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UKLA LiteraCy school of the year 2016-2017


Our school was awarded the very prestigious award of 2016/17 UKLA Literacy School of the Year.  The competition was open to all schools in the United Kingdom and was narrowed down to a shortlist of four schools - the three other schools being from Aberdeen, Brixton and East Ham, London.  The judges visited each school over a few months and we were announced as winners in June 2017.   

We enjoyed a fantastic celebration day, even more so because it coincided with our school being at the Horfield site for 60 years.  As usual, the children were amazing, singing their hearts out to parents and press/television crews and then, with great excitement, releasing a balloon into the sky.  Each pupil had a balloon with a  label tied to it with an extract from their favourite book asking the finder to get back in touch with the school to let us know where they found the balloon.  Emails came flooding back into school over the next few days, with the wind obviously favouring a northerly direction as we had lots of replies from people around the Oxford area.

Each year, we continue to read the new books released from the UKLA , which will enrich all parts of our curriculum with the inspirational books.

We wish the future nominated schools the best of luck for future years! 


For more information and visit the UKLA's website, please click on the link below: 


 Please have a look below at the type of work which was produced for our award-winning year. 


We have felt very privileged to be a part of the UKLA Book Awards. We use quality literature in many ways in school to stimulate and inspire the children and were delighted to have so many stunning, newly published books delivered to the school. Classes throughout the school relished exploring and responding to them in a variety of ways. The school’s involvement in the UKLA Book Awards had such a positive impact on our school that we have committed to purchasing the shortlisted texts every year to ensure consistent access to and enjoyment of newly published, quality literature.

I am Henry Finch

Year 1 children retold the story of Henry Finch through dance and drama. This gave them a deeper understanding of the text and helped them to internalise the story. They were then able to explore the power of thought through writing and art by thinking carefully about their dreams and aspirations. They wrote their thoughts down and completed a sketch to accompany it.

Our parents came to watch us do our dance and they were proud of us.’


‘I loved being Henry Finch in my costume especially the part at the end when Henry is happy and the other finches go off on their adventures.’


‘I liked being at the front of the beast when we marched round and then swallowed up Henry Finch. I think it was very dramatic and I will always remember the story.’



After exploring the texts in class and independently, Mariama wrote a rap celebrating the 7-11 shortlisted texts.

Atlas of Adventures

Children from Year 5 studied the images on the Antarctica pages and used the description and images of the albatross to describe the frozen scene through the eyes of the albatross surveying an icy kingdom. They wrote their descriptions onto their printed icebergs recognising that the meaning of any text can often be hidden beneath the surface. They then printed their own albatross images which inspired their study of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.’ The children then wrote their own poems on this theme.


"We learnt that when you read a book, it can be that it’s just like an iceberg where a lot of the meaning may be hidden. Icebergs are mainly hidden underwater it’s just the top that you see straight away. Our printed iceberg pictures had glitter just like a sparkling and icy iceberg."


"There are images of icebergs in the ‘Atlas of Adventures’. We enjoyed studying these illustrations then making our own prints by drawing deep grooves on polystyrene tiles then rolling with printing ink and eventually, some turquoise glitter."



Atlas of Adventures

Children from Year 5 studied the images of the extraordinary Monarch Butterfly migration on the ‘Atlas of Adventures’ pages about Mexico.

Then they wrote a diary entry and a mini-saga about the butterflies and their incredible lives. They also created stained glass butterflies and butterfly prints before creating their own cushion covers.


"We wrote diaries imagining that we were the boy or the girl on the pages of the atlas as they travel on horseback into the Mexican forest early in the morning as the monarchs fill the skies with their gold and orange wings."


The Boundless

“Massive and black, she’s like something forged of lightning and thunder.”

Year 4 explored the text The Boundless through a variety of creative experiences.

They created their own mixed media steam trains “forged of lightning and thunder” using torn paper and photocopied text from the book and captured their creative writing describing the train’s movement and sound in the train’s billowing smoke.

Inspired by this, they then brought Kenneth Oppel’s text to life with a choral speaking performance by using their voices and instruments in steam train soundscapes. They performed it to their parents who were blown away by the performance.

The Fastest Boy in the World

Children in Year 5 thought carefully about Solomon’s journey from Kidame back to his village. They discussed the different thoughts that Solomon had on his journey and inferred other thoughts that he may have had. They then wrote these on strips of torn paper and layered them along with images from the book to portray his journey; these represented an African sunset. 


Reading ‘The Fastest Boy in the World’ has made me feel like I can achieve anything. Solomon (the boy in the book) caught up with the bus on his journey home. The thing that shocked me was that he had the choice to get back onto the bus, but he decided to keep running. This has made me even more determined to achieve my goals…Solomon must have been feeling determined but worried at the same time. He was determined that he would get home and get help. He must have been feeling scared because he left his ill Grandfather in Kidame.”



I loved working with ‘The Fastest Boy in the World’. We got to do a great piece of work about what Solomon’s thoughts and feeling were when he was running back to his village to save his ill Grandfather. Solomon would have been feeling scared and worried because his Grandfather might die. He also would have been feeling really tired because he ran such a long way. If I were Solomon I would have been getting frustrated with myself thinking that I should have stayed with Grandfather.”



When we read ‘The Fastest Boy in the World’ I felt as if I were dragged into the book and I was running back to Kidame with Solomon. Solomon must have been feeling worried about leaving Grandfather on his own. I would have been feeling scared because Solomon had never run that far before. The work we did on it expresses how amazing the book is.”


The Pilot and the Little Prince (Year 3)

“Things people had only dreamed about were being invented- including flying machines.” 

Inspired by The Pilot and the Little Prince, Year 3 designed their own flying machines as a part of last year’s school metaphor of ‘flight’.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machines and Eric Whitacre’s choral piece of music Leonardo dreams of his flying machine also captured their imagination. They helped Year 3 create fascinating machines that Antoine would be proud to pilot!

They then imagined that they were flying over the city of Bristol in their creations and wrote about what they might see, hear and feel.

They used collage materials to bring their creations to life.

Inspired by the beautifully written language Year 3 then created a piece of choral speaking. This enabled them to explore the text creatively. Year 3 performed their choral speaking at the UKLA conference and to parents at school who were so proud of their children’s stunning performance.

The Pilot and the Little Prince (Year 6)

Children in Year 6 listened to the start of ‘The Pilot and the Little Prince’, a biography by Peter Sis. They looked at different flying machines and used the images to inspire them to invent their own, creating a collage using paper and tissue paper. They learnt about how planes fly and wrote an explanation detailing the process. They also wrote instructions on how to build their flying machines.

The Sleeper and the Spindle

Year 5 looked at the intricate illustrations in ‘The Sleeper and the Spindle’. They wrote a setting description to further bring the illustrations to life.  After focusing on the setting, they further explored the story by writing a poem about the sleepers trapped in their ceaseless state of sleep.  After exploring the setting and storyline, they focused on the characters of the text, sketching and writing descriptive phrases of the dwarfs in the story.

The Something

Children from Year 1 read and explored ‘The Something’. They imagined what could be down the hole and wrote about what they think is down there. They decorated trees using torn tissue paper to represent the tree above the hole in the book.


‘We imagined what we think we would find down the deep dark hole and did pictures in Imagination Station. I liked reading ‘The Something’, it was a good book.’


‘I went outside and I found an actual hole in our school playground just like the one in the book. I wondered what might be at the bottom.’