Y6 West Midlands 2018

Welcome to the 2018-19 Reading Gladiators challenges. Let the reading begin!

Updates

  • Submission by Willenhall Community Primary School

    Willenhall’s Reading Legacy

    Download the file

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 16th Jul 2019, 1:36pm
    We were really impressed with your idea for pyjama parties to spread your love of bedtime reading. You are clearly great role models in your school and should be really proud of yourselves. Thank you for all your hard work this year and good luck for secondary school.
  • Submission by Willenhall Community Primary School

    The Journey of Odysseus

    The children decided to take the iconic front cover and use that as the basis for their map. They used the circular structure to show that in the end, Odysseus returned home. In pairs, they each took what they felt was a key adventure in the story and chose their own way to represent that location. The pupils really enjoyed being creative and artistic with their representation of the long journey.

    Download the file

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 6th May 2019, 9:17pm
    I am really impressed by the way you have considered the structure of the story to create your map. This is a wonderful map and you should be very proud of your work. Well done.
  • Exploring the themes of Secret Horses of Briar Hill

    We’ve loved reading Secret Horses of Briar Hill and after finishing the book we explored and discussed the themes of the book and enjoyed matching the quotations to the themes. It prompted a lot of discussion. We’re now looking forward to reading our next book.

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 18th Mar 2019, 12:33pm
    Fantastic! I can see deep concentration here.
  • Tamburlaine’s Elephants

    Little Sutton y6 Gladiators have really enjoyed exploring the changing identity of Rusti. We felt that the moon and sun represented time and travel and the coins symbolised the accumulated plunder of Delhi but the softer fabric of his turban and jewels represent a softness and lightness in his character which is apparent in his developing relationship with Kavi. Finally, he rests his sword and his suitcase as he settles with his new wife. We hope you like it!

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 8th Mar 2019, 1:06pm
    A really thoughtful piece of work Little Sutton. It demonstrates a real depth of understanding of the characters and themes of this book.
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    Shelley Stratfull 14th Mar 2019, 12:24pm
    We are so glad you like it, thank you!
  • Submission by Willenhall Community Primary School

    The Changing Faces of Kavi

    The pupils brought in objects of their choice to create their portrait. It shows the two sides of Kavi's identity and key elements of the story, such as Borti's cruel arm and Mumu's caring trunk, which influence his character and actions. The pupils included the sign to Delhi to symbolise the idea that despite his changing identity, he remains true to his roots.

    Download the file

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 4th Mar 2019, 9:18am
    A very creative entry Willenhall. It is clear you have really got under Kavi's skin and understood his changing sense of identity.
  • St George’s Blackout Poetry

    This session was so much fun!

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 5th Feb 2019, 3:42pm
    Glad you enjoyed this activity St George's. It is so interesting to see which words sum up the essence of a poem. Hopefully you will now choose your own words very carefully. Did you try the Wordle activity too?
  • St George’s Classic Poetry

    We aren’t going to lie – we are finding it quite challenging but we are all keeping an open mind. The blackout poetry session was brilliant though!

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 5th Feb 2019, 3:35pm
    Challenge is good. Be guided by he children's choices - you could show them some of the mini-challenge entry recordings of children performing a poem.
  • Visualisations of The Tower

    We discussed the atmosphere that had been created by the author through the description of the tower. We then visualised the tower and its surrounding landscape, creating a sense of the atmosphere within our drawings. We believe that despite the ominous description of the setting there was a sense of hope in Kavi’s thoughts and actions.

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 2nd Feb 2019, 10:48am
    Hello Willenhall Gladiators. Thank you for sharing your work and your thoughts about the book. It's evident that there is some thoughtful reading going on and that you are picking up nuances in the tone and style.
  • What a treat!

    At our meeting this lunchtime, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Look closely at the cake toppers, specially designed by Matilda, who absolutely loved all of our books so far. Maybe cake and books is the way forward for us!

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 26th Jan 2019, 1:10am
    Oooo. Perhaps Matilda would like a job in the Reading Gladiators office?
  • Strange Star Readers Theatre prizes

    Thank you so much! Our Y6 gladiators were so thrilled to receive their books and drew lots to choose their first title…most of them have read their first choice and are eagerly awaiting a book swap. The books were presented in assembly and they are all in the process of writing an
    enthusiastic review to inspire other readers. What a way to brighten a dull January!

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 26th Jan 2019, 1:04am
    That's great to hear. Happy reading everyone.
  • St George’s visualization of Eden Court

    We realised how important painting a picture in our mind is to our understanding of the story.

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 21st Nov 2018, 6:25am
    Yes that's very true. Visualisation is such an important part of comprehension.
  • St George’s Visualisation of Eden Court

    Our pictures were so similar yet different at the same time. It generated some lively discussions!!

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 20th Nov 2018, 4:09pm
    Those discussions are so important! It's fascinating to see how others visualise isn't it? It's a bit like being able to look inside someone else's head.
  • Visualisations of Eden Court

    Following a discussion, the children drew their visualisations of Eden Court using quotes from the text. We discussed the use of language and the image and atmosphere that Emma Carroll was trying to create such as the driveway being described as ‘choked with weeds’.

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 16th Nov 2018, 2:21pm
    Visualisation is so important when we are reading to help us understand the text. It's really interesting to look at the way other readers have visualised something and then to look back at the text to compare again. Well done Willenhall!
  • St Matthew’s Secret Horses of Briar Hill

    St Matthews Mini-Challenge Submission

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 9th Nov 2018, 10:41pm
    An emotional ensemble piece, St Matthews. The images of the trees in the background remind me of photographs of the World War 1 battlefields.
  • Characters

    Here is a poster the gladiators created about the characters. I love the illustrations; they are inspired by the drawing in the book. Our competition entry is on it’s way.

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 8th Nov 2018, 2:08pm
    Hi St Matthews, it was wonderful to visit your school today and find out about the interesting things that you have been doing. Your teachers are so proud of you! Well done everyone.
  • Submission by Bearwood Primary School

    Bearwood Primary School The Secret Horses of Briar Hill

    We designed our piece of work to have Foxfire in the centre with words and images associated with sadness and despair on one side and those relate to hope and happiness on the other. We thought aslo bout events in the book that were bittersweet - such Anna's death which is a heart-breaking for Emmaline, but finally releases Anna from pain.

    Download the file

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 6th Nov 2018, 8:03pm
    Just Imagine comment: this is a simple depiction of the Bittersweet theme. It's eyecatching and the key words that you have chosen to reflect the themes in the story stand out. The pencil drawings of the horses are detailed and show that you have been observing closely. We loved the little 3D horse. How did you make it? It was also very intriguing to read about your thought processes. That's an interesting observation that you made about the broken pencils.
  • Submission by Willenhall Community Primary School

    Where there’s darkness, you can always find light.

    The children worked as a team to convey the darkness and hope within the story. Some children found key quotes from the text which they thought showed the two contrasting themes whilst others constructed the winged horse using outlines of their hands. The children decided that the hands could represent the friendship and togetherness of those at Briar Hill.

    Download the file

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 6th Nov 2018, 8:03pm
    Just Imagine comment: This simple image is very effective and well-thought out. The quotations really worked welll with the black and white image too and we liked that you had used your own hands to create the pegasus' wings.
    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 7th Nov 2018, 10:03am
    The amount of thought that has gone into this submission is really impressive. I have enjoyed revisiting the quotes from the story. Very powerful!
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    Sonia Thompson 7th Nov 2018, 1:18pm
    Clever! Love the juxtaposition...It is striking! Well done Willenhall!
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    Tracey Adams 9th Nov 2018, 12:55am
    Amazing presentation. We at St Matthew's are very impressed. Well done!
  • Symbols

    We talked about symbolism and agreed that the Black Horse could symbolise death and disease, while Foxfire could represent hope and Emmaline’s battle to get well and healthy. We also thought the winged horses might be the spirits of the children who had died from TB.

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 16th Oct 2018, 3:49pm
    Brilliant ideas, clearly expressed. Well done Bearwood Primary - you're off to a flying start.
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    Lydia Trapnell 6th Nov 2018, 5:27pm
    I love the way you recorded your thoughts about symbolism. Very intriguing! Lydia Trapnell (Reading Recovery Teacher, Filton Avenue Primary School, Bristol)
  • Little Sutton’s reading reflections

    The children have loved selecting “reflections” for the front of their journals.
    All ready to go…

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 15th Oct 2018, 8:30pm
    What a super idea for the cover of your journals. We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
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    Lydia Trapnell 6th Nov 2018, 5:29pm
    Beautiful! Lydia Trapnell (Reading Recovery Teacher, Filton Avenue, Bristol)
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    Sonia Thompson 7th Nov 2018, 1:20pm
    These journal covers are wonderful. Great work Little Sutton Gladiators!
  • Little Sutton Gladiators

    Little Sutton’s Gladiators have loved beginning the Secret Horses of Briar Hill and indeed some have romped through to the end before me!

    Questions abound and debate is commonplace – does Emmaline REALLY see the horses or is it an effect of the tuberculosis? What happens to Emmaline after the book, is she reunited with her parents? Should there be a sequel?
    One thing is certain.. Thursday lunchtimes will never be quite the same again!

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 15th Oct 2018, 8:28pm
    Hello Little Sutton, Gladiators. Some interesting thoughts from your group. There's a novel called Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr, which is about a girl who has vivid dreams while she is recovering from an illness. It makes you wonder what is real life and what is a dream.
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    Shelley Stratfull 16th Oct 2018, 12:07pm
    Ooh , thank you...we shall investigate!
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    Lydia Trapnell 6th Nov 2018, 5:34pm
    At Filton Avenue Primary School we also felt that this was a book that was very thought-provoking! Emmaline's story raises many questions that go unanswered. It takes a mature reader indeed to interpret some of the underlying themes but not to insist on a concrete answer for everything. Lydia Trapnell (Reading Recovery Teacher, Filton Avenue, Bristol)
  • Journals

    Pupils at Willenhall have loved their exploration of ‘The Secret Horses of Briar Hill’. Pupils often meet on the playground before school each day to discuss the story and share their journal entries.

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 11th Oct 2018, 5:02pm
    We think you should be very proud of these journals. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful work with us. Wonderful!
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    Sophie Eaton 17th Oct 2018, 5:22pm
    Thank you! All of these journals and the illustrations below were completed by the pupils in their own time. They are so caught up in the book, they just have to explore it even further than the discussions we've already had in the sessions. We can't wait to start the next book!
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    Lydia Trapnell 6th Nov 2018, 5:37pm
    These journals look amazing!! I'll definitely share these great pictures with my Gladiators tomorrow to encourage their own creativity in recording their responses to The Secret Horses of Briar Hill. Lydia Trapnell (Reading Recovery Teacher, Filton Avenue, Bristol)
  • Illustrations

    Pupils at Willenhall have portrayed key events of the story in the style of Levi Pinfold.

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 11th Oct 2018, 5:00pm
    TWhat super work. Thank you for sharing it with us. You have looked very carefully at Levi's artwork. I hope you had plenty of time to discuss the book with each other. Well done Wilenhall Gladiators.
  • Session 2

    Session 2 took us into our school’s immersion room where we got a real insight to how it would feel being an evacuee child during WW2. The children shared some fantastic vocabulary regarding Emmaline’s feelings. We finished the session by reading a few chapters in a peaceful, countryside setting with the sounds of horses playing in the background. The children have been set a short, hometime task of either writing a short diary entry in the words of Emmaline or a piece of artwork, showing her feelings.

    Comments

    Sam Keeley
    Sam Keeley 9th Oct 2018, 2:48pm
    We'd love to see those diary entries - I wonder how the experience of being in the immersion room will help with your writing.
  • Our first session

    Year 6 Frederick Birds Reading Gladiators are engrossed with The Secret Horses of Briar Hill. After last years topic of WW2 the children have enjoyed sharing their knowledge and eager to find out more of Emmaline’s secret.

  • Our First Session at St George’s

    Our Year 6’s were so excited to get started. They have all taken The Secret Horses of Briar Hill home tonight are looking forward to getting stuck in! They were blown away by the illustrations!

    Comments

    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 1st Oct 2018, 3:49pm
    Wonderful to hear such enthusiasm St George's! Yes Levi Pinfold's illustrations are one of the reasons we wanted to include this title in the Year 6 selection this year. You will have plenty of opportunity to reflect on them throughout the activities for this beautiful story.
  • Bearwood Yr6 Gladiators Getting Started

    We remembered our trip as “evacuees” on the Severn Valley Railway to Highley in Shropshire and our learning about World War II in Yr4 before reading the first chapter of The a Secret Horses of Briar Hill.

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 1st Oct 2018, 3:36pm
    Hello earwood Reading Gladiators. We are very pleased to see you! Making connections with your own experience will help you get into the book - great idea. Do let us know what you think of the book. Happy Reading, everyone!
  • First Meeting of the Year 6 St Matt’s RGs

    The Year 6 RG Champions, at St Matthew’s, are loving the first book – The Secret Horses of Briar Hill and are deep in conversation, discussing their first impressions and capturing initial ideas. Go Gladiators!

    Comments

    Nicola Gamble
    Nicola Gamble 25th Sep 2018, 6:53pm
    Hello St Matthews Gladiators! We are excited to be joining you on your reading journey this year. We look forward to reading your thoughts about the books.
  • Let the Challenge Begin!

    The 2017- 18 challenges are now completed and we currently enrolling schools for the 2018 -19 challenges. Why not join us?