Top Fiction for Christmas

Sharne Watkins

There can be no better time to snuggle up with a good book than Christmas.  Whether you are looking for a book to share with pupils, a gift to buy a loved one, or looking for a treat for yourself, you can’t go too far wrong with any from the following selection.  Now pick a book, take time to relax, savour the moment and envelop yourself in the wonder of the festive season.

1

Clement C Moore’s timeless verse, beautifully illustrated by Christian Birmingham, is the perfect book for bringing the awe and wonder to Christmas Eve.  Many include this book as part of their family tradition over Christmas, and it’s not hard to see why.

2

This Kate Greenaway winning Christmas classic details the poignant tale of Jonathan Toomey. An expert woodcarver, he is always alone and no one knows why.  His lonely existence is gradually and convincingly transformed through his friendship with a little boy and his widowed mother and is a beautiful read.  A true Christmas classic.

3

It is hard to imagine Christmas without the extraordinary tale of Scrooge and the spirits that visited him that very special Christmas.  A story that deserves to be read by all!

4

The cover says this book is ‘for children everywhere’ and that includes children aged 1-101!  The reader is invited to journey with the jolly postman as he delivers the letters that you get to open!  Some pages double as envelopes and in each one is a wonderful surprise to read and enjoy. This is an interactive book guaranteed to engage the most disinterested of readers.

5

A beautiful book from Wales’ very own Dylan Thomas.  This book recalls memories of heartfelt, joyful childhood Christmasses.  It is written with lyrical prose and is a great read for those with a nostalgic nature.

6

Seen the movie?  Now read the book.  There can be few books more beautifully illustrated than The Polar Express.  Join the journey to the North Pole and find out what is waiting there.  For those of you stopped believing.  This will convince you to change your mind.

 

Achievement of 15 Year Olds in Wales: PISA 2015

Key outcomes for Wales

(as taken from the Executive Summary)

Achievement in science

The average PISA science score for Wales in 2015 was 485. This is 20 points lower than the average in 2006 (505).

Achievement in mathematics

The average PISA mathematics score for Wales in 2015 was 478. The average score has fluctuated over the last decade, but is at a similar level in 2015 as it was in 2006 (484).

Achievement in reading

The average PISA reading score for Wales in 2015 was 477. This has remained stable since 2006 (481).

Although there are clear socio-economic differences in 15-year-olds’ PISA scores, socio-economic inequality is actually much lower in Wales than the rest of the UK, and compared to most other countries across the world. In Wales, the gap between pupils from the most and least advantaged 25 per cent of families in Wales is around 50 test points in science. This is much smaller than the average across industrialised countries (88 points). However, this small gap is at least partly driven by the comparatively weak academic performance of pupils from the most advantaged socio-economic backgrounds in Wales relative to their equally advantaged socio-economic peers in other industrialised countries.

Read Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams’ response here:

http://gov.wales/newsroom/educationandskills/2016/161206-wales-will-have-the-courage-to-deliver-national-mission-of-education-reform/?lang=en

Access the PISA Report here:

http://gov.wales/docs/statistics/2016/161206-pisa-2015-en.pdf