Reading at Thorndown
Subject Leader: Mrs Browne (Year 2 Teacher)
At Thorndown Primary School, reading is a top priority and is a key driver for our curriculum. Taking a book home is just part of our children’s reading diet. We believe inspiring children to read is a moral imperative and their fundamental right. It underpins all learning and secures a good trajectory for personal development and understanding the world in which they live.
Children enjoy reading books they have chosen quietly in our class reading corners, in the discovery suite, with a friend or supporting a younger child as a reading buddy. At school, children read a wide range of texts, developing a range of reading skills throughout the curriculum including whole class sessions, one to one reading and reading independently. The children in Year 5 and 6 are exploring texts through Book Club which runs on a fortnightly basis.
It is our aim to allow the children the opportunity:
- To experience reading in a variety of situations so that it becomes a pleasurable & productive experience.
- To access a wide range of print materials, including all genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays & pupils own writing.
- To progress to becoming selective in their choice of reading materials.
- To be knowledgeable about the purpose and organisation of books.
- To nurture a love of reading.
- To learn to read through a variety of methods.
- To read to themselves or to others.
- To read to a variety of audiences and to hear adults and children read to them.
- To read regularly and to develop a respect for books.
- To receive reading provision and support appropriate to individual ability.
- To become aware of the link between reading and writing.
- To use ICT to further the development and love of reading.
Please click on the link below to see how reading progresses from Early Years right through to Year 6 at Thorndown Primary School.
Here you can also view the English overviews for Early Years, Key Stage and Key Stage Two.
We love reading at our school. Look at all the fantastic reading opportunities we have!
The Classroom Environment
Each classroom has a dedicated reading area which includes a variety of class books (fiction and non-fiction) which the children can choose and read for pleasure. In these collections there is a book for everyone! A selection of decodable books are also available for classes to use during independent reading.
We are lucky enough to have a dedicated suite for our non fiction collection. These texts have been bought by the teachers at Thorndown and closely link to our topics. Similar to the local town library they are organised in the Dewey System. It is also the home to an interactive whiteboard, four iMacs, a laptop trolley, an iPad trolley and an interactive table.
We have ‘Reading Buddies’ at Thorndown. Year R to Year 6 children buddy up with each other and 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! The children met with their reading buddy and wrote letters to each other.
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. We have explored texts such as ‘The Lost Words’ and ‘The Storyteller’ as a whole school. A text which has made us really think about our vocabulary choices.
Whole Class Reading
From Year 2 to Year 6 the children conduct reading lessons as a whole class. These reading sessions mean that children of all attainment bands are immersed in the same high-quality literature and the discussions that these texts promote. The teacher models good use of intonation, movement, volume and expression and children pick up good reading styles.
Year 5 and 6 Book Club
In Year 5 and 6 the children are provided the opportunity to take part in a book club. A selection of texts are shared with the children and they simply choose which text they would like to read and discuss. Here are some of the children’s comments:
‘Brilliant – I’ve shared the idea with school council.’
‘Chance to share ideas and opinions.’
‘I like to find out what other people think about the book.’
‘I enjoy the calm time.’
‘I do it at home with my family now.’
Our Top Picks
Each team have created a reading list of books that they’d like children to have read by the time they leave their year group. The selection of these books is based on pupils’ interests, year group topics and reading ability. Each classroom has a selection of these books for children to access. Teachers encourage children to read these books in school, at our weekly Reading Club, and use these books as whole class readers.
World Book Day
We love celebrating World Book Day at Thorndown Primary School. In 2020 we were kindly donated potatoes from Alan Bartletts & Sons Ltd. so we transformed these into our book characters. The children did this with their reading buddy. A fun task for all!
In 2021, we celebrated by sharing ‘The Masked Reader’ with the children, through remote learning. The buzz was incredible!
2022…Wow! What a day, a marvellous day, a day full of storytelling, bouncing and enjoying books! With an amazing sponsor from Teddy’s Soft Play we bounced for two minutes on the bouncy castle and raised £7500 to purchase some more high quality reading books for all the children at Thorndown to have access to. We also had a ‘Traditional Tale Storytelling Day’, please take a look a the Oracy page to see what we got up to!
2023 and we went BIG! We didn’t just celebrate for the day, we had the whole week to get lost in the magic of reading. The whole school participated in an exciting week with ‘Leon and the Place Between’ as our focussed text. The week started with an assembly, where the story of ‘Leon and the Place Between’ came to life, much to the delight of all the children. Then each class did a variety of activities based around the story, producing lots of fabulous writing. Take a look out our beautiful displays and some of the children’s learning. During the week we had lots of mystery readers appearing in classrooms, our very own Thorndown book shop that completely sold out and every child made a magic lantern/potion! To finish the week we were delighted to welcome Jason Fenn from the Magic Circle where he performed a magic show all about ‘The Magic of Reading’. It was a wonderful week and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Get Caught Reading
At the beginning of the school year the children created a great display of ‘Getting Caught Reading’ in funny, strange or unusual places. A fun way to show that reading can take place anywhere!
Into Film Festival
The year 5 children had a chance to visit the cinema during Film Festival Week. They watched a film called ‘A Dog’s Way Home.’ “If you like emotional films, you watch this! The film was very emotional and half of the Year 5 children cried! It was quite interesting for various reasons, such as making us swing back and forth with our emotions because Bella, the main character, had to go home. We thought it was sad and happy.”
The aim of ‘Mystery Reader’ is to show children that adults love reading too so we regularly invite parents, grandparents and other family members to come into their child’s class to read a children’s story. In order for the class to gain full impact and excitement of the reader experience, we keep each visit a secret and mystery until they arrive!
Thorndown Book Shop
Regularly, we run our very own book shop selling brand new and second hand books at incredible prices from £1 to £3. The books are suitable for all ages, across a different range of genres. A wonderful opportunity for children to buy high quality texts and reasonable prices! Here are some photographs of the children in Year 6 exploring what we have on offer.
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.
We also have access to a wider collection of texts on the ‘myON’ website. Please speak to your child’s class teacher and they will be able to provide you with log in details.
We have some excellent links with the library and other establishments where we source authors to engage and inspire the children at Thorndown. We love meeting new authors and learning about their journey of becoming storytellers and writers.
On Friday 12th November 2021, Year 3 took part in a Puffin virtual visit with Jacqueline Wilson! We watched a live stream of her talking about her new book ‘The Primrose Railway Children.’ She told us all about her inspiration and how resilient she needed to be to become an author. Her advice was to keep reading lots and try to write something every single day!
We also heard from illustrator Rachel Dean who showed us the process of her drawing the main character. We had a go at drawing the characters too!
We are feeling very inspired in Year 3 so hopefully one day, children will be reading books written by authors who came to Thorndown! Keep your eyes peeled!
“Something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”
Please have a look at the following links for more information: