Reading Booklet for English KS2 assessment.
Sample 2016 Key Stage 2 English Reading Booklet
A Little Princess
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Extreme Weather pages 3–5
Foreign Lands page 6
A Little Princess pages 7-8
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What is extreme weather?
Extreme weather is simply really bad weather, or weather on a large, serious scale.
Extreme weather occurs when a weather event is significantly different from the usual
weather pattern. This may take place over one day or a period of time.
For example, in the UK there is usually very little snow. But if there were to be lots
of snow in the form of snowstorms and snowdrifts many metres deep, much worse
than normal, this would be classed as an extreme weather event. Extreme wind could
include gales, tornadoes and hurricanes, and extreme rain – lasting for many days –
can cause serious flooding.
Extreme weather events do not happen very often. But when they do occur they can
cause devastating destruction. Buildings, roads, homes and even lives have all been
lost as a result of extreme weather.
Can we predict extreme weather?
Yes we can, although some forms of weather events
are easier to predict than others. A meteorologist is
the name we give to people who assess and monitor
the weather and weather conditions. We often call
meteorologists ‘weather forecasters’. The technology
used in modern weather forecasting can tell us where
and when a hurricane will hit land, allowing people
to prepare their homes and leave the area if necessary.
However, the movement of some storms, including
tornadoes, is harder to predict.
What do meteorologists do?
A meteorologist uses scientific ideas to explain,
understand and forecast what is happening in the
Earth’s atmosphere. They predict and observe at how
the atmosphere creates weather which affects life on
Broadcast meteorologists interpret and report on the
weather on television and radio.
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Types of Extreme Weather Features and Effects
Drought Caused by too little rain. Minor droughts in the UK
happen during long, hot summers but don’t last long.
Major drought occurs when there is too little rainfall for
years, even decades. South-western Australia suffered
a drought lasting 12 years from 1997-2009. Drought
causes dry rivers, shrivelled crops and starvation. Dry
soil and dirt can be blown into the air and cause dust
storms which block out the sun (sometimes called
Flooding Flooding is any area of land covered by water which
is usually dry. Can occur steadily or be rapid and
unexpected, causing loss of life. Main weather event
which can be made worse by where and how we choose
to live. More likely when there has been a lot of rain
in recent days or weeks, when the ground is already
saturated with water and cannot absorb any more.
Blizzards Extreme snow can take the form of a blizzard, or snow
storm. Common in northern regions of North America,
Europe and Asia. When wind accompanies snowfall
it can cause huge drifts of snow, sometimes several
metres deep. Visibility can be zero – this is called a
‘whiteout’. Can cover trains and cars, trapping people
inside. Causes huge disruption to travel and business.
Tornadoes One of the most violent extreme weather events.
Produces the strongest winds on Earth, close to 300
miles per hour. Lasts for a few seconds to many hours.
Can occur anywhere in the world (speed varies greatly
with location) and cause widespread devastation.
‘Tornado Alley’ is the name given to an area of North
America where tornadoes occur most frequently.
Hurricanes, Typhoons Different names for one event – powerful, rotating
and Cyclones storm with thunder, lightning and rain. Major danger
to people, buildings and the environment. Hurricane is
the term given to major storms affecting the Atlantic
Ocean and nearby land (America, Caribbean, Gulf of
Mexico). In the Pacific Ocean they are called typhoons,
in the Indian Ocean they are cyclones. Can move from
sea across land, causing extreme flooding (waves up to
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contain bugs that can
cause serious illnesses
a te rs c a n
e d a n ge r
disgu i s
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Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad on foreign lands.
I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.
I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky’s blue looking-glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people tramping into town.
If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships.
To where the roads on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive.
From ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’
by Robert Louis Stevenson
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A Little Princess
Once on a dark winter’s day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of
London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night,
an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through
the big thoroughfares.
She sat with her feet tucked under her, and leaned against her father, who held her in his arm,
as she stared out of the window at the passing people with a queer old-fashioned thoughtfulness
in her big eyes.
She was such a little girl that one did not expect to see such a
look on her small face. It would have been an old look for a child
of twelve, and Sara Crewe was only seven. The fact was, however,
that she was always dreaming and thinking odd things and could
not herself remember any time when she had not been thinking
things about grown-up people and the world they belonged to.
She felt as if she had lived a long, long time.
At this moment she was remembering the voyage she had just
made from Bombay with her father, Captain Crewe. She was
thinking of the big ship, of the Lascars passing silently to and fro
on it, of the children playing about on the hot deck, and of some
young officers’ wives who used to try to make her talk to them
and laugh at the things she said.
Principally, she was thinking of what a queer thing it was that
at one time she was in India in the blazing sun, and then in the
middle of the ocean, and then driving in a strange vehicle through strange streets where the
day was as dark as the night. She found this so puzzling that she moved closer to her father.
“Papa,” she said in a low, mysterious little voice which was almost a whisper, “Papa.”
“What is it, darling?” Captain Crewe answered, holding her closer and looking down into her
face. “What is Sara thinking of?”
“Is this the place?” Sara whispered, cuddling still closer to him. “Is it, Papa?”
“Yes, little Sara, it is. We have reached it at last.” And though she was only seven years old,
she knew that he felt sad when he said it.
It seemed to her many years since he had begun to prepare her mind for “the place,” as she
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always called it. Her mother had died when she was born, so she had never known or missed
her. Her rich father seemed to be the only relation she had in the world. She only knew he was
rich because she had heard people say so when they thought she was not listening, and she
had also heard them say that when she grew up she would be rich, too. She did not know all
that being rich meant. She had always lived in a beautiful bungalow, and had been used to
seeing many servants who made salaams to her and called her “Missee Sahib,” and gave her
her own way in everything. She had had toys and pets and an ayah who worshipped her, and
she had gradually learned that people who were rich had these things. That, however, was all
she knew about it.
During her short life only one thing had troubled her, and that thing
was “the place” she was to be taken to someday. The climate of India
was very bad for children, and as soon as possible they were sent
away from it—generally to England and to school. She had seen
other children go away, and had heard their fathers and mothers
talk about the letters they received from them. She had known that
she would be obliged to go also, and though sometimes her father’s
stories of the voyage and the new country had attracted her, she had
been troubled by the thought that he could not stay with her.
“Couldn’t you go to that place with me, Papa?” she had asked when
she was five years old. “Couldn’t you go to school, too? I would help
you with your lessons.”
“But you will not have to stay for a very long time, little Sara,” he
had always said. “You will go to a nice house where there will be a lot
of little girls, and you will play together, and I will send you plenty
of books, and you will grow so fast that it will seem scarcely a year
before you are big enough and clever enough to come back and take
care of Papa.”
So he held her very closely in his arms as the cab rolled into the big,
dull square in which stood the house which was their destination.
It was a big, dull, brick house, exactly like all the others in its row, but that on the front door
there shone a brass plate on which was engraved in black letters:
Select Seminary for Young Ladies.
“Here we are, Sara,” said Captain Crewe, making his voice sound as cheerful as possible. Then
he lifted her out of the cab and they mounted the steps and rang the bell.
Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett
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