Every Child a Reader
A fundamental part of every child’s educational journey here with us at Spratton CE Primary School is to learn to read.
We value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key to academic success and so to ensure this, we have an agreed whole-school approach to the teaching of reading.
Our goal is that every pupil will learn to read. In this school children are taught to develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding and listen to and discuss a wide range of high-quality poetry, fiction and non-fiction.
As such we are committed to ensure that every pupil will have opportunities to read widely and frequently to develop both pleasure in reading and the motivation to read. It is our intention that all pupils are immersed in a range of high-quality texts, providing opportunities for them to read, discuss and evaluate texts read and to become familiar with rich and varied vocabulary.
Synthetic phonics programme from YR to Y3:
We use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics and graphic knowledge (common exception words and tricky words). Children in EYFS and KS1 have a daily phonics session lasting for 20 mins. Early reading books match our phonics programme as these books have been carefully selected to support and reinforce the phonics being taught. Children take these reading books home each day and books are changed on a regular basis. We provide parent reading workshops which explain how phonics and reading skills are taught. The national screening check takes place in Year 1.
See more information on the Phonics page.
The children exploring high quality texts as part of their English work through our 'Teaching Sequence' approach to teaching English. Quality texts are analysed by children whilst thinking as a 'reader' and as a 'writer.' The texts are also used as a model of good writing and to provide a stimulus for the children’s own writing. This involves a lot of talking about the texts, developing the confidence to offer ideas and then reshape them in the light of other contributions, deepening their understanding and developing their vocabulary.
Children hear, share and discuss a range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts through our whole class English teaching. We ensure children of all ages learn comprehension strategies and are able to respond to texts. We explicitly teach the following key reading skills to ensure that the children understand what makes a good reader:
- Using background knowledge to understand text
- Understanding vocabulary: developing strategies for this including recognising what they don't understand
- Asking questions and “wondering” about the text
Vocabulary is developed by ensuring that the learning environment in all classrooms is word rich. Pre-teaching of vocabulary is delivered where needed and links are made to topics, as it is recognised that reading comprehension relies heavily on knowledge. Our broad curriculum aids reading comprehension by ensuring that children gain knowledge of the world in which they live and bring such knowledge to their reading.
Guided Reading Lessons
In addition to whole-class teaching of reading, guided reading lessons take place daily. Once a week, within these sessions, children explore carefully selected texts deeply in an adult-led discussion group. Reading skills which have been taught in the whole-class sessions are also reinforced in guided group sessions and children have the opportunity to read for pleasure, selecting their own choice of reading materials. We use ‘Reading Gems’ to guide children to explore the different skills which form part of the ‘toolkit’ which effective and fluent readers use.
Class teachers read aloud to children daily. They demonstrate the skills of fluent reading, using expression and exploring vocabulary in context. Books are selected taking into account the age and interests of the children. Sometimes, books are specifically selected to link to the topic being studied in class to create discussion opportunities which include learning vocabulary and build on from classwork. We have also selected a range of books to ensure the children have the opportunity to hear some classics, poetry and books with non-standard formats.
Reading interventions are provided for individuals and groups of children where appropriate. These activities focus on phonics, word reading for decoding and / or reading comprehension skills. All programmes are rigorous and systematic with regular assessments and impact evaluations.
The Reading Challenge
When we consider the some of the benefits of reading found from research, including:
Mental Stimulation, Stress Reduction, Increased Knowledge, Vocabulary Expansion, Memory Improvement, Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills, Improved Focus and Concentration, Better Writing Skills, Periods of Tranquility/Improvement of Wellbeing and Free Entertainment
it is easy to see why reading is generally considered to be the gateway to learning across the curriculum. We have reading activities built into our timetable every single day, and encourage the children to read as much as possible to an adult and/or independently at home.
Our Reading Challenge promotes regular reading at home by recognising children who read 5 times a week or more to an adult at home and record it in their reading diary with a chance to win a magazine:
The class with most readers in the draw also win a book for their classroom.
Parents and Carers can help by encouraging their child’s participation in the challenge by reading regularly with them and signing their Reading Diary.
Our Library - The hub of our school!
Literally and metaphorically at the centre of our school is our newly re-stocked School Library.
A fundamental part of every child’s educational journey here with us at Spratton CE Primary School is to learn to read. We believe reading is key to academic success and we value reading as a key life skill, and so are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.
Completely reimagined in 2020, it seemed appropriate to name it the 2020 Library. Not only does this name reflect a new modern and updated library for a new decade, but also reminds us that access to a rich and broad range of carefully selected reading materials can give us great vision in our knowledge and understanding of our world and insight into many areas of learning, and also access to many imaginary worlds too!
Our 2020 library provides all children with endless choices of reading materials across all genres, including suitable texts for all age groups and reading abilities for both reading for pleasure and curriculum reading.
New stock is regularly added in response to children's requests as well as parental, staff and national recommendations.
Miss O'Mara also has a special collection of books, which is hidden away in a special 'Reading Journey Trunk' full of amazing books and reading materials in the Library. It's a treat for her to share these books from time to time with the children. It is exciting to see what we find in this literary treasure trove!
Storytime magazine and First News newspapers (kindly sponsored by FOSS) ensure that there is always something new and engaging available.
The 2020 Library is also home to our Rainbow Reads section, which is dedicated to Global Citizenship and books about inspirational people who have changed our world for the better.
- Recommended Reads - a list of books our staff think are the very best books for children to read.
- Spratton's Year of Reading Update
British Sign Language Week (14th-18th March 2022
World Book Day - Books, Books and More Books (and Blessings!)
We love reading and had a reading extravaganza yesterday to celebrate all things book-related!
We celebrated our fantastic Library and how blessed we are to have so many fantastic books to read
Here are some of the children enjoying our range of 25th World Book Day activities:
In our World Book Day Collective Worship we thought about how lucky we are to have so many books
in our school and found out about inequalities for children across the world.
All children read and shared their favourite books, listened to different adults reading poety and stories throughout the day.
EYFS and KS1 took part in a live webinar with author Catherine Rayner, and
KS2 watched the BBC WBD Live lesson with poet Michael Rosen and author Michael Morpurgo.
UKS2 created 'adverts' using persuasion for a book they like.
Diversity in Books
We have worked hard over the last two years to create a modern, inviting and diverse School Library, at the centre of our school, full to brimming with a wide range of engaging materials for children of all ages, reading abilities and interests.
The Little Box of Books company has graphic novels, early chapter books, chapter books and picture books in collections which promote children’s understanding of their world and society, and sell subscriptions to deliver a ‘Little Box of Books’ regularly to your door.
Children are often much more engaged when they see themselves in stories. This will help some children to read, make story time engaging and help some parents to enjoy reading time more. This could be because they see characters of the same race or culture in their books. It could be seeing a blended family likes theirs. It could be seeing a character with two mums or two dads. Or seeing a family who also live in a flat like them. Another way is to offer a diversity of genre. ‘Diverse books’ are not a genre, but diversity of characters can be found in lots of different types of books.
Schools promote respect for the protected characteristics. The Equality Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone because of a protected characteristic. These characteristics are age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, race, sexual orientation, religion, marriage or civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. Inclusive and representative books back up PHSCE lessons. They cement and role model positive attitudes through high quality, enjoyable stories. They also support children’s Personal Development preparing them for life in modern Britain by:
− equipping them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society
− developing their understanding of fundamental British values
− developing their understanding and appreciation of diversity
− celebrating what we have in common and promoting respect for the different protected characteristics as defined in law
Diverse books give children the opportunity to meet with people from lots of different backgrounds. Seeing different practices and customs in the background of stories creates a new familiarity.
As we continue to build our School Library collection, we include a wide range of different and inclusive books in it for children to enjoy.
At the beginning of the new term the children received a parcel. We wondered what might be inside. When we opened the box we were very excited to discover a penguin sleeping peacefully. The arrival of the penguin has been a great introduction to our story, 'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers.
The best children’s and YA books of 2021
The best children’s books of 2021. Illustration: Maïté Franchi/The Guardian
Imogen Russell Williams @imogenrw
Mon 6 Dec 2021 15.00 GMT
After months of sadness and uncertainty, there is pure enchantment to be found in the year’s best children’s books.
For picture-book lovers, Scissorella: The Paper Princess by Clare Helen Welsh, illustrated by Laura Barrett (Andersen), is an extra-special story full of delicate filigree art. Mill worker Lotte, scorned by her siblings, cuts elegant puppets out of paper, trusting hard work over happy endings – until she’s invited to a ball, and meets a prince who loves puppets too.
In the luminous fairytale Frindleswylde by Natalia O’Hara, illustrated by Lauren O’Hara (Walker), a capricious winter spirit steals the light from Grandma’s lamp, and Cora must go to his icy kingdom to retrieve it – but will Frindleswylde freeze her heart first? Filled with pastel sweetness and frosty aquamarine light, this has a flavour of Hans Christian Andersen.
There is rousing inspiration for all ages in Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long (Puffin), as a girl urges her community to action via small kindnesses and courageous words (“I can hear change humming / In its loudest, proudest song …”). Lyrical text from the presidential inaugural poet marries thrillingly with Long’s rich paintings.
For five-plus, Once Upon a Tune: Stories from the Orchestra by James Mayhew (Otter-Barry) contains six absorbing tales, each the source of wonderful music, all brought to life by Mayhew’s compelling storytelling and exquisitely textured pictures. This gorgeous introduction to works such as Peer Gynt and Scheherazade explores musical context, and provides links to recommended recordings.
Fact fans of seven-plus will adore Listified!: Britannica’s 300 Lists That Will Blow Your Mind by Andrew Pettie, illustrated by Andrés Lozano (Britannica), a treasury featuring the fastest dinosaurs, the cleverest dog breeds and the sneakiest spy gadgets (including a microphone disguised as an olive). Funny and thought-provoking, with pages full of enticingly blocky illustrations.
In Every Leaf a Hallelujah by Ben Okri, illustrated by Diana Ejaita (Head of Zeus) and also for seven-plus readers, Mangoshi’s mother is ill, but there’s a flower in the forest that can save her – if Mangoshi can only find it … This meditative environmental fairytale conveys a sense of humanity’s deep reliance on the natural world.
For eight-plus readers, Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep by Philip Reeve (David Fickling) is a superbly weird tale of wonder, peril, tragedy and the thin places between worlds. Washed up on shore as a baby, Utterly Dark is adopted by the Watcher of Wildsea, who keeps a lookout for the strange, threatening forces of the sea. But when Utterly’s guardian is drowned, who will keep watch – and keep the island safe?
There are more seaborne thrills for eight-to-12 years in The False Rose by Jakob Wegelius (translated by Peter Graves, Pushkin), as the gorilla hero of The Murderer’s Ape returns in a sequel as intricately illustrated and adventurous as her first appearance. Finding a rose-shaped necklace hidden aboard their beloved steamer, Sally Jones and The Chief are swept off on a voyage from Lisbon to Glasgow and even further afield, falling foul of a terrifying gang and a smuggler determined to own the mysterious pendant.
Meanwhile, the acclaimed author of the Seeing Stone trilogy returns to the bloody, fertile ground of Arthurian legend in Arthur: The Always King by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Chris Riddell (Walker). This spectacular collection of stories for 10-plus moves enthrallingly from Arthur’s boyhood to the trials of his kingship, betrayal and death; Riddell’s intoxicating illustrations, full of golden light, glinting mail and memorable gore, elevate it to the sublime.
Browse all the featured books and save up to 15% at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply.
5.12.21- Whole School
Christmas Look for a Book
We love reading and sharing great books here at Spratton. During the month of December, Miss O’Mara is hiding a different Christmas themed book somewhere in school for the children to find and share with their class.
So far we have found…
26.11.2021 - EYFS
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
As part of our unit of work, Traditional Tales, the children received a special parcel this week. They eagerly opened it and discovered the story of 'The Three Bears' and a set of puppets. The children have enjoyed retelling the story with the puppets in the puppet theatre and in our Small World Area.
October 2021 - EYFS
The Three Little Pigs
2.11.2021 - EYFS
The Jolly Postman
Following the discovery of the blue and white sack last week, we decided to look closely at the parcels and found one addressed to us! After reading the address we very excitedly opened up the parcel and discovered a new book, 'The Jolly Postman and Other People's Letters' by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. We looked carefully at the front cover and talked about what we could see using the words title, author, illustrator and characters. The children then used their developing phonic knowledge to word build and write the names of some of the characters.
15.10.21 - UKS2
We've had another great week in UKS2. The children have carried out some 'freeze frames' in drama to explore the characters in the highwayman.
Reading about Nature
Reading and Nature are two of our favourite things! The latest booklists from The Reading Agency combine these two themes!
Nature and wildlife have been a respite for many over the past year. The adult booklist includes a mixture of fiction, memoir, poetry and non-fiction, covering the restorative powers of swimming and gardening, the history of our relationship with sheep, animals that talk and the ones we share our homes with, spanning the lakes of Berlin to the forests of Argentina.
The booklist for children and young people inspired by the same theme, has a mix of fiction, non-fiction, picture books and poetry. Creatures of every shape and size can be found between these pages, including a kindly badger, a loving penguin, a worried gecko, a determined wolf and many more.
Christmas Shopping Ideas!
If you are looking for a perfect gift this year, we have some spectacular book recommendations for you! These classic stories have stood the test of time and been enjoyed by generations of children. Perhaps there is a favourite of the grown-ups in your house in this collection? Why not read it together?
Christmas Shopping Ideas!
If you are looking for a perfect family gift this year, we have some spectacular book recommendations for you! These big, beautiful books can be shared and enjoyed for many years to come!
The Lost Words
Amazon Customer reviews:
4.8 out of 5 stars 2,744 ratings
A Street Through Time
ISBN-13 : 978-0751355352
A Moment in Time
ISBN-13 : 978-1848575943
A World of Cities
ISBN-13 : 978-1406377217
ISBN-13 : 978-1787417199
Bible Infographics for Kids Activity Book: Activities for Kids Ages 9 to 969
ISBN-13 : 978-0736982221
Annie Everall OBE, of Authors Aloud UK, reviews young children’s books related to wellbeing and resilience.
We all know that books can inspire children and foster their love of reading, can help them learn new facts, explore or come to terms with situations they are dealing with in their lives and support their growth and development. On June 10th we celbrated Empathy Day https://www.empathylab.uk/empathy-day. Empathy Day aims to spark a national conversation about building a more empathetic society, and help young people learn more about empathy and put it into practice. This Book Talking piece focuses on picture books that support empathy, are ideal for sharing with children and that aim to help the reader validate their own emotions, understand what is like to be a child in a war torn city, celebrate love, friendship and community and also just experience the joy of being a child.
Never Grow Up - Inspired by Roald Dahl - Illustrated by Quentin Blake - Puffin £12.99 2021 - ISBN: 978-0241423103
This full-colour picture book is Inspired by the magic and mischief of Roald Dahl stories and features wonderful new illustrations by Quentin Blake, whose pictures have always captured the humorous essence of Roald Dahl’s stories. Written in rhyme ’This book is for the kind of child – Who’s SILLY, mischievous and WILD – Who wants to grow to TEN FEET TALL – Without GROWING UP at all’ It celebrates mischief – makers and rule – breakers and tells children right from the front cover ’Are you a child who’s good as gold? – Do you do everything you’re told? Then this is not the book for you…’ What it is really doing is encouraging children to think outside the box and to grow up to be curious, inventive, daring, creative and to never lose that sense of wonder, playfulness and fun that we experience as children. Quentin Blake says in his introduction to the book, that Roald Dahl always said ‘never grow up, always down’ which in essence means that as we grow into adults, we should always remember what it is like to be a child. There is much enjoyment to be had in the story and through the pictures, but the book offers lots to talk about with children and can also lead them into exploring Roald Dahl’s books if they haven’t already done so. It is a book to remind every grown up to throw off their sensible shawl and re-discover their inner child and to let children know – not to lose theirs as they grow up!
For ages 6+
A Shelter for Sadness - Written by Anne Booth - Illustrated by David Litchfield - Templar £12.99 2021
Sadness comes to live with a small boy and he creates a safe space for his sadness. He builds a shelter for it and sometimes it is big, sometimes small, sometimes quiet and still and sometimes very loud and noisy. There are times when the boy will visit the shelter when he needs to and can talk to it or cry or say nothing at all. The boy knows that one day Sadness may come out of the shelter, and together they will look out at the world, and see how beautiful it is. Anne Booth was inspired to write the book by the words of Esther ‘Etty’ Hillesum, a Holocaust victim, who wrote: ‘Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that is its due, for if everyone bears grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate. But if you do instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and thoughts of revenge – from which new sorrows will be born for others – then sorrow will never cease in this world. And if you have given sorrow the space it demands, then you may truly say: life is beautiful and so rich.’ This is an extraordinary picture book. David Litchfield’s illustrations are stunning and work in perfect harmony with Anne Booth’s text, creating an outstanding book, exploring both the nature of sadness and helping children understand the importance of making time and space for their own sadness. This is particularly important in our current times when many children may have experienced sadness and loss. The underpinning message of the book is that sadness is part of being human and can exist alongside happiness. It is a book that can open up difficult conversations with young and older children and a useful tool to support empathy, emotional literacy and mental health.
For ages 5+
How Do You Make A Rainbow - Written by Caroline Crowe - Illustrated by Cally Johnson – Isaacs - Macmillan Children’s Books £6.99 2021 - ISBN: 978-1529059526
A small child asks her Grandfather on a grey gloomy day how you make a rainbow and whether you paint them on the sky. He tells her that you make them grow out of kindness and hope – it’s your friends, jam on toast, the glow you feel inside when you make someone proud and a hundred and one other small things. The last message of the book is ‘Find the sunshine that’s inside you and a rainbow starts to grow’ and then you’ll see your rainbow. A delightful rhyming picture book that reads aloud well and offers a warm re-assuring message for young children at a time when it is most needed. The warmth of the relationship between child and grandparent shines through the story, highlighting its own rainbow. Bright colourful illustrations work well with the text as does the colour palette chosen for each double page spread. The last few pages encourage children to make their own rainbows of the things they love.
For ages 3+
The Last Garden - Written by Rachel Ip - Illustrated by Anneli Bray - Hodder £12.99 2020 - ISBN: 978-1444946345
In a war-torn country, Zara tends her garden – the last one that hasn’t been destroyed by bombs. All the local children play in it and help tend it, until the day comes when the violence of war has escalated, it isn’t safe in the city anymore and the community has to leave. Eventually the war ends, and the community can return to their homes. Although fearful of what they might find, to their joy they discover that through all the time they were gone, Zara’s garden continued to grow. With their love and care they are able to bring the garden and their city back to life. The message of the book is really powerful and will give children hope that even in the darkest of times, things can get better – a message that is very appropriate today. It is also perfect to help children develop empathy and understanding for those children experiencing living in a war or having to leave their homes. The illustrations work in great harmony with the text and their visual depiction of children and a community experiencing war is very moving. Design, layout, text and illustrations combine to provide an outstanding book, one that opens up many opportunities for conversations with children and one that deserves a wide audience.
For ages 5+
Annie Everall OBE
Director, Authors Aloud UK, www.authorsalouduk.co.uk