the next book in the series. This book has been loved by us all and has prompted some of our best discussions yet, about the mysterious Grizelda (more scary because never seen, only heard), and the moral ambivalence of Barty (he’s clearly a “good guy” but he was very naughty to hide the key).


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 29th Mar 2018, 3:26pm
    Yes the snow did have an impact so well done for showing some gladiator spirit and carrying on regardless. It sounds like you have had some brilliant discussions and peeled away the layers of some more complex characters. Your map looks super. Well done Great Easton and thank you for sharing.
  • John Ray Gladiators – Grey Island Red Boat (finished!)

    We have come to the end of reading Grey Island Red Boat, and our gladiators thoroughly enjoyed the story. Each group made predictions as to whether it would end in an either ‘doom and gloom’ scenario or ‘happily ever after’. Surprisingly some REALLY wanted it to be doom and gloom!!

    Obviously we won’t be sharing any ‘spoilers’ here, however the gladiators also wrote book reviews of the two books that we have read so far to share them with the school in our school library.
    We look forward to starting our new book after Easter.


    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 21st Apr 2018, 7:38am
    Haha! I like doom and gloom endings too! I wonder if that would feel right for this story?
  • Westlands’ Reading Gladiators

    Our children are very proud to be Reading Gladiators and like to show off the lovely work that they have produced.


    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 24th Mar 2018, 1:11pm
    What a fabulous display. I'm sure you'll have a lot of people looking at this and admiring your wonderful responses to the books. Well done Westlands.
  • Prizes!

    Our Reading Gladiators were delighted to be runners up for their composed music and win two lovely books which are signed by the author and illustrator. These now have pride of place in our reading area along with the poster.


    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 24th Mar 2018, 1:10pm
    A well deserved prize Westlands - happy reading!
  • Secret Railway

    Children explored what they might find if they jumped through the oak table top.


    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 14th Mar 2018, 8:29pm
    How interesting to think of this! It would be easy to see why you might be worried about being surrounded. I wonder if you would become friends?
  • Secret Railway

    Children explored what they might find if they jumped through the oak table top.


    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 14th Mar 2018, 8:30pm
    Wow - I'm intrigued by the 'eerie looking rabbits'! How imaginative.
  • Secret Railway

    Children explored what they might find if they jumped through the oak table top.


    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 14th Mar 2018, 8:31pm
    This reminds me of Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole! I wonder what it would feel like to be a rabbit?
  • Enjoying The Secret Railway

    When discussing why Ella decided to face her fear of the dark (when she went into the Great Grand Library), one gladiator said “she may like her red hat so much because it actually has special powers which she doesn’t really know about yet”. They loved reading Petunia’s funny words.


    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 14th Mar 2018, 8:24pm
    What a clever thought! I wonder what the special powers could be? Petunia does use some interesting words!It's so lovely to see your smiling faces - you look like you are enjoying being Gladiators to me.