The Russell School



Russell Reading Blog

Welcome back to a great new year!

I thought I'd let you know about some smashing events Chorleywood Bookshop are hosting this term! I know many of you are fans of the Storey Treehouse books...and we have many keen writers too who may be interested in the writing workshop. (8 - 12 years)



For all you keen readers, there are some great events being organised by Chorleywood Bookshop over this term.

I thought you may want to look and see what is on offer!



Joining us live from Australia, best-selling author Andy Griffiths is ready to make half-term that little bit sillier!

Andy and Terry have added thirteen new levels to their Treehouse (it used to be 130 storeys, but it keeps on growing) including a word-o-matic (it knows every word in the whole world); a recycling depot; a wrecking ball; a deep, dark cave with a real, live, fire-breathing dragon; a complaining room; a spooky graveyard (where it's always midnight, even in the middle of the day); and a camping ground where you can have a nice, relaxing holiday.

Andy's been a bit stressed, so Terry has decided the perfect way for them to chill out is to head up to their new campsite level for a much-needed break. But it turns out to be not quite as relaxing as he originally planned. . .

Terry forgets to pack the tent and the food, their attempt at fishing ends in disaster, the spooky campfire stories are a little too spooky and then, to make matters worse, all of Andy’s fellow campers start mysteriously disappearing.

Can Andy brave the dark, dark woods and rescue them in time to finish writing their next book? 

Event ticket £12.99, which includes access to the live stream event, a copy of 'The 143-Storey Treehouse' and a FREE copy of
'The Treehouse Fun Book'.

Yes, that's right...£12.99 to keep the whole family entertained!



Our much loved online Children’s Creative Writing Workshop returns 
this October half term.

Join children’s author Sophie Cleverly for an exciting online workshop, suitable for budding mystery writers aged 8-12 years.

Tickets are £30 and include:

Access to the live stream creative writing workshop

A copy of 'The Violet Veil Mysteries: A Grave Case of Danger' (RRP £6.99)

£5 voucher to spend in either bookshop

Places are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.



Mrs Southworth




Home Readers

Please can your child children return all their home reading books by Friday 16th July (hand in to their class teacher) so we can audit all our Home Reading Books and get ready for the next school year!

Many thanks.

Mrs Southworth


Reading over the summer holidays!

I have been asked by many parents for ideas of  good reads for our children over the summer holidays! 

As well as the book lists you can already find in the Curriculum (Reading) drop down menu on our website, I have put together an up-to-date list for our KS2 Year groups...with input from the current year group pupils included! 


These will be given to your children on Friday. (16.7.21) and will be added to the Blog on the same day.


Hello Everyone again! Last half term this year!

What a busy time we are having...or have had!

Baroness Floella Benjamin was an absolute inspiration when the whole school logged in to her Virtual Live Meeting back in May!

Our children have produced some fantastic written work based around her life and have reflected on the 'journey' her family made on 'Coming to England'. Emily in Year 2 has written a great review of her picture book and Christopher and Isobel in Year 4 have reviewed her other book aimed at slightly older children. These should join Audrey's and Rhiya's review of The Last Bear!


Then, KS2 had the amazing Cressida Cowell Live event where she talked about her inspiration for her 'Wizards of Once' series! Without taking a breath, she was so passionate about her characters that we were quite dizzy with awe!! The new Four Book Set is in school now, and will be in the library to borrow when we get back in, in September.


Our children have been busy putting their ideas onto paper for our new 'Reading Garden'! They have come up with some 'genius thoughts which we now need to decide on! (A Mindfulness Fountain, Comfy Seating, Aroma Bed (roses, lavender, jasmine and honeysuckle) as well as ideas for allowing shade in summer!

We can't wait to get going on it!

Mrs Southworth


Baroness Floella Benjamin Virtual Event

Tuesday 11th May 2021 at 10 am

Exciting announcement!

On Tuesday 11th May, each class will be given a presentation (via Zoom) from Baroness Floella Benjamin. She will be talking to the children about her early experiences coming to England and her path to becoming a well known presenter and actor! (She often contributes to audio books too!)

She has written 2 beautiful books (see below) which will be on sale through a form on ParentMail as in the past. If you have any questions for Baroness Floella Benjamin, please let me know on Friday 7th May through the Office, and I will forward them. (It isn't possible to answer every question, but often your question is answered through another.)


A story about the triumph of hope, love, and determination, Coming to England is the inspiring true story of Baroness Floella Benjamin: from Trinidad, to London as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords. When she was ten years old, Floella Benjamin, along with her older sister and two younger brothers, set sail from Trinidad to London, to be reunited with the rest of their family. Alone on a huge ship for two weeks, then tumbled into a cold and unfriendly London.

Coming to England is both deeply personal and universally relevant – Floella’s experiences of moving home and making friends will resonate with young children, who will be inspired by her trademark optimism and joy. at all what Floella had expected.

For younger readers…and me!

A delightful Picture book I have just bought a copy myself!


 With a foreword by the author and some additional historical information, this is the incredible story of Floella’s journey from Trinidad to London, as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords.


Floella Benjamin was just a young girl when she, her sister and two brothers arrived in England in 1960 to join their parents, whom they had not seen for fifteen months. They had left the island paradise of Trinidad to make a new home in London – part of a whole generation of West Indians who were encouraged to move to Britain and help rebuild the country after the Second World War. Reunited with her mother, Floella was too overwhelmed at first to care about the cold weather and the noise and dirt from the traffic.


But, as her new life began, she was shocked and distressed by the rejection she experienced. She soon realized that the only way to survive was to work twice as hard and be twice as good as anyone else.

For older readers in KS2 and confident Y2 readers!


Looking forward to it!

Mrs Southworth


The Russell School Cookbook is back on sale now!

Returning by popular demand, The Russell School Cookbook is available to buy from today! 

Packed full of sweet and savoury specials, it’s been a huge hit with children and families. We have heard how many grandparents have adored receiving their special gift copies and parents and children have loved trying out new creative recipes. 

Priced at £10 per cookbook (covering printing cost and FoRS donation). 

Please purchase copies by visiting payments in your ParentMail account by Monday 17 May, 3pm. The cookbooks should arrive the week after, just in time for half-term break activities and gifts for loved ones!

Thank you for your continued support

FoRS Team


It is a cracking book...the children in Class 3 were so excited when it arrived, and I'm sure the other classes were just as excited too...Well worth the extra inches (!!).

Mrs Southworth


Dear All

I hope you enjoyed visiting the Online Book Fair just before Easter!

All the books ordered have been sent out and are being enjoyed.

If you have any suggestions for any future Book Fairs we may arrange, please email me via the school office! 

The commission on sales has been very welcomed and will be used to further our reading enjoyment! 








Bookmark competition!


I have displayed the winning bookmarks in the school Library...they are such fun! You (our school children) will be able to see them when you go into the library with your classes! I hope the winners enjoyed their 'chocolatey' treat over Easter! (Sorry Mums and Dads!)


Mrs Southworth 





 NEW BOOK Reviews (April)

I will be really pleased to add our (April) book review in

wc 10.5.21

Two children in Year Three, this time, have been deep into 'The Last Bear' (one of the books highlighted from the Live Presentations we enjoyed in

World Book Week!) I wonder what they thought about the beautiful story?






New Book Reviews (March)

Polly Auden in Year Six, and Ralph Clarke in Year Five have written brilliant 'Book Reviews' for our 'New Books of the Month!

I'm afraid I cannot rotate the images so please read sideways!! 

'I would recommend this book for 9 - 11 year olds'

'I gave this book 4/5 stars because you had to read quite a few chapters to really get into the groove of the book!'

The star character (Vi)  is 'outgoing, clever and strong-willed!'

Polly Auden Y6




'I recommend this book for 8 years and over'

'It had lots of cool facts about Windsor Castle.   

'I felt amazed!'

Ralph Clarke Year 5




And Reception Class looked at the lovely new book 'Howl'


'The moon came out when they turned into wolves!'  (Bethany)

'It was all just a dream!'  (Theo)

'They danced under the moon! I loved that bit because we all joined in and howled!'  (Isabella)

'The End was really good...there was a dog...I love dogs!'  (Albie)



Dear All

I am pleased to announce this year’s R.U.S.S.A s!!

After all your voting (thank you very much) the results are as follows:-


 Nursery:-  Hairy Maclary’s Bone!!


Reception:- The Enormous Crocodile!!


Year One:-  The Magic Faraway Tree



Year Two:- The 13 Storey Treehouse


Year Three:- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone



Year Four:- Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  (All the  books in the series!)


Year Five:- (Diary of a Wimpy Kid. (All the books in the Series!)



Year Six:- Wonder



Well. Once again’ ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ remains really popular! It is also so good to see our old favourites ‘The Enormous Crocodile, ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ and ‘Hairy Maclary making an appearance!

‘Harry Potter’ was a favourite for many of you too, as was the ‘13 Storey Treehouse’

It was also great to see Year Six enjoying the thought-provoking ‘Wonder’ and recognising the message within the story.

Thank you for all your support in voting for these books!

I hope this inspires you to read one of them...if you haven't already!

Mrs Southworth 12.3.21








A reminder that wc 15th March is Shakespeare Week.

(See the Blog below (First Blog )

The link to the kids Zone is

Shakespeare Week Kids' Zone


 It is really worth looking at and starting to get your child familiar with our greatest bard!!

(Mrs Southworth 4.3.21)


Dear Parents of Early Years, KS1 and Y3

I have added the links below for you to use with your child, if you wish, to listen to some super readers reading four great books.  (Mrs Southworth 3.3.21)


Winston the Book Wolf

(Marnie McGee  7+)

Winston the book wolf likes books - he likes to eat them. But then a girl named Rosie teaches Winston an important lesson: 
"You do not have to chew on a book to taste the wonderful words inside. Words taste even better when you eat them with your eyes!”

Winston the Book Wolf


Mr Wolf's Pancakes

(Jan Fearnley 6+)

Mr Wolf fancies some tasty pancakes, but he doesn’t know how to make them! Asking his neighbours is no use; they’re a mean and horrible lot who refuse to help. Poor Mr Wolf! He has to work it out all by himself. But what happens when those nasty neighbours want to help Mr Wolf eat his delicious pancakes?

Mr Wolf's Pancakes



(Fred Blunt 4+)

Mr Gnome is a grumpy little fellow. He's really quite rude and he is definitely NOT cute. So when Miss Witch asks him to kindly stop fishing in her pond, Mr Gnome is in danger of finding out exactly what happens to gnomes who say 'NO!'





Ten Fat Sausages

(Michelle Robinson 5+)


Ten fat sausages sizzling in the pan... decide to escape, if they can! Come on a great escape through the kitchen as we follow each sausage that decides to make a run for it. Will they succeed or will the cat, blender, plug hole or fan prove their downfall?


Ten Fat Sausages


                                   World Book Day


                                       Free audiobooks to listen to!


The World Book Day Team have put together some great audiobooks that your child can listen to this week!  Books such as 'Boot' (Shane Hegarty, the author, visited us a couple of years ago and was hilarious) and 'Rashford' (The story of Markus Rashford's rise to fame).

Click on the link below if you would like to look at and listen to any of these books.


                            Free Audio Books for World Book Day...week!


Mrs Southworth (28.2.21)






Dear All

Thank you for all the requests to be a 'Russell Reviewer' and review newly-published books. If you haven't put forward your name yet, please do. The right book for you to review could be just round the corner!

There's no closing date as such

Mrs Southworth (26.2.21)






School Reading List

New Books of the Month

February 2021

            February Fiction Book of the Month           Amazing Treasures         

                Fiction  (Y5/6)                     Non-Fiction   (KS2) 



        Picture  (Early Years and KS1)                                               



While Valentine is having issues at home, a growing evil lurks in the form of an Evil Overlord who wants to take over the world.

Will Valentine be able to save us from certain doom?

This addictive, funny and fast-paced plot will keep 9 - 11 year olds mesmerised, with some reading it in one sitting!

Maz Evans



A sparkling Collection of treasures through history. Spanning different cultures, civilisations and periods in history, this highly illustrated book is suitable for inquisitive KS2 children.

Inside you will find not only sacred artefacts and ancient antiquities, but also your concept of treasure will be challenged as the book explores the diminishing ice sheets and a rare Star Wars toy!

David Long and Muti



This moving picture book follows Maggie who is having a really bad day. When shoes don’t fit, teeth fall out, food isn’t right and she can’t get to sleep; Maggie lets out her frustration in the only way she knows how- with a howl What happens next is startling, life affirming and surprisingly satisfying!

A great book to read and talk about with Early Years and KS1 children.

By Kat Patrick and Evie Barrow

(Russell Reviewers for these books wanted!  Let your Class Teacher know if you would like to be considered for these reviews.)


 Be Bookish!!

I am often asked for activities you can do at home linked to the books that your child is reading.

Many publishers have web sites that you can dip into for activities and resources.

One such site is:-


I have added a link which you might want to use.

 Mrs Southworth