First Day

8.50 am. Infants and Juniors troop past our house on their way to school. The cat’s in the front window watching them, trying to get her head around the mystery that is children. Why are they not stopping to play with her? What’s with the new shoes and the too-long dresses?  Why are they poking each other with shiny new gel pens?



Yes, it’s the First Day Back. La Rentrée, as the kids lucky enough to have holidayed in France will know it; their gel pens came from Carrefour. But wherever these primary pupils sourced their new-term goodies, they’ll all be thinking the same. Will I sit by my friends? What’s Mrs X really like? Please don’t make us write about My Holiday …

Students ‘doing English’ with me know there’s often poetry in my lessons (frequently sourced from the fabulous Children’s Poetry Archive – see link below). Here’s a helpful poem for all the children wondering how to deal with their new classteacher.  And a message for my new Year Fives and Sixes – don’t try it on me!!


Heebie Geebie, Hurple Burple
 Time To Turn My Teacher. . . PURPLE!

Simply chant this magic spell
 soon your teacher looks unwell:
 purple cheeks and purple nose
 purpleness from head to toes

Feed her beetroot every hour
 see her fill with purple power
 bloomin’ like a purple flower
 how she’ll scream
 when in the shower!!!

How to Turn Your Teacher Purple and Other Sizzling Science Poems (A&C Black, 2011), © James Carter 2011

How to Turn Your Teacher Purple


This is also the First Day of my blog. English With Dr Julia Fowler .  There’ll be info and snippets for GCSE students and 11+ parents, links to stuff I like and find useful, and thoughts on literacy coaching.  Looking forward to hearing your thoughts too!



By Dr Julia Fowler

Private Academic Tutor in English Language and Literature; UK Curriculum, KS3, KS4, KS5; GCSE, iGCSE, AS / A-level all boards. In person and online.

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