Y6 SATS Survival

Yes, We’re getting to that time of year again.. SATs time.

Now, they don’t HAVE to be stressful. I know schools all deal with them differently. There is no right way for the collective, there’s only a right way for your school, for your kids.

For us, we bring the kids in early, ensure they get into school, have a good breakfast (there’s a full English offered to the kids every morning of the SATs) and some air before they sit down to do their tests. We find it works. The staff all help and there’s a brilliant sense of community built up. The kids all remember it too!

This run up to SATs can be stressful for everyone who works with Y6 (so everyone), but it’s amazing when you find a resource that works for your classMornings are a brilliant time to use for a bit of quick revision. When the kids are coming in, waiting for the register, that’s a brilliant bit of time that can be used.

Recently we’ve been using a few different Twinkl resources to help us with the time, using resources that are engaging and fun.

These powerpoints are a brilliant start of the day thing – slap them on the board, the kids work through them (you get 10 weeks of powerpoints – 5 slides per week, working on Arithmetic, Reasoning and Problem Solving). By the time the register is done, they’ve finished and you can go through it quickly. These have helped us find children who all have similar needs and can get support for them when necessary. Just like in Maths, there are SPaG morning PowerPoints which are great to use for some quick revision!

These Maths mats are great too! These can be put out and the children can just have a go at them straight away. They come in differentiated sheets too! (You’ll find these for all year groups from Year 1 to Year 6 for Autumn, Spring and Summer! They’re brilliant, we are a big fan of them!) Not only are there Maths mats, but there’s some excellent SPaG mats too! Again, like the Maths ones, these are differentiated AND you get the whole year. They all follow a similar pattern and kids very quickly get used to how they work. We have the answers printed out too and the children self mark, or peer mark. 

One of the things we’ve noticed recently is that pace of reading is something the children need to work on, so when we found that Twinkl were starting to do 60 Second Reads – focusing on different elements of reading – we were keen to give them a go to use these for some Guided Reading focus lessons. The kids loved doing the 60 Second Reads: WW2 cards, with some brilliant responses too! These fit in lovely with our WW2 topic. There’s a whole host of different topics out there in the 60 Second Reads!

These resources are all great, and they get the kids’ brains working through a short, sharp burst of revision. There’s a whole host of resources on Twinkl to help with SATs. There’s a load more that I’ve not mentioned too! There’s stuff for SPaG, Reading and Maths! What more do you need?

What resources do you help for your Y6 prep for SATs?
Do you have a go to website?
Is there anything for revision you’d like to see that you can’t find anywhere?

Talk to me! I’d love to talk SATs prep in different schools!

S x


Playlist: The Exact Opposite of Okay


I’m trying something new today. While reading The Exact Opposite of Okay (which you can find my review of here), I was like “OMG, IZZY! A PLAYLIST”. So here we are, with my very first at an attempt at a list of songs inspired by The Exact Opposite of Okay. (If this goes well, I may try other books and songs… but I’m not sure!)


Some of these songs are songs I think Izzy would love. Some are songs I’d like Izzy to hear. Some are songs that relate to my feelings throughout the book.

Can’t Hold Us Down – Christina Aguilera

Survivor – Destiny’s Child

Part of Me – Katy Perry

Titanium – Sia

Respect – Aretha Franklin

Bleeding Heart – Regina Spektor

Power – Little Mix

Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato

There’s a brilliant guest post featuring Izzy and her very own playlist over on my friend Cora’s club. Check it out here!

S x


'Book Buddy' by Emma Reynolds(Picture courtesy of Book Buddy website)


I’d like to take a little moment today to talk about the amazing movement #BookBuddy, started by the incredible Maz Evans (yes, that Maz Evans, author extraordinare!).

What is #BookBuddy?
The aim of this site is to help schools match up with interested donors to get books into their libraries. For some children, school is the only access they have to reading books and it is vital to keep new books coming in so that all children see books and reading as an activity that they can (and are allowed) to participate in.

Are you a school teacher/librarian/head that would like to the chance to be involved in an incredible movement that gets books into your school? Are you a brilliant human who has books lying around in your house that you’d like to donate to a school? Then sign up for the #BookBuddy website. It is SO simple. Follow this link. School or donor, you can sign up. 

I am VERY lucky in that my school was paired with the absolutely gorgeous Lisa Thompson (author of The Goldfish Boy, The Light Jar) and we have already had one box of books from her. The books have been GRATEFULLY received by my kids and they are LOVING them. Some of them are even pretty gobsmacked that a REAL author sends us books. 

It’s an absolute joy looking through the hashtag #BookBuddy on twitter – so many incredible people sharing books with Primary schools and Secondary schools. So many school libraries are underfunded (or unfunded) so to see people sharing books with these libraries makes me so happy. As someone who wants all school libraries to have the most high quality texts, and for kids to grow up as readers, this scheme makes me so so so happy

If you want to know more, you can check out the website: BookBuddy.org.uk and check out the hastag on twitter to see some of the amazing parcels that have been sent so far!

S x



S4S – YA besties


How are we all? 

Welcome back to anther installment of #SixforSunday, hosted by me, Steph! How are we all doing? Are we all keeping up with this year’s #SixforSunday posts. Remember you can join in by checking out the prompts at S4S – YOU Join In 2018 and the prompts for the second half of the year will be up soon! Thank you for joining in if you have so far! I’ve loved seeing all of your posts! 

Today we are talking:

Characters that would make good best friends

I’ve chosen 6 characters I think would make great best friends. They’re all YA characters, no surprise!

  1. Izzy O’Neill – The Exact Opposite of Okay
    You can GUARANTEE that there would be lots of laughter, lots of sassy texts and I think she’s an amazing human. 
  2. Twylla – The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy
    QUELLE SURPRISE. I KNOW. I’m predictable. Get used to it. She’s brilliant, she’s badass, she’s brave. I ADORE HER.
  3. Eden – Goodbye, Perfect
    This girl has a bit of a disaster with her own bestie, I’d quite like to be her bestie so I could hug her. She’s excellent. She’s loyal, a realist and fiercely honest. 
  4. Amani – Rebel of the Sands trilogy
    OH MAN. I would love to Amani’s best friend. She’s a brilliant human and she could teach me to be a sharpshooter. I’d like to live in her world too – all those stories and mythology. YES PLZ.
  5. Storm – The Extinction Trials
    She’s one of my favourite characters that I discovered last year. Imagine going on a dinosaur hunt with her? She’s brave and not scared to tell you she’s scared. Dinosaurs and swimming? Yes thanks.
  6. Diana – Wonder Woman: Warbringer
    SHE’S WONDER WOMAN MAN. Plus she’s got this like really dry and literal sense of humour which DEFINITELY cracks me up every single time. 

YA has some amazing friends, and some of these aren’t even obvious choices. I’d love to see who you’d have as your best friends! Share them with me using #SixforSunday on twitter. 

S x

BOOK BLOG: Steven Butler

The Nothing To See Here Hotel – perfectly good fun!


Welcome to The Nothing to See Here Hotel! A hotel for magical creatures, where weird is normal for Frankie Banister and his parents who run the hotel. When a goblin messenger arrives at The Nothing to See Here Hotel, announcing the imminent arrival of the goblin prince Grogbah, Frankie and his family rush into action to get ready for their important guest. But it soon becomes obvious that the Banister family are going to  have their work cut out with the demanding prince and his never-ending entourage, especially when it turns out the rude little prince is hiding a secret…”

The Nothing To See Here Hotel is one of those great books that comes along and is just sheer fun. As an adult, I sometimes miss things that kids find hilarious (which is natural, I don’t necessarily expect to find kids books hilarious… I’m not your target audience after all), but there was definite moments here where I actually laughed out loud. It’s just one of those great funny books. The kids at school are loving it

Add to this, the fact that the cover is GORGEOUS and you have an utter winner. I know, I know, you shouldn’t judge a book on its cover. We all do it though. A bit of shelf appeal is a GREAT thing. The cover reflects the book brilliantly – an interesting mix of characters, a bright and bold style and the gorgeous hotel at its centre! The illustrations of this book are gorgeous too! They add a brilliant level to the story. I take my hat off to Steven Lenton, I wish I could draw that beautifully!

You meet a whole host of different characters in this book. From the gorgeous main character, the staff who work at the hotel, Frankie’s brilliant grandmother and the great hotel guests. There’s guests of all shapes and sizes! When the Troll prince comes along, hiding from something, bringing along with him secrets, there are a whole host of panic, hilarity and problems for the hotel staff. 

There’s a great pace to this book and it keeps kids gripped. I’d definitely recommend it for 6+ years! I’m loving seeing all the children discover it and share their joy of it with each other!

Would you like to stay in a magical, hidden hotel?
Which fantastical character would you like to meet?
Have you got any recommendations for children of this age?

S x

BOOK BLOG: Padraig Kenny

Tin – an incredible story which explores what it really means to be “human”


“Christopher is ‘Proper’: a real boy with a real soul, orphaned in a fire. He works for an engineer, a maker of the eccentric, loyal and totally individual mechanicals who are Christopher’s best friends. But after a devastating accident, a secret is revealed and Christopher’s world is changed for ever… What follows is a remarkable adventure, as Christopher discovers who he really is, and what it means to be human”

I had seen so much positivity surrounding this book from the people on my Twitter that I HAD to have it. So when I saw it was Waterstones Book of the Month and the incredible window display at Waterstones Newcastle, I ran in and bought a copy.


Tin explores the story of Christopher, an orphan who lives with an engineer and his robot friends, who discovers something which changes his life forever. He isn’t the person he has believed he was. His life changes drastically. There’s an incredible adventure he goes on, with some brilliantly fun and other sinister characters. His robot friends go on a mission to save him, to remind him who he really is. He doesn’t need to be a human to be Christopher. He doesn’t need to be “proper” to be the person they really love. 

There’s an amazing portrayal of friendship in this book and that was such a wonderful thing to read. You see the robots and the “proper” characters getting on swimmingly. There’s bravery from all. You learn about Christopher’s history, how he became who he is today. The book touches beautifully on what it means to be human – the robots show incredible compassion and love towards each other and the humans. That’s what it means to be human. To show compassion, empathy and love towards people who need it. 

The world building in this book is brilliant. The vocabulary is so rich and the descriptions so inviting that you feel like you’re in the world. You feel the warmth of the house in Christopher’s memories; the coldness of the room Christopher is held in; the harshness of the city. I love when a book gives me the feeling of being immersed in the world with the characters, and this one does not disappoint. 

I loved the characters a lot. Round Rob is a particular favourite of mine. He’s just wonderfully fun. I was a little bit taken by Gripper too. He’s this big chunk of metal. What’s not to love? I particularly loved the brazen brilliance of Estelle too. She’s a “proper” (a human girl), who makes skin, and she’s just a massive ball of feisty-ness. Along with the robots, she goes in pursuit of what she knows is right. She wants to save her friend. She’s brilliant. She’s a firm favourite with the kids at school too. 

Have you read Tin?
Could you imagine learning that your whole life has been a whole lie?
What would you do if your friend was taken?

Talk to me! Send me a postcard, a tweet or a comment. 

S x

BOOK BLOG: Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep: an incredibly duality in the pages of a beautiful book


Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Two centuries ago, in the small, isolated town, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return from the depths, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them down to their watery deaths. Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into or the fact that his arrival will change everything…

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters. But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.”

The Wicked Deep tells the story of Penny, a young girl, living in a small town, which has been haunted by the spirits of 3 sisters from centuries ago. The sisters take the bodies of young women and seek revenge on the town that once betrayed them. Penny knows the tale of the three sisters. The town has accepted their fate – the sisters will come every summer and take the bodiesof 3 young women. They will then use these bodies to lure 3 young men to their death, in the very same waters that the sisters were sent to their deaths in. This particular summer, Penny meets a young man named Bo, who has some of his own demons to battle, and they hit it off. Bo has no sense of the danger being in this town brings him and it is ultimately up to Penny to try and save him… or save herself.

I absolutely adored this book. The plot is one which I’d not read before. We’ve all read books of revenge and of young men being lured for revenge. This one felt special. It felt new. There’s so much mystery and the town set in their legacy that I just was taken. I’m a sucker for anything with a bit of history. I love an author who weaves stories within their story. Having the sisters’ backstory in the book made me believe it. 

The characters in this book are just brilliant. Seeing the town and its happenings through these teenagers’ eyes, but also through the sisters’ eyes was fascinating. You get to see a town clouded in mystery and panic. A town overcome with an anger and a grief. There’s a lot of high intensity emotions that this town, and the teenagers, feel. Flaunting legend and tempting fate all for the sake of what is to come! I loved in particular the moments where you see the sisters together. You read their plotting, their mysteries. They’re fascinating. Their interactions with each other really gives a sense of sinister, dark magic. 

There is quite a big plot twist that I did not see coming. I mean, I suspected it… but I loved it. Thinking back to it now, I probably SHOULD’VE seen it, but what can I say, I’m a bit gullible and I’ll believe what a narrator tells me! I loved Penny’s voice, her point of view. Throughout the book, I believed her. I wanted to be her friend, I properly rooted for her. Even towards the end. I truly believed she’d changed. I’m a sucker for romance. A total and utter sucker. 

While we’re here talking romance… I’d like to just mention Bo. I REALLY liked him. I was totally taken by him. Like, I think teenage me would be smitten with him. He just gave me this lovely vibe. The mystery surrounding him was quite intiguing too… I wanted to know more about him. When his backstory was revealed, I was like ‘yep, you’re lush’.

There’s a gorgeous sense of duality in this book that kept me hooked:

  • Darkness and light
  • Hope and loss
  • Love and revenge
  • Betrayal and trust

I just adored this book. There’s so much about it that I love. I could’ve read 100 more pages and still have been gripped. I’d love to know more about Penny’s mam. I’d love to see more of the sisters’ past snatches. 

Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy! I loved it!

Have you read The Wicked Deep?
What’s your take on mythology in books?
Would you be a good witch?

Talk to me! I’d love to talk mythology and The Wicked Deep with you!

S x



A-Z book tag!

Today we have a tag! I don’t do many of these, but when I do, I do them! Thank you to Kelly @ Kelly’s Rambles for tagging me. I hope you’re ready for a long one, cause I’ve got 26 letters of the alphabet to get through!

Author you’ve read the most books from

Image result for roald dahl books

Ooooh. Roald Dahl. I was a massive Dahl fan as a child. Now as a teacher, I am a massive fan too!

Best Sequel Ever

Image result for traitor to the throne

OH OH OH Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton. That was EXCELLENT.
(On another note, if I’m allowed to talk kids books then Simply The Quest by Maz Evans needs a mention!)

Image result for simply the quest

Currently reading


Drink of choice while reading

Tea. If you say anything else, then I’m not sure I believe you.

E-reader or physical book?

Ooooh, I go through phases. My kindle is easier to carry around, but nothing beats a physical book.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school

Image result for goodbye perfect

Hmmm… Connor from Goodbye, Perfect. I’d love to say Izzy O’Neill from TEOOO but she is way too cool for me.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

Image result for wonder woman warbringer

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Having never read anything Bardugo (I know, I’m sorry!) I wasn’t sure how it was. It was initially quite slow, but I’m glad I stuck with it!

Hidden Gem Book

Image result for paper magician trilogy

THE PAPER MAGICIAN TRILOGY BY CHARLIE N HOLMBERG. Guys, seriously. They’re only available on Kindle as far as I’m aware (in the UK especially) but they’re JUST INCREDIBLE. If you like magical books, please please get on it.

Important moment in your reading life

#SundayYA. For so so so many reasons. I could talk about it forever. I have no idea what the first #SundayYA chat I took part in was, or even WHY I took part, but I am so eternally glad I did.

Just finished

Image result for the truth about alice

The Truth about Alice by Jennifer Mathieu. I really quite loved it.

Kinds of books you won’t read

Meh, I’m not into romance or erotica tbh. I’ll give anything an attempt mind.

Major book hangover because of

Image result for state of sorrow by melinda salisbury

State of Sorrow. I read it in December. I am still not quite over it 3 months later. Now that everyone else is reading it, I am SUPER HAPPY.

Number of bookcases you own

LOL. I currently own 1 MASSIVE bookcase, however I also own many book boxes. And there’s a MASSIVE chunk of my books at school.

One book you’ve read multiple times

Image result for matilda book cover

Oh, I don’t reread often? However, Matilda is a book I can read and read and read.

Preferred place to read

img_9753(this picture was taken in my preferred place to read. I love my window seat)

In bed, or on the window seats in Starbucks. I get a lovely view, a good coffee and alone time. It’s where you’ll find me most Sundays.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read

OH REALLY? ONLY ONE? I can’t do that. Sorry! (come back to me later, I’ll come up with just one!)

Reading regret

I don’t think I have one?

Series you started and need to finish

Image result for cell 7 trilogy

Ooooh. Erm. I’m pretty good at finishing series. Cell 7 trilogy. I’ve read book 1 and 2 but need to buy book 3.

Three of your all-time favourite books

Matilda, The Sin Eater’s Daughter, A Quiet Kind of Thunder. No questions asked. (Ask me tomorrow, it should be the same haha!)

[where did U go??]

Very excited for this release more than all the others

My most anticipated releases have all already been released (State of Sorrow, Goodbye Perfect, Hero at the Fall) BUT FLOORED. OMG.

Worst bookish habit

Buying all of the books


Your latest book purchase

Image result for the hazel wood

*shrug* Ermmmmm… OOOH The Hazel Wood.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late)

State of Sorrow. I stayed up until 2am reading it. I did not regret it for a second.

I tag Charlotte, Cora and Lucinda. ENJOY GUYS.

Are you surprised by any of my choices?
Are there any books you think should be on my A-Z?
Can you recommend a question for U and V? Poor U and V.

S x






Don’t rain on my parade…

Working hard. Going places. Smiles from friends. Going back to work. The snow going away. Reading whole books in a day. Laughter. Cocktails. Mexican food. Cocktails and Mexican food with friends. Book launches. Having an incredible bunch of friends. Being supported. Chasing my dreams. Starbucks on a Sunday. Creativity. More books. Book post. When friends are GENUINELY happy for me. The future. Book events. Jellies. Blogging because I want to blog. Light mornings. Zumba classes. Hitting my step total. Rachel Berry’s singing. Ed Sheeran. The twiglets. World Book Day. People having faith in me. Being trusted. Having my opinion respected. Newcastle United winning. Books. Always books.

S4S – Stuck in a lift with WHO? No thanks.

Hello again!

Welcome back to #SixforSunday. Last week I shared characters I would like to be stuck in a lift with… this week I’m sharing:

Characters I definitely would NOT like to be stuck in a lift with

Let’s get on with this… 

  1. The Maestro – A Thousand Perfect Notes
    For those of you who know about this book, you’ll know why. Those of you who don’t… she’s an abusive mother. She’s just horrid. Her actions are unjustifiable. I hated her, so so much.
  2. Katniss – The Hunger Games trilogy
    I know, controversial, I don’t like her. I think she’s an utter whingebag. 
  3. J – The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
    THIS DUDE CREEPED ME OUT SO MUCH. No thanks. Imagine being stuck in a lift with that creep for hours on end? GOD NO THANKS.
  4. Luke – After the Fire
    Now, I know he’s kind of misunderstood but he kind of scares me. He’s intimidating and I think he’s just a serious bean. I don’t know that I could do that for hours on end.
  5. Noah – Noah Can’t Even
    I just think any situation this dude is in will end in an absolute disaster, so whilst he’s not a bad character, I can’t guarantee that it wouldn’t turn into a disaster. I’ll pass on that thanks.
  6. Dan – I Have No Secrets
    A bit like the Maestro, I think this dude is just the worst. His attitude and his actions are disgusting. I would probably want to punch him, quite hard. No thanks.

This list is a stark difference to my list last week… this is mostly men, whilst last week’s was mostly women. Interesting!

Who would you NOT like to be stuck in a lift with? Share your list using #SixforSunday on twitter, or wherever! Link me and I’ll check it out. I’m loving seeing all of these posts! 

S x