Click HERE for find out about our ‘Great Writers of Clifton’

Why do we love reading so much?

“The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”   Both quotes by Dr. Seuss

“A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.”   Neil Gaiman

” So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw you TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.”   Roald Dahl 

English is is Mrs. Threlkeld-Brown’s FAVOURITE subject to teach! So much so that her car registration plate begins ‘L17’ for LIT (Literacy)! We do lots of our Literacy learning through our learning themes and our learning is often so much fun, we don’t even realise we are learning!

Mrs. TB invented a way of teaching reading called ‘BIG Reading‘. The whole school have ‘Big Reading’ sessions every day.  – it’s all VERY exciting and, as a result, we LOVE reading! Mrs TB has even written books about reading and reading assessment – look (click on a book to see more)!

Within Big Reading we use the ‘Big Reading SPIES Team’ to help us really concentrate on, learn and use the ‘Key Skills for Reading’. These skills are:


The ‘Big Reading SPIES Team’ members are:

To find out more about what each ‘Big Reading Character’ does and what questions they ask, we have Big-Reading-Trumps-Cards.

The Big Picture of Reading at Clifton

Scroll to see all of our ‘Clifton Reading Elements’ in more detail here:

Phonics at Clifton

In order for children to be able to access exciting texts, the need to be able to ‘decode’ the words on the page. This is taught through a system called ‘Phonics’. At Clifton we use ‘Read Write Inc.’ to teach our phonics in a systematic, rigorous and fun way. To find our more about ‘Read Write Inc.’ click HERE.

You can also read our own ‘Information for Parents Read Write Inc Phonics at Clifton’

Books, books, books and what a reading session looks like:

We LOVE books at Clifton and we have LOTS of them! Each classroom has its own library area with a huge choice of reading books: fiction, non-fiction books linked to our current learning and our own interests, and poetry, as well as magazines, posters and lots of other reading materials.

The reading scheme books we take home to read and practice reading in school are from a variety of different publishers: Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Rigby Star, Bug Club and many more… We also read lots of ‘non-scheme’ books (some people call these ‘real’ books but we think all books are ‘real’!). All of our books have coloured stickers on theme – these are our reading ‘levels’. In this way, our teachers know exactly how well we are doing with our reading, what we are about to read AND what we are able to understand when we read. Along with this, they also know what reading skills (linked to our Big Reading Characters) we need to practise and what skills we need to master next. We use the ‘Oxford Book Levelling System’ as this links directly to our learning and assessment of reading (and because Mrs. TB wrote it!).

Accelerated Reader – Haggerston School

Here at Clifton, we also use the ‘Accelerated Reader’ program. This means that children are encouraged to read a wide range of books, after which, they take part in on online quiz. From the quiz, each child’s reading is logged: number of words read; minutes per week read; number of books read and so on. We celebrate our children’s reading achievements in our ‘GREAT’ whole school assemblies – how many words do YOU think YOU have read this year? In our school we have a number of ‘WORD MILLIONAIRES’! WOW!

Strive for Five by IGN on Dribbble

“There is more treasure in books that all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island.”   Walt Disney

Just like Walt Disney says, there are treasure beyond measure within books, so we believe, why keep reading ‘just’ for school? To encourage our children to find more ‘treasure’ , we ‘challenge’ our children to ‘STRIVE FOR FIVE’: to read at least FIVE TIMES A WEEK outside of school. We ask parents to log their children’s reading each week in their reading diaries or planners then, each Friday we celebrate all those children who have unearthed reading treasures at home. 

Bookworm Badge by School Badges UK

 If a child reads five times a week for FIVE WEEKS, they receive a READING STAR. There are FOUR STARS to collect: emerald, sapphire, ruby and gold. After which, children gain ‘BOOK WORM’ status. there are three ‘BOOK WORMS’ to collect: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

‘Clifton Reader’ reading expectations







‘Reading Without Limits’ at Clifton

at Clifton

Whilst we regularly assess our children to ensure they are reading books at their ‘just right’ level, we do not want to limit children’s reading, therefore we also have yearly ‘Recommended Reads’ These are NOT limited by an accelerated reader number of book band colour – these are GREAT books we believe all children should read by the end of their Primary educations: – see lists below:

Reading to your children

Are you stuck for a good book to read? Have a look at these recommended book lists to get some ideas.

Y1-Recommended-Reading-List Y2-Recommended-Reading-List Y3-Recommended-Reading-List Y4-Recommended-Reading-List Year-5-Recommended-Reading-List Y6-Recommended-Reading-List

The Book Trust website has a great section where you can find bespoke books, tailored to your likes – click HERE to take a look. 

The Book Trust also publish annual guides to great books for all ages of children:


If you would like some ideas for how you can read with your child, click the links below:


Ideas for supporting and encouraging reluctant readers

Oxford Owl have a huge selection of free online ‘ebooks’.

Why is reading at home so important and what ‘power’ can reading with your child have? Take a look at the video below:

Remember the ‘Three Bs’…