Mrs M's Reading Blog
Reading is the most important thing a child will ever learn. It underpins everything at school, and beyond school. Reading builds language and vocabulary; it allows children to transport to magical places around the world and fills their heads with a rich array of knowledge. Reading invokes curiosity, empathy and develops emotional intelligence. Most importantly, it provides our children with an essential life skill that they need to unlock, in order to succeed in their future life.
This blog will celebrate the rich culture of reading here at Earith Primary School.
Lovely to hear over these past few weeks how many of our parents have sacrosanct, protected time with their children, snuggling up at night to a good book. A wonderful routine to establish. Again, supporting the love for wider reading – and a good night’s sleep!
Hard not to feel inspired by children approaching me at the gate or in school with all their extra-curricular reading, research and writing, sparked by their interest of the topics studied this half term. These extra Reading Miles not only spark our pupils’ curiosity and love for curricula, but improves their reading fluency and comprehension…win, win, win!
School Council: Books, Books, Books!
Thanks to your children and the role of the school councillors, we now have some top quality feedback about the books children would love to see more of in our library, including author names & genres for fiction books; specific topics of interest for non-fiction, and other useful suggestions for our library. Wonderful. Watch this space…
31.10.23: Spooky Reading & Writing Legend
Really proud of our children, who – despite the excitement of being able to dress up for Halloween in school – really focussed hard on their descriptive reading & writing lessons liked to all things spooktacular.
There was also an opportunity for us to read the classic book, ‘FunnyBones’ together as a whole-school during assembly, and – evidently – an opportunity for the children and screechers (play on words courtesy of Maya!) to play a tarantula prank on me…Thank You, All!
We hope you had an enjoyable & safe evening around the locality, for those of you taking part in tricks, or treats.
30.10.23: Hall Book Display
Our new topic boxes in the Hall will prove an ideal location to celebrate, entice and signpost our young readers to any literature (both fiction & non-fiction) with front-facing gorgeous books linked to school events & themes; like Halloween, for example – spooktacular!
VIRTUAL VISIT WITH AUTHOR, HANNAH GOLD!
Excitement buzzed through Gold Class as we were graced with a virtual visit by none other than the celebrated children's author, HANNAH GOLD!
The air was electric with anticipation as she unveiled tantalising snippets from her upcoming book, and the inspiration behind the book.
But the highlight?
Even though thousands of children attended the online event (from across the world), our very own Gold Class received a heartfelt shout-out from Hannah herself, leaving a glow of pride and eager anticipation of her new book.
Signed books are now in the hands of readers!
Book Club Competition
Remember our Book Club logo competition from last year? We had so many wonderful entries; a massive thank you to everyone that entered. Our new logo has been designed, with initial input from Mr Newman, then by Mrs Austen with her daughter, Madeleine, for the final version below.
Our special ‘reveal’ assembly yesterday celebrated the children’s illustrations that make up Book Club’s new logo. Congratulations to, and illustrations courtesy of: Zoya (Year 6): Book Club lettering Mason (Year 6): Crocodile Charlie (Year 4): Balloon Harry (Year 4): Rocket Alissa (Year 7): Stars & Earth Effie (Year 7): Book Joshua (Year 4): lightbulb
Inspired by Mr Newman’s recommendation, Harry gobbled up the Bad Guys at home in less than a weekend. Then Harry watched the film. How do they differ, and how are they similar, Harry? Challenge on. Harry was only too happy to oblige and spent some time over the weekend writing a wonderful report
Roald Dahl Day 13.09.2023
Dressed in yellow, or as near to – Dahl’s favourite colour! Facts, extracts and fond memories linked to the books; shared and rejoiced in assembly.
Time in our new Houses to forge early, key relationships across school and of course, hone our Roald Dahl writing skills.
Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl – thank you for what you gave us adults, and what you continue to give our young people today: a burning desire to read & write!
10.7.23: Core Value Reading Legends: Responsible Reading Legend:
Our fifth and final Core Value Reading Legend of the year was Responsible Reading Legend.
But what does responsibility around reading actually look like? We considered:
- Respect for our library and for others’ reading time
- The proper way to stock books e.g. spines out, by subject/author
- Respecting differing views and opinions based on our readings & learnings
- Meta-cognition – children being aware of what they need to learn or do, and how reading could support this
- Supporting others: peer-to-peer reading
- Choosing books that are ‘just right’
As with all our Legends, there were plenty of fun learning tasks centred around being responsible readers, including children engaging with peer-to-peer reading, engaging with our website, not to mention, our SECRET BALLOT…of all the books children have studied as part of the reading curriculum this year in school, which ones will be voted the PUPILS’ BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023…all will be revealed in our End of Year Celebratory Assembly…
Here they are:
Three books in Thistle with equal votes, and two in Daffodil with an equal number of votes.
Lovely to see our children so passionate about the books they’ve studied and enjoying the opportunity to vote. Get ready for a smashing set of books to get your teeth into next year, children!
12.6.23: Book Club Logo Competition: Too many to choose from!
Book Club have been inundated with entries for their Book Club Logo Competition – and this isn’t all of them! Thank you to all the children who have submitted entries. It goes to show, just how much our children love books and are inspired by reading. The winning entry will feature in multiple places, including our website and across communications from Book Club. Watch this space…our entries are with a local graphic designer right now…
We delivered our penultimate (fourth of five) Core Value Reading Legends in school – with a focus on resilience around reading: children being taught and practising stamina for reading, including heightening their knowledge of different genres and authors. We even had the local Earith Book Club visit, who ,in advance, had read many of the titles our children have studied as part of the curriculum in order to lead engaging book discussions – fabulous.
Children across classes made pizzas from scratch with Caterlink; our Kickstart Premier Sports fundraising event was launched and children benefited from time in our pool with swimming lessons from our in-house swimming instructor.
Further excitement with Dance and Pilates sessions with CambsFit, not to mention lunch outside on the field before our Annual Sports Day, where children competed well and with excellent comradery – as did the parents! Children also gave a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, followed by The Earith Primary School Song 2.
Friday saw our celebration assembly and a chance to view the Coronation Quilt, which is on tour – our pupils from Sewing Club have contributed to this, with their beautifully regal patches.
Active board games, meditation, mindfulness colouring and more music…what better way to finish off the week’s activity than with a well-deserved sweet treat, courtesy of our parents and Friends of Earith School at one of their school bake sales.
Responsible, Reflective, Resilient, Resourceful & Ready:
Thank You to all the staff, parents and of course, children for their active contributions and commitment to our Core Values this week. Additional thanks for all the positive commentary regarding Sports Day – it was lovely to see you all in such high attendance.
"It's genuinely made Aurelia a super reader. I couldn't be prouder" (Mum)
It's always fantastic to hear from parents and carers about their child's home reading journey.
Aurelia, in Dahlia Class, has managed to read a total of 6 books (each with 300-350 pages) within 6 weeks!
Further reading moments this week…
Harry (Thistle Class) loved the book ‘Not In Otters Pocket’. He read with enthusiasm and was able to make excellent predictions.
Elsie (Thistle Class) has enjoyed reading ‘Let’s Pretend’. It was reported by staff that she was ‘giggling with excitement’ as she read.
31.03.2023: We have had some fabulous book recommendations from children in Bluebell Class…
Allergic, by Megan Lloyd – reviewed by Maya H.
“This graphic novel is just my type of book! The characters are brilliant and they really make you want to carry on reading.”
Investi-GATORS, by John Green – reviewed by Harry.
“If you like crocodiles, you’ll love this adventure story about a group of secret investigators. It’s so funny and a great adventure story.”
Grimwood, by Nadia Shireen – reviewed by Charlie.
“The only thing I don’t like, is when I have to put the book down! I love it because it’s about a super-scary street cat who eventually gets what’s coming to him!
2.3.23: Core Value Reading Legends: Reflective Reading Legend: World Book Day 2023!
Our third Core Value Reading Legend of the year was Reflective Reading Legend. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this Legend than through the medium of one of the – and arguably most – important days in the Primary School calendar…World Book Day 2023.
Seaming together, and celebrating, reading for pleasure with the importance of reading reflection, we taught children what reflection around reading actually looks like:
- Stopping to think about what we’ve read to assess our own understanding.
- To consider the messages/meanings behind the books we read.
- To develop understanding and empathy for the characters.
- Whether what we’ve read will make us act, think or behave differently.
Staff and children shared fond memories and experiences of books that remain with them – that’s super reflection.
And who has ever reflected, shared and then recommended a book? That’s super reflection, too!
Check out the three ways how the Reader Teacher reflects and recommends books (Recommendation Tab): LINK HERE
Children across school were engaged in various reflective reading activities throughout the day, such as:
- Book World Cup – expressing views and voting for our favourite text.
- Character Cat Walk – describing and reflecting upon our chosen characters.
- Book Marathon – reading and reviewing a selection of texts.
- Book Talk – sharing our thoughts, predictions and ideas about a text
- Paired Reading – swapping classes to share and discuss books
Oh, and by the way, children even reflected on what they’d wear…and didn’t they look great?
See you again in Summer 1 for our next Core Value Reading Legend – during Healthy Week…
3.3.23: The Giant Picnic: Book Club Event: Homage to World Book Day 2023
‘One hot summer in Itching Down, Four million wasps flew into town. What are the villagers going to do about this noisy, nasty nuisance of a swarm? Make a giant jam sandwich - that's what!’
During assembly time on Monday and Tuesday this week, children from Year R to Year 6 were read ‘The Giant Jam Sandwich’:
A story of a small village, much like Earith, who must all club together and use their ‘core values’ to solve a problem.
Thankfully, the villagers (not wasps!) ‘swarmed’ our school Hall on Friday after school in celebration of this book and to purchase more books from Book Club; to take part in themed Bug Hunts; farmyard games; colouring, and of course, enjoy plenty of cakes and jam sandwiches! It was a bit of a squeeze, but we managed to ‘jam’ you all in…sorry!
Thank You to all the parents for their kind cake donations; the pupils for their attendance and enthusiasm; the staff for their support and of course, the fabulous Book Club for planning, organising and running such a wonderful afternoon…one that we will reflect on, with fond memories, for years to come!
6.3.23: Trending: The Haunting of Aveline Jones
Warning: you may want to read this book, too!
They’re falling like dominoes in Dahlia – falling in love with ‘The Haunting of Aveline Jones’ by Phil Hickes, that is!
Many children now borrowing or purchasing copies of their own to read in school or at home.
Some super reflection coming through, too. Here’s what Elsa-Rose had to say:
‘I became so absorbed in this book. The whole book series just hooks you in, and the action begins as soon as you turn the first page. The setting and characters seem to get under your skin, and you can’t stop thinking about them. I even went home and discussed the book with my Simon! After we talked about the plot, we looked deeper into some of the characters, and realised that there is an underlying theme of loneliness. We actually felt sorry for the villain of the story!’
10.3.23: Time Hop: October 2022: 54 Beautiful Books…the Reading Journey continues!
‘We have two new displays celebrating reading in school – here’s one of them – Book Study.
Over the course of the Academic Year, pupils from all four classes will study 54 books, linked to their learning in English lessons, and in some cases, across other subjects. This display will celebrate these books.
It will be a visual opportunity, as the year progresses for pupils to revisit, remember and celebrate just one aspect of their rich reading journey here at Earith Primary School.’
Let’s take a look at how our ‘Book Study’ is progressing now:
Wow; that’s super reading across the curriculum, children…I wonder which books will be crowned the best in our Earith Primary School Pupils’ Book Choice Award 2023?’…watch this space!
Over the last few weeks, Bluebell Class have been studying 'Owen and the Soldier' by Lisa Thompson. The main character Owen befriends a stone soldier in his local park and talks to him about his dad who has been lost at war. The class showed excellent empathy with Owen as they listened to the story, breathing a collective sigh of relief when Owen's poem succeeded in persuading the local council to repair the statue rather than scrap it. The children's empathy and understanding of the story also shines through in their acrostic poems below, which were composed in pairs and trios this week.
02.02.2023: Pupil Quote
‘I don’t want this book to end!’ (Jake: Year 5)
The power of good-quality fiction…say no more!
30.01.2023: Core Value Reading Legends: Readiness Reading Legend
On your marks, get set…READ!
Our second Core Value Reading Legend, Readiness Reading Legend taught children what readiness around reading looks like, from the moment they wake up in the morning, in preparation for reading, during reading and after reading. For example, understanding home and school timetables/routines; being in the right frame of mind to read; tracking the text during reading; checking on others’ reading accuracy; being alert to turn the page; sensing the end of the page, the chapter, or the book amongst many other (in fact, 20!) examples given.
Once we had raised children’s awareness of all the brilliant things they do (many of our children by way of ‘auto-pilot’), it was time for us to ‘up the ante’: pupils demonstrating super readiness for learning through: timed reading fitness circuits; Theatre readiness; genre circuits; speed reading competitions; readiness dictionary skills and readiness treasure hunts… to name but a few!
Children even demonstrated super readiness in our assembly, trying to find Ready Robert who had cunningly hidden himself inside every slide! I wonder if you can spot him in the slides above?
See you again in Spring 2 for our next Core Value Reading Legend.
Not 10 books… Not 15 books… but 24 books!
Oliver has read a whopping 24 books since September!
“I really love the Astrosaurs set of books. They are my new, favourite books to read”
Oliver – Bluebell Class
Following a visit to the school library, Oliver has now found 3 more ‘Astrosaurs’ books to add to his reading list!
Even our youngest children are making comparisons and connections between books they have enjoyed!
“The picture on the back cover of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, is similar to the picture in the story, There’s a Tiger in the Garden.
Darcie – Daffodil Class
12.12.22: Core Value Reading Legends: Resourceful Reading Legend
We have kick-started our Core Value Reading Legends with the inaugural one: Resourceful Reading Legend – a themed day (or, Legend!) teaching children what it looks like to be resourceful around reading. Whether that’s reading blurbs; using contents pages; glossaries; your phonic knowledge; a bookmark; a comfy chair…to name but a few….
One special outcome from our Legend: every child showing resourcefulness (using the Reader Teacher – see blog below) to choose a book that they would love to read that we currently don’t own in our library.
The orders are in. Using our kind donation, we will purchase these books and deliver them to our children in the New Year. What a way to combat any New Year Blues!
Watch this space for our next Reading Legend…coming in Spring 1!
7.12.22 The Reader Teacher
Parents, you have to check out this site; it is your ‘go to’ for recommended children’s literature:
We love the Reader Teacher https://www.thereaderteacher.com/ here at Earith Primary School. Not only is this website really user-friendly for our young people to be inspired by great books, it also has some fabulous features.
You can search for high-quality, recommended books by:
-your child’s year group and/or Key Stage
-books you might like that are similar to other authors (Book Match)
-Top 3 (books related to a theme/topic)
-Top 100 Recommended reads
Not sure what book to buy your child for Christmas? Why not start here?
Children in school will be pick a book for the school to purchase on their behalf from the Reader Teacher as part of our Resourceful Reading Legend day on the 12th December. Children will enjoy their new book, before returning it to the library for somebody else to enjoy. Thank you to the Fox Family who have made this possible with their more-than-generous donation...watch this space…
Capturing Reading Contributions
During class story (Dave’s Cave) in Daffodil class, Paddy was quick-off the-mark to identify – based on his knowledge of the book – that when Dave did eventually find the cave he longed for….it was his own; home sweet home!
Then this: when posed the question by me (Mr Abbs): ‘There are no words, but just one picture on the last page; what do you think it is?’, Georgie was able to describe exactly what was going on in the picture without even seeing it….
Georgie & Paddy – the ‘Inferential Detectives’: fabulous listening; fabulous watching; fabulous comprehension.
What a fabulous sight this afternoon!
Book clubis up and running again, with a wide selection of exciting books for all ages.
Children thoroughly enjoyed browsing, discussing, and choosing books to save up for.
Book Club – Every Friday!
21.10.22: Teas & Coffee in the Library
Refreshments were served in the library this week during Parents’ Evenings. Lovely to see our parents having a look at our books and a catch-up with staff in this warming environment.
21.10.22: Reading Display
As if the advantages for reading weren’t obvious enough…here’s a visual reminder, children:
20.10.22: Dear Mr Abbs
Letters started appearing under my office door, closely proceeded by – what can only be described as – chortles, giggles and mild-mannered screams…
…they want something, but what was it this time?
Thank goodness – not another request for a chocolate fountain or a waterslide in the pool!
Specific book titles children in Dahlia are desperate to read.
Well…when they ask so nicely, and write so beautifully, how could I possibly say no? Watch this space!
14.10.22: 54 Beautiful Books!
We have two new displays celebrating reading in school – here’s one of them – Book Study.
Over the course of the Academic Year, pupils from all four classes will study 54 books, linked to their learning in English lessons, and in some cases, across other subjects. This display will celebrate these books.
It will be a visual opportunity, as the year progresses for pupils to revisit, remember and celebrate just one aspect of their rich reading journey here at Earith Primary School.
Library open for business at lunchtime!
New, exciting book titles have been added and the librarians have been trained.
This week, our wonderful librarians have welcomed and supported children during our lunchtime library sessions.
Story Time happens every day here at school. Mr Abbs has recently enjoyed reading Gorilla & Grandpa to Thistle…
‘I liked it when the Gorilla dressed in dad’s clothes. Hannah’s dad didn’t have much time for her but in the end, he took her to the zoo’ (Amelia: Thistle Class)
…Penguin and Yeti And The Bird with Daffodil Class
‘My favourite bit was when Ben came flying out of the lion’s mouth and when penguin bit lion on the nose!’
(Sullivan: Daffodil Class)
‘Everyone was scared of Yeti so they left him alone. In the end, he made friends with a little bird’
(Elsie H: Daffodil Class)
Our fabulous new library, fully-stocked with great books. New librarians appointed - ready and raring to go!
Week 1 in school and already children are being awarded our brand-new reading certificates for their reading endeavours - fantastic.
Children across school this week have been getting stuck into some of our new books, including children in Upper Key Stage Two reading with their buddies.