At Northbourne, our staff and pupils fully subscribe to the wise words of Dr. Seuss:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know; the more you learn; the more places you’ll go”.

As such, reading is at the heart of our curriculum – not just that for English.  Staff, working closely with parents, ensure that children become fluent, confident and passionate readers from the start of their time in Reception.  This is underpinned by a systematic, whole-school approach which is summarised in our Reading Curriculum This explains what parents can expect from staff, and how we approach the teaching of reading.

In addition to our daily focus on ensuring the quality of provision in reading is as good as possible are our regular reading events, aimed at developing a love of books and reading.  Each year, these typically include buddy reading where children work with an older or younger child to share a book and help each other develop their reading skills; our annual Book Week with author, poet and illustrator visits; Drop Everything and Read events; and Book, Biscuit and Brew mornings where parents are invited to join us to share stories.  

Regular reading at home is a fundamental part of our reading curriculum. This is because we understand that parents have a significant impact on helping children learning to read – not only for children in Reception and Key Stage One who will be working on mastering decoding, but also on helping older pupils continue to develop and refine their comprehension skills.

Your child’s Homework Policy for their year group indicates how much reading at home is expected but, generally speaking, we ask that children read little-and-often throughout the week (five times over the seven day week).  This reading could take one of many forms – reading a book-banded book from school, a book pupils have chosen from one of their library visits, reading a newspaper or magazine, reading to a sibling, or even listening to a story and discussing it with a family member.  We ask that reading is recorded in your child’s reading diary to help us track this in school; your comments are really valuable in helping us make sure that children are making good progress and moving on well with their reading.

If your child is stuck in a rut with their reading, have a browse through the reading list below.  They contain a range of recommendations for different year groups; how many has your child read?


Book Trust 100 Best Books Pie Corbett Reading Spine Childrens’ Book Awards 2019 Childrens’ Book Awards 2020
Book Gift Guide 2020 Oxfordshire Book Awards 2020
Recommended Reads for Y1 Best Books for Y1 Recommended Reads for Y2 Best Books for Y2
Recommended Reads for Y3 Best Books for Y3 Recommended Reads for Y4 Best Books for Y4
Recommended Reads for Y5 Best Books for Y5 Recommended Reads for Y6 Best Books for Y6


Our Reading Curriculum

Staff at Northbourne use a combination of whole-class and small-group teaching to address the objectives outlined in the National Curriculum programmes of study.  This ensures that, as children move through school, they develop the decoding, comprehension and analysis skills that make a successful reader.  The objectives covered in each year group are shown at the links below.

Reading Curriculum: Y1 Reading Curriculum: Y3 Reading Curriculum: Y5
Reading Curriculum: Y2 Reading Curriculum: Y4 Reading Curriculum: Y6