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Reading at Hamstel

Our aim is for every child to leave Hamstel Junior School able to read fluently and with confidence.  We want every child to develop a love of reading in order that they continue to read widely in secondary school and beyond. 

School Library

We are proud of our fantastically stocked school library. 

Children can choose two books, one of which is a

‘free choice’.  Classes visit the library each week and

children may also visit at lunchtime to change their books.

Individual Reading Books and Reading Colours

Children in the infant school follow the Read, Write, Inc scheme to develop their understanding of synthetic phonics.  Book colours in the infant school correspond with the children’s phonics knowledge as they reinforce the sounds that the children have learnt. 

Reading books in the Junior School are colour coded according to the children’s reading age.  Each colour contains a broad range of books in order to stimulate interest without overly restricting choice.  

Children chose a book from their coloured band which they read both at home and at school.  They can also choose a fiction or non-fiction book to read with an adult or on their own from any of the books in the library.

Please click the links below for the suggested reading lists for each year group:

10 Books to Read in Year 3

10 Books to Read in Year 4

10 Books to Read in Year 5

10 Books to Read in Year 6

Reading Lessons

Children are taught whole class reading lessons as part of English.  To support both our reading and writing lessons, a different core text is shared with the children each term – see below.

Our reading lessons focus on helping children develop their reading skills so that they become fluent and confident readers.

Story Time

Our teachers read regularly to their class to encourage a passion for reading.  Our children really enjoy being read to by an adult.

Class and School Library Time

To help the children select great books, classes spend time each week discussing the books that they have read and making recommendations to others.  We also have a termly book review competition where children have the chance to win a book voucher.

We have 10 recommended reading books for each year group which are chosen each year by our teachers to challenge, encourage and inspire our children.

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Reading Champions

Our Reading Champions are chosen from year 5 and 6 to support a love of reading across the school. The Champions support other children at lunchtime by helping them choose a great book from our outdoor library. Not sure what to encourage your child to read? We have a suggested reading list for each year group which covers a range of genres to inspire every child to develop a love of reading.

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Star Author Days

At Hamstel we welcome children’s authors (our Star Authors) to the school to speak to the children about what inspires them and how they became a writer.  Children have the opportunity to enter a special competition as part of the star author day and join our author for a special lunch.  Children can also buy copies of their books and have them signed by the star author!


World Book Day

We celebrate World Book Day each year by dressing as our favourite book character and completing some great literary inspired activities.

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