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At Sparken Hill Academy we promote a whole school love of reading and provide many opportunities for children to read and listen to a range of stories and poems.



During the school day, children may read in small groups or 1-to-1 with an adult, with a peer or as a whole class. All children throughout school, enjoy a whole class 'story time' with their teacher at 3pm daily. We also give children the opportunity to listen to audio versions of their favourite books.


Whatever the reading activity, we place a strong emphasis on high quality ‘book talk’ whereby all children are able to discuss and unpick carefully chosen, high-quality texts. We expose children to a wide range of texts, styles and genres, including stories, non-fiction and poetry and both classic and contemporary texts.


We use a variety of books linked to current interests and topics to support the children’s reading development. We believe that, at all levels, good quality reading is invaluable for good quality writing and life-long learning. 


Reading at home


All children from F2 and KS1 practice and apply their phonic skills when reading decodable books from the Phonics Bug scheme. The books are individually matched to the children's letter and sound knowledge. 


Your child will bring home a Bug Club phonics reading book and reading diary in their book bag. Teachers encourage children to read with parents/carers daily. Parents are asked to write in the reading diaries a comment of how children read. We have a reading rewards scheme and children who are daily readers get the opportunity to win a prize each week!


Parents have access to 'Bug Club' on the Pearson Active Learn site:

Each child has a bookmark in the back of their reading diary with their own log in details. When logging in you will find:


-Reading books which are matched to children's phonics ability

-Phonics Games to practise grapheme-phoneme correspondence, segmenting and blending 


Log in to Active Learn here


We ask that a variety of physical/online books are read by your children, as they are both important.


Accelerated Reader 


When children are able to read fluently and independently (Y3+) they are assessed using the Star Reading system for Accelerated Reader. The assessment provides a standardised score and a reading age for the child. Teachers monitor children’s reading scores closely to ensure pupil's gain skills and understanding at a level that is right for them. Children are taught a broader range of reading skills to develop their understanding of the texts they read. Books are grouped by using our Accelerated Reader system and pupils are directed towards the appropriate ZPD code for their reading level. Once pupils have read a ZPD book, independent reading and level of understanding is confirmed through an online retrieval quiz taken on the completion of a book. Children are expected to achieve a minimum of 85% success rate over the term. The Accelerated Reader approach moves away from the traditional reading scheme to include real books by a range of popular, modern and classic authors and poets. There are also non-fiction texts, graphic novels and play scripts to name a few additional text types.


 The school also subscribes to MyON digital library, which is linked to AR and provides pupils with 'Recommended Reads' inline with their reading level.  Parents can track their child’s success by signing up for email updates.


Search for Accelerated Reader Books here

Reading Skills taught during English lessons


Throughout school, we ensure that pupils have the reading skills needed to access and understand the texts they are decoding. Through focused reading skills lessons, we implement the VIPERS skill-set. Pupils learn to use these specific skills to extend their vocabulary and understanding, infer meaning from texts, predict meaning or future outcomes from the text, use the language of explanation to show their understanding, retrieve information from a text and to summarise the main points of a text. Using these skills helps pupils to use reading throughout the wider curriculum and beyond.

Click on the document below to view the high quality topic books teachers read to their classes through English lessons and story time

Useful Resources