Year 5

Each year, participating schools share the brilliant journeys that they take with Reading Gladiators

  • Welcome to Reading Gladiators 2021/2022

    Welcome to Reading Gladiators 2021/2022. With new books and a new look on the website, sharing top quality titles with children has never been easier. Your login will give you access to the session guides and resources. All the details you need are in the Running Your Reading Gladiators Group introductory guide, including the key dates for the new Teachers’ book club sessions and LIVE author panel events. We hope you enjoy your first title. We can’t wait to meet your groups here in the online community and we look forward to hearing all about your first books very soon.

  • Week 1: Troofriend

    Using the iPads and a fantastic website called Padlet, the Year 5 Reading Gladiators at Knockhall created their own discussion board, thinking about their new book and its many themes. We thought about robots and androids, sharing what we knew about them already and what ones we knew from real life and fiction. We also thought about anthropomorphic characters from books, TV and film. One key part of the discussion was how we connect with these characters, and the children made valid points about sharing the same emotions as the characters. They could also make connections with their own experiences, so that they could show empathy for the characters. It was an informative discussion and using Padlet helped to bring it all to life. Here, you will see circle maps from our ideas and some quotes from the Padlet, which ended up quite big to upload!


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 8th Jul 2021, 9:03pm
    That sounds like an excellent first session. Lots of discussion and using the circle map graphic really helps to consolidate the ideas of the group. Using Padlet sounds useful too.
  • Week 3: Troofriend

    Throughout our journey with Ivy, we have been thinking more about the possibility of androids being able to understand and experience different emotions. This week, the children explored this idea further through the ultimate creative writing challenge – 3 different activities to be completed in 30 minutes. All the activities were based around robots and androids. The first activity involved writing short stories about an abandoned robot based on a drawing by Chris Riddell. The children wrote poems based on the artwork of Matt Dixon for the second activity, and to finish, they wrote monologues as Ivy, which concluded the session nicely. The session was truly productive as well as creative. It was such a joy to read the children’s work. They should be so proud of themselves! 😀


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 8th Jul 2021, 8:57pm
    Goodness - your group certainly do a lot of writing! You are always so creative in coming up with ideas beyond the session guidance. I hope the children enjoyed the challenge.
  • Week 2: Troofriend

    The Year 5 Reading Gladiators at Knockhall continued to read ‘Troofriend’, learning more about Ivy and her relationship with Sarah. In our session, we looked at another robot adventure, featuring two old favourite characters, Dennis and Gnasher. We watched clips from an episode of the cartoon series and explored the character of Jacques in great detail. The children came up with some fascinating points and by the end of the session, we came up with a fabulous double bubble map as well as an interesting comparison table. Our discussion was later shared on Twitter and we had some wonderful feedback from Kirsty Applebaum herself, saying that she loved the comparison. For me, who planned the activity, it was such a splendid complement. The children made it successful with their fantastic ideas and awesome input 😀


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 8th Jul 2021, 8:51pm
    How lovely that Kirsty took the time to engage with you on Twitter and linking new books to old favourites helps build the reading repertoire within Reading for Pleasure - great work Knockhall.
  • Week 5: Where the World Turns Wild

    The Year 5 Reading Gladiators at Knockhall Primary School continued to work on their anthology of nature poems to share with the school community. Here, you will see two beautiful poems about lavender and violets, both are inspired by the works of Chrissie Gittins. In the session, we celebrated our love for books, thinking about two wonderful quotes from ‘Where the World Turns Wild’. We bought in a selection of our favourite books and discussed them with the rest of the group. Our focus book was mentioned, along with some old favourites, including ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘Awful Auntie’. As for me, I shared with the group one of my favourite books from the whole of Reading Gladiators, ‘The Umbrella Mouse’. The children were very interested to hear about the storyline and how the author was inspired by the actual stories of the brave animals that served during the Second World War. I hope that they will have the chance to explore this book for themselves.


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 8th Jul 2021, 8:45pm
    Absolutely! Sharing Reading Gladiator books across year groups is excellent practice. Super poems too and beautifully presented.
  • Week 4: Where the World Turns Wild

    The Year 5 Reading Gladiators celebrated nature through poetry, taking inspiration from the beautiful book ‘The Lost Words’ as well as an old favourite, ‘Adder Bluebell Lobster’. In the session, we looked at some poems from ‘The Lost Words’ and created our own pieces of writing. It was remarkable to see how the children used their words to string together their own magical poems. For the weekly challenge, they revisited Chrissie Gittins’ anthology and wrote new poems based on some of the titles. It was great to look back at Gittins’ poetry and once again, it was lovely to read the children’s poems. They are truly talented poets and with the way we have been celebrating nature through this method, we are on our way now to making our own anthology of nature poems to share with the school! How exciting!😁


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 8th Jul 2021, 8:40pm
    Inspired poetry writing Gladiators! It is wonderful to hear that you are using other recommended titles and previous Reading Gladiator books to supplement the nature theme in Where the World Turns Wild. It sounds like you have had some very worthwhile sessions.
  • ‘Troofriend’ – Weeks 2 & 3

    We had great fun during Readers’ Theatre (as you can see) – it is our favourite RG activity! Everyone got so into character – we had a very stroppy Sarah, an over-enthusiastic Mum & our android’s voice was spot on. After our acting, we had a great conversation about the ethics surrounding the use of androids and made some excellent predictions about how the story could possibly continue to unfold.


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 8th Jul 2021, 3:52pm
    Brilliant! This story certainly lends itself to Readers Theatre and the resulting discussions are always of greater depth, once the children have really got under the skin of the characters. I bet you had a lot of fun with Ivy's voice!
  • ‘Troofriend’ – Week One

    Even just the front cover of this book sparked an exceptionally intense discussion about the similarities and differences between robots and humans. One of our group is a real tech wizard, so he is especially excited about the subject matter of ‘Troofriend’.


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 16th Jun 2021, 12:01pm
    This title certainly has an enticing cover. We hope you are enjoying this excellent story by Kirsty Applebaum.
  • ‘Where the World Turns Wild’ – Final Week

    To say that we have enjoyed this book would be a huge understatement. We all agree that it is definitely the most wonderful book we have read all year! We spent our last session of this term preparing our mini challenge entry. First, we went on a nature walk and collected lots of sticks, leaves and other natural things to use. After that, we used quotes and illustrations from the book to prepare a display encouraging other children to care for the wild as much as Juniper, Bear and the NHP Year 5 Reading Gladiators do!


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 16th Jun 2021, 12:04pm
    We are so pleased you enjoyed this title - your nature walk sounds the perfect way to cement your thoughts about the important topic of this story. Your display is wonderful - a particularly impressive plant house! We hope it has had the desired effect and others will follow your lead in caring for nature...and reading great books!
  • Week 3: Where The World Turns Wild

    We have been lucky to have the author of our book, Nicola Penfold, give us positive feedback for our work through Twitter. Recently, I was able to get in contact with Nicola herself and she was happy for me to share with her any questions the children might have about her book. During our second week of exploring her story, the children were given a grand opportunity to submit some questions for me to pass on, and Nicola was kind to answer them in great detail. The children were excited to have their questions answered by the author herself, and it’s continuing to be a pleasure to share our work with her on Twitter. We were able to finish our ladybird pebbles during our session. They looked awesome! We are so proud of them, and Nicola herself complemented us for our artistic efforts 🙂

  • Week 2: Where the World Turns Wild

    For their weekly challenge, the children thought about their own experiences with nature and were invited to write a recount of 100 words about a memorable moment. One child wrote about a fox that his family rescued and taking part in the challenge as well, I wrote about an incredible encounter with a ladybird during my October holiday in Norfolk last year. The children enjoyed reading my own ladybird story. During the session itself, we started to make our own ladybirds, painting some pebbles red and getting them ready for the next session when we would be adding more details to them.

  • Week 1: Where the World Turns Wild

    The Year 5 team started to read their new book, written by Nicola Penfold. Celebrating our love for nature, the children created wonderful drawings of their favourite creatures, with the help of Rob Biddulph and his amazing draw along videos. I drew a picture of my own with them, and asking the children what creature they would like me to draw, I ended up drawing an adorable, little robin.

  • Word hoard

    ‘Where the World Turns Wild – Week 4

    We are tantalisingly close to the end of this inspiring book! This week, we began our session by debating the beautiful and dangerous aspects of the wild. After that, we expanded our knowledge of the natural world (especially birds and plants). We ended with a group read of Chapter 53 and a revisit of ‘Adder, Bluebell, Lobster’, which we absolutely loved doing, as it was our favourite text from Yr 4 RG. Here we are adding some of the lost natural words from the book to our hoard!


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 26th May 2021, 4:59pm
    Your word hoard looks wonderful and excellent text to text linking with Adder Bluebell Lobster. Books that help preserve our knowledge and understanding of our beautiful planet are so important to share. We are so glad your Gladiators have enjoyed Where the World Turns Wild.
  • ‘Where the World Turns Wild’ – Week 3

    We absolutely love this book! This week, we invested a lot of time creating our map of the city, with the buffer zone all around and the tantalising beauty of the wild beyond. After that, we found some new additions for our word hoard and had so much fun discovering the meanings of our names and those of the characters in the book. We discovered that one of our members’ names has the same meaning as Juniper’s! We also discovered that our class teacher’s name means warrior. We ended our session with a choral read of the beginning of the wild part of the book. It just gets better and better!


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 18th May 2021, 1:27pm
    We are so glad you like it. A map is an excellent tool for exploring a story that takes place across multiple locations. I hope you are finding it useful, as you progress through the story. How lucky you are to be led by a warrior too!
  • Week 4: Tamarind and the Star of Ishta

    The Year 5 Reading Gladiators at Knockhall started to work on the Mini Challenge of creating a piece of art work relating to the Star of Ishta, featuring key words and notes about their book. The children were given part of the star to colour in at home. Then, at school, they put their coloured pieces together to complete the star. It soon became a stunning piece of collaborative art. In the session itself, we watched a series of videos with the author, Jasbinder Bilan, talking about her first book, ‘Asha and the Spirit Bird’. Amongst the videos was a writing challenge set by Jasbinder herself, which we rose up to and created our own spirit animals. The weekly challenge for all of us (myself included) was to write a short story about our spirit creatures. Here, you will see extracts from two of the children’s stories.


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 11th May 2021, 1:50pm
    This is wonderful Knockhall Gladiators. Beautiful artwork and most importantly -collaborative. You should be very proud of the end result.
  • Week 3: Tamarind and the Star of Ishta

    During the Easter holidays, the children did some research about the main setting for their book. Looking at the Himalayas, they found some information about its climate, its habitats and its history (of expeditions). Using the information, they created either a fact file sheet or a leaflet. They worked so hard on this activity; it was wonderful to see their amazing pieces of work. In the session itself, we had a go at making paper cranes through origami; origami being one of Arjun’s hobbies. It was tricky at times, but we still had a good time and we were proud of our resilience and determination.

  • ‘Where the World Turns Wild’ – Week Two

    When I asked our Yr 5 RG if they were enjoying the book, the response I got was “It’s absolutely amazing!!”. They are so into the story and were incredibly enthusiastic with acting out the scenes in which Juniper and Bear were getting picked on by the other children. We had great fun beginning our word hoard as well and will be adding to it each week, as we find new words that spark our interest.


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 7th May 2021, 10:57am
    What a fabulous word hoard and plenty of room for lots more lovely words to explore.
  • ‘Where the World Turns Wild’ – Week 1

    Our Year 5 RG were over the moon to begin their reading journey. First, they recorded everything that they could see on the cover of the book. We then imagined that we had never seen Nature before and ventured out into our Eco garden to explore. The reactions from the children were priceless! We are all so excited to read the story and get to know Bear & Juniper better.


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 7th May 2021, 10:52am
    It is so nice to see children working together again! Collaboration is what Reading Gladiators is all about!
  • Week 2: Tamarind and the Star of Ishta

    Now that the children had read more of the book, we discussed about Tamarind’s character in greater depth, putting our ideas onto a circle thinking map. We also held a ‘Quescussion’, a discussion featuring mainly questions. The children came up with some excellent, thoughtful questions and worked wonderfully well together to make statements in response to them. Their efforts were later shared through Twitter, and Jasbinder Bilan herself complemented them on their work. 🙂


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 7th May 2021, 10:54am
    Fantastic to hear you have connected with Jasminder. She is such a brilliant storyteller and high praise indeed from the author herself. Keep up the good work.
  • Week 1: Tamarind and the Star of Ishta

    The Year 5 team started their journey with the second book of the programme, written by Jasbinder Bilan. During our first discussion about the book, we talked about what we knew about Tamarind from the first two chapters. Then, we developed a word hoard, talking about various words and their meanings using pictures to help us.

  • Week 1: The House By The Lake

    Before they were given the book, the Year 5 Reading Gladiators wrote what they thought it would be about. In addition, they worked hard on creating informative fact files about Berlin, the setting for our book. Looking at the history of Germany’s capital in particular helped the Reading Gladiators to understand the events that occurred alongside the house’s timeline.


    Caroline Bradley
    Caroline Bradley 7th May 2021, 9:52am
    Excellent work. A slow and steady approach to a new title supports engagement and understanding.
  • Week 4: The House By The Lake

    Some excellent home learning was demonstrated by the Year 5 team as the children had a go at writing diary entries as one of the children featured in the book. They also listened to my story video of ‘House Held By Trees’, a different picture book with a similar theme, and afterwards, they made interesting comparisons between both stories. In the session itself, we all worked together to create our group poem about an abandoned house for the RG mini challenge. We ended up with an abandoned house being the perfect home for a little mouse! We hope that you enjoy our poem 🙂

  • Week 3: The House By The Lake

    During our first week back at Knockhall after the lock down, the Year 5 team continued their discussion on personification and talked about the meanings of those shown in the book. Then, the children thought about how the house would describe some of the events. Using the concept ‘If these walls could talk, they wrote short stories with the house as the narrator. Their responses were awesome! 🙂

  • Week 2: The House By The Lake

    In the lead up to our virtual session (hosted via Google Meets during the third lock down), the Year 5 team came up with questions that they would like to ask. During the session itself, we looked at these questions and discussed the possible answers to them, using the brief history highlighted at the back of the book. The session was very engaging, as we each showed an artefact from the Second World War and talked about them. We also watched a video showing what the house looks like today and to finish, we talked about personification and found examples within our book. The whole session was absolutely brilliant and a joy to be part of 🙂