English KS1 / KS2: The Demon Headmaster' by Gillian Cross

Blue Peter’s Barney Harwood reads extracts from 'The Demon Headmaster' by Gillian Cross, as part of the 'Bringing Books to Life' series.

He explains why it’s his favourite children’s book, how it captured his imagination and why he loves to read.

The book follows a young girl called Dinah on her first day at school. Dinah quickly realises there is something very strange about the school as the students all appear to be hypnotised by a sinister headmaster with dark-tinted glasses.

This clip is from the series Bringing Books to Life.

Teacher Notes

This clip can be used to illustrate the work of Gillian Cross.

This would be useful in class for writing a story in a familiar setting.

Ask pupils to consider what is different about the school and the Headmaster.

How can you tell the Headmaster isn't like other teachers?

How does the author describe the Headmaster's character?

Discuss in pairs different ideas for getting rid of the Demon Headmaster. Could you get the other pupils on your side? Would you tell your parents?

Can be used to highlight the huge range of reading experiences available to young people and to explore how students imagine and interpret the books they have read.

Curriculum Notes

These clips are suitable for teaching English and Literacy at Key Stage 1, 1st Level, Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level.

More from Bringing Books to Life 1:

George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
Robo-Runners' by Damian Harvey
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
The Butterfly Lion' by Michael Morpurgo
The Firework-Maker’s Daughter' by Philip Pullman
The Giggler Treatment' by Roddy Doyle
The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton
The Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame
The Worst Witch' by Jill Murphy