English – Reading

Reading at Thorndown

We love reading at our school. Look at all the fantastic reading activities we do!

Reading 37


Guided Reading

We have daily Guided Reading sessions in all classes and our teachers record our progress as we read. Guided Reading is where children put into practice their developing reading skills and understanding in a structured situation. Small groups of children, working at a similar stage of reading stage, work with an adult to read an unfamiliar text that has been chosen to reinforce, challenge and further develop their independent reading strategies. Guided reading records are kept for each group and are based on age related expectation targets.

We have lots of books to choose from within our Guided Reading  schemes. At Thorndown we have Floppy’s Phonics, Collins Big Cats, Project X and Storyworlds. We also take a ‘reading for pleasure’ book home too.

Learning Pods

Our pods are full of all the books we need for Guided Reading and the books are all book banded for easy reference which match our reading target cards.

Home School Diaries

To develop good home school links and good use of communication between parent and teacher home school diaries are used at Thorndown for Early Years and Key Stage One. The diary is designed to last throughout an academic year. It is essential for children to take their home school diary to and from school each day to enable effective communication.

It is expected that children will have four home reading entries in their home school diary each week. These entries will be acknowledged (TA initials) when the diaries are checked and children will be praised by teachers for reading at home.

Discovery Suite

Each week, we are given 45 minutes to spend in the Discovery Suite. Children have the opportunity to take home a non- fiction book on a weekly basis. The Discovery Suite is the home to a wide collection of non-fiction books, an interactive whiteboard, four iMacs, a laptop trolley, an iPad trolley and an interactive table.

Junior Librarian

Junior Librarian is an online version of our school library catalogue.  The system allows students, staff and parents to view our school library catalogue online, and students are encouraged to use this to help with research, to write reviews about books they have read, and search for new books that they may like to read.

The library catalogue, searchable online, includes over 8,500 books as well as many thousands of approved websites.  There is an App called ‘iMLS’, available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android & Windows Phone 7.  This App can be freely downloaded.

Every class has access to this online catalogue on a laptop with a barcode scanner and these are for the children to use daily when changing their reading books.

Reading for Pleasure

We have Reading for Pleasure boxes in every year group. We can choose books to read and we change the books in this box regularly. Sometimes we even bring books from home in to add to this box.

Our Literacy Subject Leader, Mrs Browne, was part of a special project called ‘Power of Reading’ and we have adopted lots of ideas to help us develop a life long love of reading.

Reading Buddies

We have ‘Reading Buddies’ at Thorndown. Year R to Year 4 children buddy up with each other and help the older children help the younger children to apply all of the strategies they are learning to read unknown words by segmenting and blending. The older children teach the younger children to talk about the text and the illustrations and ask questions to see if the younger children understand what they are reading. This helps to develop everyone’s reading confidence!

Reading Across the Curriculum

We enjoy using our reading skills in every lesson and our teachers provide opportunities for us to do so in all subjects. In every class there is a book corner filled with books to support our curriculum topics and for us to enjoy.


If you would like access to some fantastic eBooks, why not visit www.oxfordowl.co.uk (external link). There are over 260 free books for parents to read with their child at home with lots of ideas on how to support your child with reading.


At Thorndown we use ‘letters and sounds’ to teach Phonics. We have a 15 minute daily phonics session where we learn about how to read and write using our phonic knowledge. We play lots of different phonic games which help us understand how sounds make words and we use words to make sentences. We use the Interactive Whiteboard to play games and learn new phonemes and graphemes. In Year 1 we know that some sounds can be written more than one way. How many ‘tricky words’ do you know?

Why not visit PhonicsPlay and Family Learning (external links) to play some games and see for yourself!


Please have a look at the following links for more information:

A Guide to Junior Librarian for Parents

Phonics Action Sheets

Phonics for Parents

Reading for Pleasure Statement

A Guide to the Phonics Screening Check for Parents

Reading Flyer for Early Years and Key Stage One

Reading Flyer for Key Stage Two