West Bridgford Junior School


Literacy Zone

Author of the Month


Neil Gaiman



Born and raised in England but now living in Minnesota, bestselling author Neil Gaiman has long been one of the top writers in modern comics, as well as writing books for readers of all ages. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.


A self-confessed “feral kid who was raised in libraries”, Author of the Month Neil Gaiman, spent much of his childhood devouring the books of J.R.R. Tolkein, Edgar Allan Poe, C.S. Lewis, Michael Morcock and a host of others. He has achieved cult status in the world of fiction with his award winning, unpatronising writing for young people, including The Graveyard Book, Fortunately the Milk and Odd and the Frost Giants (originally written for World Book Day 2009).


Neil's work has brought his numerous awards including the Newberry Medal (the highest honour in US children's fiction), the Hugo Award (for science fiction and fantasy) and the Eisner Award (the comic equivalent of an Oscar).




We love to celebrate those children who have been going the extra mile in learning their spellings on Spelling Shed. We do this by looking at the children’s ‘shed score’. This is calculated as their total score for the previous seven days and so enables us to promote and celebrate consistent use over time. We’ll share the individual winners and the class of the week below along with their scores.                                           


Here, we’ll share some ideas that you could use at home to help your children learn their spellings. Many of these will be activities we use in class and should therefore be familiar.


Ransom Words

Use newspaper and magazine headline cuttings to spell the words in your spelling list. This should help you focus on the letters needed to create each word and their position within each one.


We have included an image of a headline cuttings alphabet that you could save and use at home.



Each month, we celebrate an amazing piece of writing in each class and display it on our display in the corridor. Children can become a Writer of the Month for a range of reasons, including wonderful use of description, excellent progress, fabulous vocabulary use and fitting the purpose of a piece perfectly.


Got a little time on your hands? Why not do a spot of writing? If you’re looking for some writing inspiration for home, look no further. Each week, you’ll find a different inspiration for writing – a photo, a drawing, a video or some text – that you could use to create your own masterpieces.

This week’s inspiration:

Monkey Symphony

Writing Ideas

- Tell the story from each Chimp's point of view.

- Add in dialogue as it is missing in the film.

- Write predictions - what happens next?  Create a newspaper story detailing the events.

 - Write from the point of view of the big gorilla, perhaps he is recounting the day he first heard the chimp play the piano.