Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School

A Church of England school serving the Community since 1686

Headteacher: Mrs Nichola Russell
Telephone: 01924 303525
Address: Barnsley Road, Sandal, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 6AS

Diocese of Leeds
2nd July 2020 Guidance for full reopening of School - September 2020 The guidance for the full reopening of school as of of September 2020 has been published this morning. As you can imagine, we are now trawling through the detail. What I can confirm so far, based upon the key messages received,is that school will re open for all children on Tuesday 8th September. In line with government guidance, we will employ a staggered approach to the start and end of the day. As you will appreciate, we will be unable to ensure that siblings can start/finish school at the same time. We will communicate details to families as soon as possible to ensure you have maximum time to plan for the different start and finish times. More detail to follow asap. Thank you for all your lovely messages of support. It's been lovely to see how the school community continues to pull together through these uncertain and unprecedented times. Nichola Russell

Learning to read so we can read to learn and gain pleasure is at the heart of all areas of the curriculum. Early reading is therefore our first, foremost and central priority in school so all children are readers. Books are enjoyed and used across all curriculum areas as highly valued hooks, tools and a way of escaping in to other worlds, times, places and situations.

My Book Blog

Opening the door to a world of stories

My BookBlog

MyBookBlog is an online resource designed to enhance children's journeys through well-loved stories. It supports children to choose fantastic books, available in school libraries and book shops, using blurbs, trailers, reviews, and ratings from other children. Children can then read their chosen books at home or at school and complete the activities on MyBookBlog at anytime.

The activities on MyBookBlog encourage children to blog about their thoughts and feelings and explore the subject matter.The activities also support them to fully cpmprehend the text they are reading and learn new vocabulary.

As children read, their homepage grows. As they collect favourite words, facts, cards, maps and timelines, and share their thoughts in their blog; their home page becomes a record of their reading journey.

MyBookBlog currently features units to support over 100 well-loved stories. New units are published every week.

MyBB Development Day

Our MyBB trainer, Anna Ellwood joined us on Wednesday 10th January 2018 to support us in introducing MyBB after successful trials in Y3 and Y5 throughout KS1 and KS2. A fantastic day hearing readers, leading My BB workshops and assembly plus a staff CPD session took place. Anna later tweeted;

Two lovely days of sharing stories with eager readers in Yorkshire schools!

MyBB Trial Launch

Wednesday 22nd November, 6.15-7.15 is the official launch date of MyBB at Sandal Castle Primary for years 3 and 5. Come along and join us to find out more!

MyBB Reading Launch - Parents Letter

Access MyBB using the following URL and adding it to your favourites:

Year 5 are enjoying using MyBB

What is MyBookBlog?

MyBookBlog (MyBB) is a new website uniting children, teachers and parents in a love of books. Designed to use alongside real books, it shows children everything the world of reading has to offer:

♦ A range of stories. MyBB helps children choose from a range of fantastic books, available in school libraries and bookshops, using blurbs, trailers, reviews, and ratings from other children.

♦ Expansive vocabulary. Each book on MyBB has an audio/visual glossary and activities to help embed these words.

♦ Exciting linked non-fiction. MyBB explores context related non-fiction through specially written fact files. Children collect jokes, cards and facts for their profile page.

♦ The ability to put yourself in another’s shoes. MyBB asks engaging questions at the end of every unit. C

Children are guided through every stage of their reading journey. As they read, their blog becomes a proud record of progress. For MyBB children, reading is a reward. Teachers use MyBB to motivate children to read. They are confident helping children choose books. They view how children are getting on at home, respond to blogs and reviews and check progress on vocabulary and comprehension games. Parents of MyBB children can sign up to receive weekly e-mail updates on what their children are reading and enjoying.

Why did we develop MyBookBlog?

MyBookBlog has one aim – to get children reading and keep them reading, both at school and at home.

1 If we ensure children love reading, everything else falls into place.

2 Only 30% of children in the UK choose to read fiction at home.

3 Using extrinsic rewards (such as stickers and trips) to encourage children to read says that it isn’t enjoyable – why else would we be bribing them to read?

4 “All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.” The National Curriculum 2014

Who is MyBookBlog for?


MyBookBlog children can already read. The book list features books for children in Years 2 to 9. MyBookBlog helps children to:

♦ Read books by new and familiar authors.

♦ Blog their responses to the story.

♦ Understand what they read.

♦ Learn new vocabulary in the context of the story.

♦ Vote on key issues and view how their vote compares with thousands of other children’s.

♦ Discover which books other children like reading.

♦ Explore specially written, non-fiction fact files.

♦ Collect cards, words and facts as they read.

MyBookBlog is suitable for children reading grey books in Read Write Inc. Phonics, or children already using Read Write Inc. Literacy and Language.


MyBookBlog focuses on the joy of reading. It helps teachers motivate their children to read. MyBookBlog supports teachers to:

♦ Introduce children to fantastic, engaging books.

♦ Bring the aims of the National Curriculum to life.

♦ Suggest books based on a child’s progress and stamina.

♦ Set online reading homework.

♦ Generate progress reports.

♦ Read books linked to school topics and Read Write Inc. Literacy and Language.

♦ Build home-school links. MyBookBlog unites children, teachers and parents in a love of reading real books.

My BookBlog Features

Children are more likely to read for pleasure when they choose a book themselves.That’s why MyBB gives children lots of support to choose a book that’s right for them including:

♦ Reviews and ratings from other children.

♦ Book trailers.

♦ Two specially written blurbs – one about the book’s subject matter and the other about the book’s themes.

♦ Guidance on book length and year group recommendation.

♦ Book recommendations based on preferred genres.

Children are automatically shown books at their ‘Challenge Guidance’ level and below to ensure they are reading with confidence and enjoyment. Challenge Guidance is calculated termly through a reading comprehension quiz, which assesses their current level.

Responding to a Chapter with Blogging

MyBB encourages children to explore their understanding of the book and relate it to their own experience. Children respond to questions with a blog at the end of every unit to:

♦ Check their understanding of the story.

♦ Relate the book to their own experience.

♦ Support them in making predictions.

♦ Help them think about the moral dilemmas raised and the message in the story.

In early units, children have a blog helper and use a multiple-choice option to help them respond. This is replaced later in the book with a sentence starter. Children can also respond to a chapter with emojis, or vote in a poll. Blog entries create a dialogue between the teacher and child. Teachers can respond to all blogs. At the end of the book, children send their favourite blog to their teacher.

Growing vocabulary in context

Children learn new words when learning is meaningful . MyBB children’s vocabulary grows whilst reading a book they love. In each chapter, vocabulary is divided into ‘Story Words’ and ‘Power Words’:

♦ ‘Story Words’ are words or phrases that are useful to know in a particular story. For example, in ‘Wonder’ by RJ Palacio children learn the words anomalies, cleft palate, hindsight and principal.

♦ ‘Power Words’ are words that are likely to feature in many other stories - words we want children to love and to take with them on their reading journey. For example, in ‘Wonder’ children learn extraordinary, petrified, hysterical and groggily.

Children grow their vocabulary by:

♦ Reading child-friendly definitions of new words.

♦ Completing Quick Quizzes: Odd One Out, Select the Sensible Sentence and Antonym or Synonym?

♦ Choosing their favourite words to display on their homepage.

♦ Using the child-friendly glossary to check unfamiliar vocabulary as they read. Each word has a picture and audio recording.

Children’s favourite words are included in the regular update e-mails sent to parents.

Checking Understanding

Children complete quick comprehension questions after each chapter to help them:

♦ Understand key points in the plot.

♦ Consider a character’s choices and motivations.

♦ Make predictions about what might happen next.

♦ Pay attention to clues given by the author.

♦ Recognise when something is fact or opinion, true or false.

♦ Interpret the meaning of words in context.

Exploring Non Fiction Fact Files

Background knowledge of the world we live in is vital for children to gain the most from reading.

Reading non-fiction helps build contextual awareness of the things they read about in fiction, so we’ve created fact files for children to explore within each unit on MyBookBlog. The fact files are specially written and illustrated for children and include silly jokes, impressive facts and collectable cards. This helps children to:

♦ View non-fiction as reading for pleasure.

♦ Understand more complex subjects explored by the author.

♦ Build general knowledge.

♦ Link the facts with relevant illustratons and photographs from the story.

Viewing children’s reading journey on their homepage Everything children do on MyBookBlog is recorded on their homepage. The more the child reads, the more content they collect. Collectable cards are hidden in some fact files linked to the story. They are sorted into categories to help classification skills. Relevant cards are placed on a timeline and a map which children can explore, boosting their general knowledge.

Rating and reviewing Children rate, review and recommend books. Teachers approve children’s reviews before they are published. Once approved, they appear site-wide to help other children choose their next book. When children have finished a book, MyBookBlog provides a recommendation for a new read.


There is nothing more important than children wanting to read at home.This happens when parents and children regularly share stories. MyBookBlog:

♦ Helps parents to find great books to read with their children.

♦ Keeps parents up to date with what their children are reading - weekly emails feature favourite words, facts and books read.

♦ Provides parents with a safe and informative homework solution – all of the content is especially written for children.

Partner Publishers

We collaborate with some of the UK’s leading children’s publishers, who work with us to add new and exciting books to MyBookBlog and share official illustrations to use in our book units and trailers.

Andersen Barrington Stoke Bloomsbury Francis Lincoln Hacette

    Nosy Crow OUP Hacette QED Quarto
    WFJR Wide Eyed