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Katie Barrett

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A Spelling Seed for Windrush Child


KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 6

Literary Theme: Migration & Movement

Author(s): Benjamin Zephaniah


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah.  Below is the coverage from Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum 2014.

Spelling Seeds have been designed to complement Writing Roots by providing weekly, contextualised sequences of sessions for the teaching of spelling that include open-ended investigations and opportunities to practise and apply within meaningful and purposeful contexts, linked (where relevant) to other areas of the curriculum and a suggestion of how to extend the investigation into home learning.

There is a Spelling Seed session for every week of the associated Writing Root.


Word List Words

appreciate, community, determined, equipped, familiar, foreign, identity, recognise

Spelling Rules and Patterns

Words ending in -ant, -ance / -ancy

Endings which sound like /ʃəl/(–cial or –tial)

A Writing Root is available for Windrush Child.

Writing Root Overview:


Thought bubble, informal letter, poem, diary entry, advice

Main Outcome:

Persuasive pitch to the local council


15 session, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 15-session Writing Root for Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah.  Children begin by examining a range of historical evidence relating to HSS Empire Windrush’s arrival in Britain from the Caribbean and consider the motivations of those onboard for coming to the UK.  Working through the story, they uncover a timeline of Jamaica’s history alongside the experiences of those journeying to Britain after the Second World War.  Children will write an airmail letter from the main character, Leonard, to his dad who has travelled ahead to Manchester, as well as exploring his emotions in a diary entry and a set of advice to other arrivals. There will be the chance for children to examine and perform the poem Windrush Child by John Agard before writing their own version based on events in the story.  The sequence of learning culminates in children writing a pitch to the local council to erect a new monument to commemorate the Windrush generation.  Teachers may wish to link History and PSHE sessions alongside to allow children time to explore themes in more detail.

Synopsis of Text:

In this heart-stopping adventure, Benjamin Zephaniah shows us what it was like to be a child of the Windrush generation.  Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in the port of Southampton. His father is a stranger to him, it’s cold and even the Jamaican food doesn’t taste the same as it did back home in Maroon Town. But his parents have brought him here to try to make a better life, so Leonard does his best not to complain, to make new friends, to do well at school – even when people hurt him with their words and with their fists.  But how can a boy so far from home learn to enjoy his new life when so many things count against him?

Text Rationale:

This poignant story, written by influential poet Benjamin Zephaniah, delves into the history of the Windrush generation.  Through studying the text, children will engage with the experiences of those who left behind their homes in the Caribbean and arrived on the shores of Britain after the Second World War.  An accompanying study of the poem Windrush Child by John Agard helps children to understand the personal experiences of those involved and the reasons why this period in history is so important to remember today.

Links and Themes:

Windrush, Caribbean, black history, journeys, migration, poetry, performance poems

Date written: June 2021

View Windrush Child Writing Root

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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