Leigh Church of England Academy

Aim ever higher

Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Search

Google Search

Get in touch

Contact Details


In Autumn 1 we will be looking at The King who banned the dark by Emily Haworth-Booth.

When a little boy grows up to be king, he decides to use his power to tackle his fear of the dark by banning it. His advisors persuade him that the best way to do this is by convincing the people that it was what they wanted anyway. They even plan a celebration of the dark ban with a grand fireworks display but maybe the people are not as susceptible as the king and his advisors believe… This debut picture book by Emily Haworth-Booth, in which the predominantly yellow colour palette lights up the darkness, has a strong underlying political and philosophical message very relevant for our times.

Overall learning aims of this teaching sequence:

  • To inspire children to engage with literature
  • To think and talk confidently about their response to the book, using prediction, asking questions, making connections with their own experience
  • To develop creative responses to the text through drama, storytelling and artwork
  • To explore the centrality to writers of reader response and reading aloud
  • To enrich vocabulary and understanding of the impact of language on readers and audience
  • To write in role in order to explore and develop empathy for characters
  • To explore the authentic authorial process of ideation, creation, reflection and publication
  • To write for meaning, purpose and audience in a variety of forms

In Autumn 2, we explore African Tales, a Barefoot Collection by Gcina Mhlophe, illustrated by Rachel Griffin.


The book is a true celebration of the storytelling tradition that is inherent across the diverse cultures and communities of this vast continent. The vibrancy and delicate detail of the artwork is inspired by the art of the different regions. This along with the country summaries and range of stories wonderfully capture the wisdom, wit, ingenuity, character and richness of cultures across the different parts of the African continent.

Overall learning aims of this teaching sequence.

  • To establish and develop an insight into the culture, geography and history of the countries introduced.
  • To be given the opportunity to develop the skill of oral story telling.
  • To enjoy a story and discuss its meanings. 
  • To explore these through role-play and through writing in role. 
  • To develop a personal and distinctive storytelling voice to support story telling and writing  inspired by the collection.
  • To develop reader response by exploring interpretations of themes, plots and characters actions and motivations through discussion and debate.