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Reading at Rickleton

Pupils are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and KS1 and KS2 content domains) through the use of Reading at Rickleton cycle.

During a typical session the teacher will share what the content domain/s the children will be focusing on for that cycle of sessions. It will be taught, over learnt and embedded throughout the rest of the cycle (which is designed to follow the guidance from the EEF on a gradual release of responsibility model). This is to encourage independent use of strategies and content domain. A great focus is also put on reading fluency which is woven into each session. Pupils read during whole class sessions in a variety of different ways. They may hear the teacher model fluent reading and then have time to reread the same extract themselves, they may read individually and feedback, work in groups, take turns in pairs or read aloud to their peers. You may see a number of these different strategies during one session.


The cycle consists of 5 sessions:

Session 1: Readers Theatre – This focuses on reading fluency and aims to encourage pupils to use expression, comprehend what they have read and build speed and stamina in reading.

Session 2: Go through session – modelling of strategy/ domain focus activity in action by teacher

Session 3: Reading skills session- Collaborative use of the strategy of focus in action

Session 4: Reading skills session- Guided Practice and collaborative use of the strategy with gradual release of responsibility.

Session 5- Independent Application – Independent use of the strategy

(Sessions 2-5 also have a short burst fluency starter activity which will focus on reading rate, accuracy and expression)

A reading stamina session/s has been incorporated at the end of each cycle (around 2 weeks) using lengthier fiction and non- fiction texts, with a range of question types to consolidate comprehension and profile of questions.

Upper KS2 pupils also complete a quick comprehension session two mornings a week before registration this is to focus on profiles of question types and increase reading speed.

Supporting your child to read

We all assume our child or children will find it easy to read, or love reading. But what happens if they don't? Here is some helpful advice from the Book Trust on ways to support your child with their reading.

Tips for reading with your child | BookTrust

What if my child doesn't like reading? | BookTrust

Rickleton Reading Spine

Our Reading Spine Rationale:

At Rickleton we teach pupils both how to learn to read and to read to learn. Learning to read focuses primarily on the phonics skills of the children and being able to decode and blend sounds to read. This also includes alien words and high frequency words. Reading to Learn focuses primarily upon the reciprocal reading skills children require to read for pleasure and to develop subject knowledge. These reciprocal reading skills are taught explicitly in our daily guided reading lessons, in groups or whole class. We plan our English lessons around high quality core texts, which also link to the topics and themes for that term.

We have identified a core text for every topic taught in a year group – to be used in guided reading and in English lessons. We have ensured our selected texts represent a wide range of diversity in both authors and protagonists and are engaging to encourage a love for reading. A diet of fiction and non-fiction is promoted within our Reading Spine.

After researching numerous reading spines and quality texts, The 5 Plagues of Reading were taken into consideration and the Rickleton Reading Spine was designed around this concept to ensure pupils are exposed to a vast range of authors and texts.  

We continue to focus on making links across the curriculum and with specific concepts e.g. the local area, environmental and social issues etc and this is reflected in our Reading Spine.


How it works:

Each year group has a spine. The spine books should be made available to pupils in each class reading area. The spine has a front cover to clearly illustrate whose it is.


The first section is grouped around the topics for each year group. One core text is illustrated for each theme. This is the key text for Guided Reading and English lessons. The books surrounding the core texts are recommended as wider reading and to ensure a range of genres/ text types are covered. They can be used in Guided Reading and as comparative texts in English lessons.

(Some books may not always be available. Therefore, books of similar content will be supplied by the library service each term)


After the pages for each theme/topic for the corresponding year group, you will find a class readers page. These are the books, documented for each term to read during their whole class reading slot. These books are for enjoyment and do not produce work alongside them.

Struggling to get your child reading?

Reading is the most important thing you can support your child to do. It impacts positively on every part of their life and education, including being proven to positively support mental health. If you're struggling to find books you child enjoys reading, why no register with Oxford Owl. Registration is free and give access for a wealth of books grouped by age which can be read on a phone, tablet or computer.


We will also continue to upload new versions of the reading newsletter below which recommends some less well known, but high quality books. Getting a child reading is sometimes as easy as finding a book which interests them.

'Jungle Books' - our school library

We love our school library and, in 2022, it was rebranded from 'Starbooks' to 'Jungle Books'. We were very excited that author, Chris Connaughton agreed to come and officially open it. He spent some time with every class telling stories and reading books as shown below.


The lovely jungle theme makes it an exciting and comfortable place to come and share a book. Every class in school has a weekly slot to visit the library where they enjoy reading time and get to choose a book they love from our wide selection. We hope every child can find a book and an author they love. The video below will give you a taste of how our library looks.

Chris Connaughton opens 'Jungle Books'


Still image for this video

Choosing your next book

At Rickleton we love a good book. There are so many choices within children’s literature it’s difficult to know what to read next, if you like a particular book, author or genre. Here are a few helpful websites and links to look for that next or new book.



The Book Trust Bookfinder: find children's books for every age | BookTrust


From teacher and blogger Dean Boddington (Twitter @misterbodd) take a look at these genre or age specific reading suggestions :

Recommended reads for different age groups - in the style of a London Tube map!

Genre roadmaps from animals to mystery books and many more choices!


Let’s meet some Authors

Listening to an author read their own work is a really great way for children to discover new authors and learn more about how to read by listening to the intonation as the author reading.

Here are a selection of author's reading their books for children to enjoy!


I am Hungry- Michael Rosen

Is there a dog in this book? read by Viviane Schwarz | Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (

Help I smell a Monster- Justin Davies

'Amelia St Clair and the Long-Armed Killer - Chapter 1' read by Joseph Coelho | Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (

The Boy Who Grew  a Dragon- Andy Sheperd

How to Train Your Dragon- Cressida Cowell

Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens

Local author, Jenny Pearson, visits school.


After the success of our Roald Dahl Collaborative reading week, we were very excited to welcome local author, Jenny Pearson, in to school to start this week. On Monday, she led assembly for the whole school, talking about her books and how she came up with the ideas. She asked some incredible facts and quizzes which made us all laugh!


She then worked with Y3, 4, 5 and 6 children in class to develop skills of story planning and idea generation. We learned lots of tips to take in to our story writing in future.


We also asked Jenny to open our 'Rickleton Reading Retreat', our new community borrowing library so that children and parents can borrow books and donate some they recommend so that our whole community can find new authors and enjoy new books together.


Finally, Jenny signed and personalised books for older pupils - we know that lots of children will have found a new favourite author and will hopefully be hooked on reading.

The Masked Reader

As part of our 'hook' to help children find a love of reading, some of our teaching staff have been reading their favourite books. Can you tell who is reading?