Book Group

Oxford Reading Spree 2019


Today, I had the great pleasure of attending my second Oxford Reading Spree this year. It’s always a joy to listen to people so passionate about reading. So much has happened today (including getting stuck for over an hour in traffic just 5 minutes away from the school!) that I’m just going to focus on a couple of highlights!

As usual, there was a selection of workshops to choose from, but one session was very easy to choose. Martin Galway from Herts for Learning was - as ever- amazing! His session about fluency in reading was both fascinating and entertaining, offering plenty of food for thought and wisdom. It was absorbing from start to finish.


The day ended with A F Harrold. Entertaining as ever, his talk was peppered with poetry and laughter in equal measure. His new collection, ‘Midnight Feasts’, contains lots of poems on the theme of food and is illustrated by Katy Riddell. It’s lovely!

So much else happened- Ross Montgomery was his usual lovely self, Gemma Bagnall spoke beautifully about her Roma heritage and how gypsy, Roma and travelling people are represented in children’s books, Darren Chetty was passionate about the need for representation in books, reading and writing and all the other workshops… No wonder I’m exhausted.

A brilliant day out, perfect for teachers and book lovers, Oxford Reading Spree never fails to deliver an excellent programme with a delicious lunch and fabulous bookshop. (Yes, I did add to my collection!) Huge thanks to Ed Finch and the ORS team for another great event.

JAB South


Last nigh, JAB South met to discuss lots of lovely books. The focus of our meeting was history books which we could use in the classroom- as key texts, for guided reading, for research…As usual, this was all accompanied by plenty of biscuits!


We looked at books which could be used with different age groups and discussed how they might be used. Some of the books have a place on our shortlist this year- The Bluest of Blues (review here), The Golden Horsemen of Baghdad and The Riddle of the Runes (review here). Others are past winners- Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan (review here) , Flo of the Somme (review here) and The Histronauts (review here)


Biography collections - e.g. How to Be Extraordinary (review here) and Fantastically Great Women (review here) were also discussed and their important role in introducing children to a wide range of significant people, perhaps used as part of assemblies.


It was such a lovely session, full of lovely people who all love books! Some of the titles we looked at have teaching ideas/ notes written by members of the group which will be available on the Members’ Section of the website and notes from the meeting with suggestions will also be added. Taff in the Waaf , Everest, The Lady Has the Floor, Attach of the Vikings… these are just a few of the other books members of the group looked at.


Next term’s JAB session will be focusing on texts that can be used to support geography topics. Everyone is welcome to come!

The North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards 2019 Longlist

North Somserset Teachers Book Award - Home Page Image 2019.jpg

Announcing the 2019 North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award long list.

We’ve read so many wonderful books over the last few months and have chosen a selection that we can’t wait to share with you. Each one of these books has been carefully chosen for its potential use in the classroom. Whether it’s poetry, information, read aloud, quality fiction, moving on or a picture book. there is something here for everyone- the perfect books for developing reading for pleasure and creating life long readers. Use the button below to view the 2019 long list.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this year’s list; to each of our Just About Books members, who collectively read hundreds of books and especially to publishers, who sent so many books for us to consider this year.

We hope you enjoy reading through our long list of books over the summer. Happy reading!