Cracking blogs and websites!

I dip into lots of different websites during the course of my work to make sure that I keep up to date with new texts and resources. Here are a few of my current favourites:

I have just been shown this website, East of the Web,  and I think that many of the stories have great potential. I would recommend a really good look at the different aspects:

East of the Web2

picture book den

This is a really interesting blog written by a number of different authors. It has lots of great texts and some very practical ideas about how to use them to engage your pupils.

I regularly use to find out about the latest texts. They have an author of the month, categories for different age groups and reading needs, as well as best books of the year. You can often download the opening few pages (and even chapters sometimes!) which I use directly in class for shared and guided reading:


Anyone who knows me will know that I love finding amazing photos and illustrations to inspire talk and writing. I regularly use the Guardian website that has a new photo every day that are often evocative or intriguing ( or


Another great site for photographs is  Totallycoolpix You will have to make choices about what you think is appropriate for your children, but there are some really inspirational ones and others that are very thought-provoking:


I also like to follow writers that I really like to keep abreast of what they are doing. A particular favourite is Barry Hutchison (I love his Invisible Fiends novels for Year 6 – scares the hibbyjibbies out of you – wonderfully engaging). He is sending out a newsletter that is full of information about what he is up to and it also has interesting links that will be really worth following up. Its just a shame he is so far away in Scotland, as when he came to a school in Salford they loved him! Get his newsletter at

I also like to find challenges for pupils and these two websites are great for giving children real audiences for their writing. The first is the 100 Word Challenge Site  where children are given an image or an idea to stimulate their writing, which has to be exactly 100 words. Pupils can comment on other children’s writing and read people’s responses to their own.



The second is a sister site aimed at younger children called the Five Sentence Challenge which has the same premise but asks children to write 5 sentences in response. Both sites are great for encouraging children to really think about the language they are using.

5 sentence challenge



If I want to find out about any past SATs paper for my work with Year 6 I go to a variety of different sites. One of them is where I can download the past papers and marking material.

I have just been looking for texts to support the new curriculum and came across this website that might give you some ideas about texts to look out for :

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