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Subject Lead: Miss C Reeves

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The Leasowes Reading Curriculum / Reading at Home 

Reading for Pleasure:  The Leasowes Library Learning Hub / Classroom Libraries / Reading Newsletters / Termly Reading Challenges / Reading Events and Celebrations / Reading Ambassadors

When we ask our children what rooted in reading at Leasowes looks like and feels like, this is what they said...

The Reading Curriculum at Leasowes

Teachers instil in children a love of literature. Through a book-based approach, we root all of our topics in high-quality, rich class texts and use these to ignite our children’s imaginations. At Leasowes, we feel it is absolutely essential that children read and experience whole books and novels. Our reading spine throughout the school sees children explore picture books, poetry, non-fiction and fiction texts in full. These are also mapped against the Plagues of Reading to ensure children have experience of challenging literary conventions including non-linear time sequences, unreliable narrators, resistant texts and archaic stories. The class texts studied form the main stimulus for writing, reading and GPS lessons as part of our wider English curriculum. In order to develop the children's comprehension and reading skills, they undertake whole class reading lessons. Our children become proficient readers by reading a range of texts types across the curriculum, and their fiction class text is often supplemented by non-fiction and poetry reading materials. Each class will have access to books  which are directly linked with their curriculum units so that the children can further their own independent reading if they wish. Please see the 'Writing Curriculum Overview' uploaded at the bottom of the page to see the class texts matched to each curriculum unit.

Reading at Home

Home-School Reading Books

All children have 'Reading Diaries' or 'Home School Records' to record their daily reading at home and at school. This is an important way we can identify if children require additional reading support in school and forms important transition ahead of secondary education where children are often expected to use organisational tools such as homework diaries. These are checked at least once per week, and often daily in younger year groups. 

EYFS and Key Stage One

Our home reading system is designed to ensure that each child initially has a book matched to their phonic ability. As part of this approach, we also have a wide range of phonics books, called 'boost' books, which expose children to alternative pronunciation of sounds, high frequency words and tricky words. The children receive a Phonics book each week which is matched to the phonemes they are learning that week in Phonics and ultimately provides them with extra practice of applying their growing phonic knowledge to reading. In addition to the phonetically decodable books, children in Year 1 are also able to borrow books from the Big Cat Reading Scheme. This provides the children with a book that is matched to their ability through the use of a coloured book band system. The children are assessed by the class Teacher and teaching assistant and then directed to a specific book band. The children can change this as often as they like and are regularly re-assessed by the class teacher to move them on when needed. 

Little Wandle Big Cat Reading books are used for Guided Reading in class. These are linked to the children's phonic ability and to their reading ability and provide a challenge to their home reading book. 

Key Stage Two

In KS2, the children will continue with the coloured banded reading system and can select books to take home from the Big Cat reading scheme. For children who have gaps in their reading, we also have a ‘rapid reading’ scheme in place that includes a range of phonetically decodable books matched to children's age interests. To enrich children's reading, we also have the 100 book challenge, where children are able to borrow books from our library written by 100 different authors. These are grouped into Year 3 and 4, and Year 5 and 6 titles, so that children can select books matched to their age. Please see our 100 book page for more information. Children are also able to bring in their own reading books from home, and we encourage children to begin to read children's novels when they start KS2. Please see the Classroom Libraries and Leasowes Library Learning Hub sections for more information on the provision children can access when selecting their home reading books.


In order to ensure your child's home reading books are correctly matched to their ability, we complete a range of assessments in school. These include phonics and 2Eskimos reading assessments.


Reading for Pleasure

Reading for Pleasure: Leasowes Library Learning Hub

'WOW!'... that's the first thing that usually pops out of visitors' mouths when they enter the jewel in the Leasowes crown, the Library Learning Hub. Accessed through an archway wall celebrating some of our children's favourite texts, our library has been designed to promote a love of books and reading for pleasure. With quotes from famous authors and a range of stimulating stories and non-fiction books to fascinate, our children can always find a cosy corner to get lost in a book. We are so fortunate to be able to employ two teaching assistants, Mrs Bailey and Mrs Williams, as our Leasowes Librarians. One or both of them are on hand each lunchtime to support our young readers with text selection and with borrowing and returning titles with the use of the Reading Cloud system.
With a stock to vary most community libraries, Leasowes offers areas for different age groups, non-fiction organised by subject, picture book and graphic novel areas and so much more. Since opening in 2020, we continue to refresh the stock regularly with modern titles and texts that are representative of the diverse world we live in. We take pride in our efforts to ensure that every child at Leasowes can see themselves in a book.


Reading for Pleasure: Classroom Libraries

At Leasowes, it's all about the books! We do not believe that children crawling into a cave-themed book corner will inspire them to become a reader... only high-quality stories, coupled with enthusiastic teachers, can do that! Recently, we invested heavily in our classroom libraries, selecting a minimum of 150 hand-picked titles per year group to provide a bespoke reading experience for our children as they progress through the school. These collections include featured authors e.g. Year 6 have author Emma Carroll's entire portfolio, to encourage children to read entire series and collections; graphic novels that support children with exploring a different type of fiction and, in Key Stage 2, understanding complex concepts e.g. migration and refugees; as well as an inspiring range of non-fiction and poetry. Class librarians are responsible for the upkeep of the library, displaying our school value of respect in action. In the academic year 2021-22, our Junior Leadership team oversaw the standardisation of practice in classroom libraries: selected edits of titles are displayed on acrylic stands, inviting children to browse and select from a range of books. When we are observing whole-school events such as Black History Month or remembrance, class librarians highlight the texts within classroom libraries that relate to these in order to further root our learning in reading. In every classroom, a trolley (or sometimes more than 1!) is used to highlight recommended reads - either from the children themselves or from the teacher. As part of our regular timetabled reading time, children are encouraged to discuss the books they have read and enjoyed and therefore inspire their classmates to choose their next read based off these recommendations.

These texts are looked after in the same way as those in the Library Learning Hub i.e. through the reading cloud system to ensure that these titles are cared for and available for years of readers to come. 


Reading for Pleasure: Reading Newsletters

Now in its second academic year, the Leasowes Reading newsletter is a termly publication written by English leader (and avid reader) Miss Reeves. Through these documents, Miss Reeves shares new releases, books linked to current units of study to spark children's imagination, focused on graphic novels, non-fiction and poetry and recommendations for all age ranges. Since the reading newsletter's debut in October 2021, Waterstones Stafford has regularly sold out of some more popular titles... oops! 

Please find the links to previous reading newsletters under the Parent News > Newsletters tab
The most recent one is linked at the bottom of this page in the downloads section.
Latest: Autumn 2023 Reading Newsletter (Read the Curriculum!)

A sneak peek of the latest Reading Newsletter:


 Reading for Pleasure: Termly Reading Challenges

Like with many things, humans are creatures of habits. That's why at Leasowes we have created a termly reading challenge designed to inspire children to widen their reading experience, develop stamina for reading and have lots of fun while doing it! 

Each term, Miss Reeves runs a different reading challenge. Every child who completes the reading challenge wins a bookmark but also is entered into a prize draw per phase to win a bundle of books or other reading-related prize. 

One of last year's reading challenges was the Read for Good Readathon. This sponsored read raises money for poorly children in hospitals around the nation to access books and professional storytellers. We raised an amazing £1136!

The current reading challenge (which will run until Christmas) aims to get children reading and learning more linked to their experiences within the wider curriculum. Who will join Miss Reeves at her Winners' Reading Cafe at the end of term?

Reading for Pleasure: Reading and Writing Celebrations 

While at Leasowes our ethos is that we should celebrate reading every day, we do mark the big national celebrations too to give a real spotlight to reading throughout the year. In March, we mark World Book Day: our priority is always to expose children to new titles, authors, illustrators and stories with a view to inspire them to expand their reading horizons. Please see below for details on our latest celebration in March 2023. With a focus on illustration in classes and the enjoyment of reading discovering new books happening elsewhere throughout the day, it promises to be a great day. Previous celebrations are outlined on our 'Beyond the Classroom' page. 

This year, we also marked National Poetry Day in October. Each class shared poetry and explored anthologies from our class libraries, including poems by the new Children's Poetry Laureate, Joseph Coelho. We tweeted about the poems we shared and even got a reply from Brian Moses.



Every year, Miss Reeves selects a story for the whole school from EYFS to Y6 to enjoy as part of a reading and writing celebration. This ignites a passion for stories and illustrations exposes children to books and authors they may never have heard of before. Last academic year, we explored Jeanne Willis' Hom, a story of a young boy shipwrecked on an island. There he meets Hom, a native creature without a family of his own. Children loved exploring the story and created some beautiful responses both in writing and in art. We worked hard and are so proud of our resulting displays. This year, we will be celebrating World Book Week with a fabulous text to be chosen by the UKS2 reading ambassadors. 

Reading for Pleasure: Reading Ambassadors

New to Leasowes in 2022, may we present our reading ambassadors! Drawn from Years 5 and 6, these children complete a rigorous recruitment process (focused of course on their love and passion for reading) to form an exclusive group whose role is clear: share and encourage the love of reading around the school. Expect to find our reading ambassadors visiting classes during wet playtimes to share bespoke recommendations and read short picture books or chapter texts. A highlight of the year has been Festive Storytime: every day in the month of December, our ambassadors share a festive story with children from across the school. From brand-new texts such as Rob Biddulph's An Odd Dog Christmas, to reimagined classics such as Tony Mitton's retelling of A Christmas Carol to perennial favourites like Tom Fletcher's Christmasaurus... lunchtimes in Advent are a real highlight at Leasowes. Reading Ambassadors are also responsible for overall upkeep of classroom libraries and the rotation of these texts between classes in February every year. On World Book Day, children judge competitions (e.g. 2023's Loo Roll Character Competition) and run the donated book stalls throughout the day. Following the annual sponsored read - which is always the Spring Reading Challenge - the reading ambassadors will head up arrangements of how to spend the money raised e.g. in updating the classroom libraries, adding to series we have in school or selecting new graphic novels to expand our collection.