Archive for May 2012

I typed this into a search engine this morning just to see what would come up and was  immediately drawn to this article from The Telegraph .  The article, written at the start of 2012, states that by the age of 11 children should be able to enjoy reading books by authors such as Michael Morpurgo, Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson and JK Rowling.  These wonderful books transport children to new worlds, introduces a range of colourful characters and makes them ask questions about the world around them.

The article claims that many children cannot enjoy reading these books for pleasure as they do not understand how to interpret the text, ask appropriate questions and have a bank of strategies to use if they do not recognise a word.  These are all important skills which are necessary to be a confident reader but they have to be taught.  Being able to read the words alone does not make a ‘good reader’.  At Smart Owls we teach these strategies as part of their lesson.  Children receive written work to complete along with their reading book and we discuss the book together.  Together these challenge students to ask difficult questions, put themselves in the character’s position and consider their own actions while developing their vocabulary, spelling and grammar skills.


Thank you to those students who allowed me to take photographs of them during their lessons.  In the private tuition section you can now see pictures of some activities which we do during tuition along with examples of some of the new books that are now available for reading activities.

Yesterday I recorded an interview with Branka from the Kidster website on reading and writing.  The idea was to give some ideas on ways parents can help to develop their children’s reading and writing at home.  I haven’t seen it yet but it should be available on the Kidster website English section soon.

There is one space available for the first session of Read, Rhyme, Craft on the 9th June.  The first session lasts from 9 – 10.15 and costs 35chf.  It is for children aged 4 – 7 and is a relaxed introduction into phonics and reading.

‘Making sense of it’ on Saturday 16th June is for children aged 7 – 10.  It takes place at Chinwag Language and Culture Centre in Wollerau from 9.30 – 12.00.

More information on both workshops can be found here.

The welcome letters for Talking and Listening Games have been posted today and should reach the participants tomorrow.

There are still some spaces available for this workshop and more information can be found here.   To register please complete the application form at the top of the workshop page or send me (Karen) an email at

Upcoming workshop dates

There are currently no scheduled workshops.


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