Quest – Sir Kit and Year 3

I blogged about the Quest Literacy Intervention Programme for Year 3  back in 2007 and I was surprised to discover today that it is still in use in some UK schools. Many of the materials needed to run the programme are still available if you hunt around so I decided to update the post and also to write a bit more about it here.

The Quest Books

The programme relies quite heavily on a selection of specific books. All of them are still available but you may need to check changes in page numbers.

You can find  all the Quest Books here on the Better Reading Partners Amazon Book Shop Quest page

The Dilly the Dinosaur books have new ISBNs:
Dilly the Dinosaur 978749746827
Dilly and the Goody Goody 07801405202497

The Shark book is also available but has different page numbers and some missing information.

I have also added the Volcano book which is still available as a pack of 6 or as individual books.

Babcock LDP has some good links to all the basics now that the original site is gone. The handbooks are there as PDF files but the advice to be cautious about printing them out is good. They are each over 60 full colour pages! Well worth downloading though and saving somewhere, maybe to a CD or pen drive?

Leicester still has the editable version of the parents leaflet which I found very useful to send out at the start of the scheme.


Classroom Displays for Anti-Bullying Week

Sunny Day

Anti-Bullying Week (Nov 19th-23rd) classroom displays can be done very quickly and without much fuss. This one was done by Year 3 in one morning as a cross curricular activity. It combined literacy, art and PSHE with lots of emotional intelligence and project based learning along the way. (Oh, and handwriting practice) The teacher and I provided anti-bullying leaflets and literature, access to the web, and lots of support and advice.
I already had the sun and the cloud. Actually, I made them with a year 1 class as props for an assembly about 7 years ago! 🙂
Children worked with talk partners, each pair produced a tear drop with a short poem about the feeling of being bullied, an example of bullying behaviour to go on the cloud and a strategy to use if someone tries to bully you to go on the sun.
Work was added to the display as soon as it was made so it developed over the course of the morning. By 12:15 we had a fine display and a room full of contented Year 3s who were feeling very pleased with themselves. (Not to mention three tired but happy adults.)
It was a great morning’s work and the room buzzed with that happy noise that classrooms full of happy learners make.
If you are interested in displays for Anti Bullying week you may want to look at these posts too – Classroom Displays – Anti-Bullying
There are some good resources for Anti-Bullying Week on these sites:

  • Teachers TV – lots of good quality videos for teachers to watch alone and some to watch with classes
  • Build you own posters online to print off (uses lots of ink!)

  • Classroom Displays for International Human Rights Day 3

    Children’s Rights, originally uploaded by LindaH.

    Alice is blogging about Human Rights Day which is on December 10th. The focus for the last 3 years has been on education :

    .. focus on primary and secondary education, through integrating human rights issues into curricula, changing educational processes and teaching methods and, most importantly, improving the environment in which education takes place.

    In my last school we tried to help the children think beyond their own situation and to consider children’s needs, rights and responsibilities.
    Children's Rights
    It was done as a whole school initiative, integrated into PSHE, circle time and some of the geography units. This display was from Year 3 and might not be as ‘perfect’ as some. It’s backed on sugar paper, which fades and doesn’t last, it has no border and the spacing is quite random. To me it looks a bit scrappy but, and it’s an important but, this was very much the children’s display. They were deeply touched and quite shocked by some of the things we covered. This was their response and in some ways that makes it much more powerful than a ‘perfect’ display.

    Literacy Display – Connectives and Owl Babies 6

    Owl Babies is such a lovely book and lends itself very well to displays.

    Here is a delightful classroom display that uses  Owl Babies  as a starting point for literacy. It is a wonderful story that  children really relate to, especially in Year 2 but even Year 3s love to read it. There’s something about the story of those three little owls, especially Percy’s constant longing for his Mummy, that really resonates for this age group.

    Originally uploaded to the Classroom Displays Flickr Group by Leeds Lass : Owl day 034

    Here the display has been used to show how a story webs and ladders can be used to map out plots. The display also encourages the children to make longer sentences by using connectives and time words. The display has a well thought out mix of visual imagery taken from the book, explanations, vocabulary words (interesting connectives and time words) and children’s work.
    The cuddly owls, ivy and 3d tree add a real ‘wow’ factor to the display making it likely to grab children’s attention. Close inspection of the owls suggests that they are commercially made toys. However it would be possible to make something less elaborate from fun fur to achieve a similar effect. On the tree stump and branch wood grain wall paper has been used to great effect and fake ivy round the tree stump adds another attractive 3d element.
    Owl day 040
    Titles and text have all been laminated and the major elements of this display could be stored and brought out again another year making it fairly quick to re-create.
    The children’s work has been well integrated into the display. They have used what they’ve learnt about story webs to weave one for another Year 2 favourite, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Catastrophe.

    All in all I think this is a fine classroom display 🙂

    Up Dated with more details:

    Following a request in the comments to this post Michelle has provided us with more details of how the display linked into her literacy activities.


    Drama activities based on the Owl Babies book:
    Freeze frame owlets at different stages of the story

    Hot seating-Babies and Mother

    Conscience Alley-child in role of Mummy Owl


    Set out as





    Retell story of Owl Babies as a story ladder.


    Time words on the branches.

    Connectives are displayed within the web

    Story Web

    Based on Pig in the Pond-could be any sequential story. Each child wrote part of the story/illustrated it, then displayed within the web. FIRST they had done the frame activity which involved passing a ball of wool round as they each told part of the story, in and back to the middle, thereby weaving a story web.

    Update – Another lovely Owl Babies display, this one from Classroom Displays Group member SunflowerLily , find the book on Amazon, owl babies puppets to buy, and some free resources
    The Owl Babies book is available via Amazon from The Classroom Displays Bookshop. It usually costs £5.99 but they often reduce children’s books so it’s worth checking. The big book version, shown here is perfect for classroom use, starts at around £18 but again they are often reduced.

    You can buy puppets of owls and babies. Although these are not officially endorsed by the author they will do perfectly well and would be really useful for language work, story telling and role play. This one is from The Puppet Company and is 23 cms high. The 3 babies are also puppets which gives lots of scope for collaborative use. Hide-Away Puppets Tawny Owl with 3 Babies

    Have a look at  Owl Babies Teacher Resource (Read & Respond), part of the Read and Respond series. It has some great notes and activities and also shared texts, guided reading notes, reading activities, speaking and listening activities, writing projects and assessment guidace. Over a third of the book is filled with useful photocopiables – all illustrated by the original children’s book illustrators.

    There are  also some free Owl Babies resourcesto download from Scholastic and for cross curricular work. How about an activity that gets learners working out What can we learn about an owl by looking at its face?

    Healthy Eating Display – A taste of Spain 5

    Fruit and Veg – A taste of Spain 1, originally uploaded by LindaH.

    This stunning classroom display from Mrs Littman’s Year 5 class at Kingston Primary in Benfleet, Essex won a first prize of £2000 in the Taste of Spain collage competition for UK Primary schools. I strongly suspect a Teaching Assistant might have been very busy with this display 🙂 I hope she had a group helping. It’s amazing what you can do with crepe paper and it’s not nearly as time consuming as you might think.
    My own favourite came from Mrs Greisens’ Year 3 class at Warren Road Primary, Orpington in Kent. This came second and won £1000 for the school. It had slightly more obvious pupil involvement I think. Some of the fruit is cut from magazines, other bits have been painted and cut out, then dried stuff has been stuck on top. I love the pictures round the edge of this one of the kids trying all the different fruit.
    Fruit and Veg - A taste of Spain 7

    There was whole pack of resources to go with this competition. They looked great and would be just the thing to go with Healthy Eating week. I hope they put them online again next year as they are running the competition again in 2008. The standard of displays was not impossibly high and I hope many more schools enter classroom displays next year .