Across school, from EYFS to Year 6, pupils will have the opportunity to read books and texts, which explore a variety of cultures, issues and settings from around the world.

In Year 2, we have been reading The Journey Home. This text is about lots of animals who have to find a new home due to the impact of humans. Polar Bear has to leave as he has no ice left, a panda who’s habitat has been taken over by skyscrapers, a monkey leaves because they’ve knocked down all their trees and an elephant joins them as he is being hunted. We learned that this is happening in real life and were shocked by how many endangered animals there are. We used this book as an inspiration to write our own stories.

“It’s not fair that the polar bear had no land – it isn’t his fault!” – Milo

“I feel sad for the animals.” – Oscar

“We need to look after the animals because if we don’t there’ll not be any left.” Amelia


In Year 4, we have been reading The Boy at the Back of the Class. We have discussed what it means to be a refugee and our roles and responsibilities within society of showing tolerance and understanding towards others, who may have differing cultural backgrounds to our own.




Viking Boy: 

We read lots of texts that partner with our wider curriculum in History and Geography too. Viking Boy (a novel by Tony Bradman) linked to our History topic of the Vikings, where we learned all about where Viking settlers came from in Scandinavia. This tale helped us to understand early Scandinavian culture and customs, too, and how they influenced Viking life and loyalties. 

Freedom Bird:

One of our books in English in Year 5 is Freedom Bird by the American author Jerdine Nolan. This story, which is written in the tradition of American black folktales, tells of an enslaved brother and sister who are inspired by a majestic and mysterious bird escape to freedom. We discuss lots of important and sensitive topics when reading Freedom Bird, such as racism, discrimination, migration and slavery. 

Children of the Benin Kingdom:

As part of our understanding of history, ancestry and culture, Year 5 also do an English unit based on the novel ‘Children of the Benin Kingdom’ by Dinah Orji, which looks at one of Africa’s most fascinating earlier civilisations, the Edo Kingdom of Benin. This adventure story opens up lots of opportunity for discussion around early West African culture and traditions, and how the themes of the story – such as friendship, loyalty and the bonds of family, may have impacted life today. Together with the children, we find out and discuss how this text is an example of a more accurate portrayal of historical fiction which means it is a celebration of Black history.

In Year 6, pupils have studied The Windrush Child. They have studied the Windrush Generation and the treatment of people during this time. They have addressed issues such as racism and talked about their own roles and responsibilities within society. They wrote letters to the councillor addressing the significance of the Windrush Generation in the UK and to address their ill-treatment.

In our English lessons, we have studied the text ‘Varmints’. This text explored the role and responsibility that humans have to look after the planet. We talked about what we can do to support our planet and created information texts outlining the life cycle of plants.

In PSHE, pupils learned about prejudice. They explored the text ‘The Proudest Blue’. We talked about prejudice that people face because of their religion, culture, disabilities or their gender. We discussed the difficulties that the main character faced, due to wearing a hijab. Pupils were able to identify the unfairness of this and what they could do to combat this.

“People should all be treated fairly, no matter what their religion or culture” – Cosette

“I think I would tell people that it was unfair to treat others in that way, if I heard them being unkind” – Emily

In Guided Reading, Year 4 read all about the Windrush Generation in the book ‘A World Full of Journeys and Migrations’ by Martin Howard and illustrated by Christopher Corr. We explored lots of facts and information about The Windrush Generation including when it was, where they boarded and sailed, the difficulties they faced when they arrived and the hard work these people helped put in to help the UK.

The pupils shared lots of ideas about their own thoughts on this situation. Many pupils were able to describe the sadness they felt for the people who had been treated in this way and that they wanted to help people who are in the UK to feel welcome. Some pupils were outraged by the treatment and wanted the government to make changes to support people who migrate to the UK.

In English, Year 4 read ‘The Matchbox Diary’ by Paul Fleishman. This is a historical fiction book which tells the story of a little girl’s great-grandfather’s matchbox diary and includes the theme of migration. It explores the story of migration from Italy to America, at the time of famine, due to droughts. We were able to consider the journey that people took and the desperation they must have felt, due to wider world issues. The narrative itself deals with the treatment the family received, when they arrived in America. Pupils were able to discuss their upset about this and it prompted a discussion about how people should all be treated equally, no matter who they are.

We then went onto research about migration to gather information to complete a non-chronological report. Our reports entailed a range of information about migration including why people migrate, who the first people to migrate were, who migrates and much more.

In Year 3, we have been reading Escape from Pompeii by Christina Balit. This is a historical fiction book which tells the story of two children from Pompeii who witness the devastation of Mount Vesuvius’s eruption. The story begins with an exploration of how the Roman people of Pompeii lived. We were able to discuss how the people must have felt as they watched their entire lives being destroyed in an instant. We have written some descriptive paragraphs describing the catastrophic eruption as well as a newspaper report documenting the event.

“I have loved learning about Pompeii! I would not have liked to have lived there during the eruption.” – Erin

“I would love to visit Pompeii in the future to see what remains.” – Charlie

We have also read The Cloud Tea Monkeys by Elspeth Graham and Mal Peet in Year 3. This fictional story was inspired by a tea-picking tale from the high mountain countries of the Himalayan region. It tells the story of a young girl called Tashi whose mother works on a tea plantation. When her mother becomes too sick to work, Tashi is helped by the monkeys who pick her the finest tea in the land. We used this text to write a non-chronological reports all about tea. We researched where tea is grown in the world and the different types of tea that we can drink. We also learned about the history of tea and how it has become a drink loved by people all around the world!

In Reception we thought about China and the Chinese culture and read ‘The Magic Paintbrush’ by Julia Donaldson. We carried out literacy work around this.

Our Partner School

This year, we have exchanged correspondence with our partner school in France. The pupils there have learned the story of The Gingerbread Man. In turn, our pupils learned a traditional French tale ‘Riquet with the Tuft’. The pupils loved learning a story from another country and were able to produce a retell orally.

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