Forestdale Primary School

Believe - Aspire - Excel


Enjoy the half term - please stay safe - the children are back on MONDAY 2ND NOVEMBER...


Lesson 1 

LI: To be able to discuss how elements contribute to a story

The English theme this week is recounts. Today your child will be looking through an example of a recount with a twist.

  • Show cover and title of The Day of Ahmed’s Secret by Florence Parry Heide & Judith Heide Gilliland.
  • Discuss what the cover illustration and text shows and what this could mean for the book.
  • Read the first page with your child. What might Ahmed’s secret be? When will it be told?
  • Get your child to discuss why this makes a good opening (suspense, emotion, context, connection with ending, brevity). Read the rest of the book, showing illustrations as you do so.
  • Compare the ending with your child’s predictions. How do the authors keep the suspense of Ahmed’s secret in the reader’s mind? (Several references throughout the story). Discuss impact when the secret is revealed. How is this achieved? Discuss the power of becoming literate, especially in places where schooling is not free and universal.
  • Point out that the book is written in the present tense. Ahmed is telling us what happens as it happens. Normally a recount is told in the past tense. Discuss why this might be. Recounts retell important events or describe experiences that someone has had. 

Activity - Your child shall then look at the excerpt from The Day of Ahmed’s Secret, ask them to change the first paragraph into the past tense as it would normally be used in a recount. They can then do the same with the rest of the page.

Lesson 2

LI: To be able to write a recount in the third person.

  • Remind your child of the book read yesterday. It is a recount told in the present tense, instead of the usual past tense.
  • Ask what other features do recounts usually have? Get your child to write a list of suggestions, e.g. past tense, first person (I, we) – when a personal recount like this book, chronological order, use of time adverbs/adverbials, paragraphs (change in time/place), descriptive words & phrases, etc.
  • For reference, see worksheet provided sharing recount features.
  • Look at page 13 in the story, shown as Excerpt number 2. Ask your child to identify some of the features they have discussed within the text.

Activity - Challenge your child to write a short recount of Ahmed’s day in the third person. Point out that they should use the past tense and the third person (he, him, his). They do not have to include all the events and can focus on two or three of importance, but should write in paragraphs.

Lesson 3 

LI: To be able to recognise homophones.

  • Write the word desert on a piece of paper. Which desert is Cairo on the edge of? Western Desert part of the Sahara (Arabic aṣ-aʾ al-Kubrā meaning Great Desert as described in book). Do not say the word desert to your child yet.
  • Ask how to pronounce desert – pointing out that stress on the first syllable is used for the noun that we are emphasising in the book but if we stress the second syllable then we create the verb form meaning to abandon.
  • Now write dessert on a piece of paper (stress on 2nd syllable). Ask your child to define this word.
  • These words are often confused and/or pronounced incorrectly. Can your child suggest other words that sound the same but are spelt differently and mean different things, called homophones.
  • Can they define the examples they have given and use them in a verbal sentence?

Activity - Show your child the list of homophones (& other words) & discuss in particular the words ending in -ce & -se. Your child should pick five pairs of words from the list and write a sentence for each which shows its meaning. Encourage your child to choose words that they are not sure of – they can use a dictionary or device to check the meaning. 

Lesson 4 

LI: I  can revise adverbials and correctly punctuate them

Ask your child what an adverb is and its purpose before they begin today’s learning.

What we need to know:

  • Adverbials can add details to a recount. We use the term ‘adverbial phrase’ to help change a verb or a clause in one or more words. Adverbs can be used as adverbials, but also preposition phrases and subordinate clauses, such as: Ahmed told his family his secret last night. (noun phrase modifying told). He worked until he had finished. (subordinate clause modifying worked). He will arrive home in five minutes. (adverbial /preposition phrase modifying will arrive).
  • Adverbials can be placed in different places in a sentence, at the start, in the middle and at the end. Fronted adverbials (at the start of a sentence) are often followed by a comma. Look at resource examples.


  • Identify some adverbials on your resource sheet of adverbials in sentences from the book.
  • When you have identified examples of adverbials in the sentences, write some sentences of your own about Ahmed or one of the other characters in the book, which contain an adverbial.
  • Challenge - position one adverbial at the beginning of a sentence, one at the end of another sentence and one in the middle of a third? What about a sentence with more than one adverbial (remember a singular adverb can act as an adverbial)?


Awards we have received so far.

  • Primary Science
  • Healthy Schools
  • Health for Life
  • Artsmark Award
  • EEF
  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Music Mark