Reading at Uplands Junior L.E.A.D Academy:

A child, A book, A read, A chat. This is the way the mind grows. Not with a test but a tale. Michael Rosen 2019

At Uplands, we believe that every child has the right to become a fluent reader, one who values reading and derives pleasure from it. Our aim is to foster in each and every child a love of reading and to create within our school a genuine Reading Community. To achieve this, we aim to provide our learners with a wide range of reading opportunities using high quality texts within the classroom and beyond.

A love of reading is encouraged through a range of provision:

  • termly local library slots for all classes and all children being able to take a library book home
  • daily visits to the school library
  • author visits for special occasions and the sharing of their books
  • whole school events and celebrations
  • regular book reviews and displays in school
  • lunchtime clubs with support from the Highfield Centre for Year 5 and 6
  • competitions and class based rewards linked to Accelerated Reader
  • daily reading of a class story for pleasure for 15 minutes
  • 15 minutes of independent reading
  • Online systems to access books from a range of places
  • children and staff are also encouraged to bring books from home to share

High Quality Literature:

Across Uplands, we have a collection of quality reading books taken from recommended book lists such as Waterstones book of the Month, Books for Topic and Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine as well as teachers’ own choices. High quality texts are essential to develop the vocabulary that all children need as well as expose children to ambitious texts.

Below is a list of recommended books for each year group. You can buy them from all local book stores including Waterstones and WHSmith and also online from Amazon. The website link will also allow you to click the book and take you to the correct Amazon page.

www.waterstones.com          www.booksfortopics.com           www.WHSmith.co.uk

www.Amazon.co.uk                www.scholastic.co.uk

Children are exposed to a wide range of high quality texts throughout the school in their daily English lessons as well as the reading for pleasure time at the end of the day. These books are read to the children so that the story and vocabulary begins to become embedded in the children’s own language patterns.  This forms the basis of their own writing by providing hooks into writing using the language from the high-quality texts to improve their writing. Children are immersed into the power of reading through activities such as role play, real life experiences and art, encouraging a greater depth of understanding and engagement in the texts.  

KTC phonics:

Phonics is essential when teaching children to read and spell. Phonics focusses on pure sounds rather than letter name. For example, the letter ‘S’ is pronounced ‘sssssssss’ not ‘suh’ or ‘es’.

Uplands Junior is now following the KTC phonic scheme, as used by Uplands infant school, in order to aid consistency and familiarity for the students of Uplands Junior. KTC stands for Knowledge Transfer Centre and was developed by Ann Smallberger more than 10 years ago. It is a lively and interactive scheme with visual stimuli. Currently, the year 3 teachers conduct regular 30-minute phonic sessions as part of their timetable to help students embed and reinforce the pronunciation and the spelling of sounds. The year 3 team are revising phase 3-5 sounds. Ask your child about ‘robot arms’, the spelling/reading sayings, and talk to them about the sounds they have revised.

Reading Age and appropriate books:

It is important for children to access texts that are appropriate for their ability in reading to enable them to apply the mechanics of reading taught in phonics as well as develop important reading skills. The library is stocked up with books that then follow these scores and children are encouraged to find these books and once completed, attempt the relevant quiz on Accelerated reader. Phonically decodable books are also used and these are banded by phonic phase and ZPD scores.

Comprehension skills:

The comprehensions domains are taught within daily reading lessons. Within our English lessons, the children study a text which we use to develop and reinforce the skills learnt within our comprehension tasks. All training for staff was completed by John Murray, who has written many books on the teaching of reading.  https://www.johnmurraycpd.co.uk/

OrientationVocabularyHigher Order Reading SkillsWarm applicationCold application
Predict = Title
(Read the book)
Re orientation taskRecap key vocabularyModel and mirrorIndependent skills check
Skill focus:
Retrieval of specific information
Skill focus:
Word knowledge (Breadth)
Word choice (depth)
Skill focus:
Deduction reasoning and inference
Question types
Question formats
Academic language
Focus 1

Focus 2
Create your own questions around textAnswer questions created yesterday.Return and reflect up the evaluative questions.  Question types
Question formats
Academic language
Formative assessment


As a school we recognise that it is essential for all children to learn to read and we provide a range of interventions to ensure that no children are left behind. These include Flash Academy (https://web.flashacademy.com/), Reading Rocketeers (https://www.johnmurraycpd.co.uk/resources )  additional guided reading through pre-reads where needed, BWRP, book groups and 1:1 reading daily. 

Library links

Within our community we are extremely lucky to have the local library that is right on the doorstep of our school. Classes within school visit throughout the year and look to visit every half term. Each child has been given a library card that they can use to take 3 books out each time. We will have a talk about the library whilst there and look to promote other services they provide.


Accelerated Reader:

Your child will be participating in the Accelerated Reader (AR) program.  AR is used as part of a comprehensive reading programme in place at Uplands Junior L.E.A.D Academy School.  While we continue to teach the skills of reading in class through guided reading texts and whole class texts, the AR books chosen by your child will provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed. 

Here is a link to our school’s entry portal for quizzing on Accelerated Reader: https://ukhosted112.renlearn.co.uk/1895537/

Wondering if a quiz is available for a particular book? Here is a link to Accelerated Reader book finder:   


Pupils using AR are encouraged to progress at their own pace and they have personalised targets based on their reading ability. The aim of AR is for all children to succeed in achieving their targets.

What are STAR Reading Tests?          

Every child taking part in AR will complete a STAR reading test at the beginning of the year and at the end of each half-term.  It is a timed test that should take at least 20 minutes and is a multiple choice reading assessment completed individually on the computer. 

What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?

After your child takes a STAR reading test, the teacher will assess the results and give them a ZPD reading range.   Your child will know their range and the books they should be choosing. To ensure children experience success from the outset they begin each year by taking books at the lower end of their ZPD range. 

What are the AR Quizzes?

When your child has finished reading a book they will be given time to take a quiz independently on the computer.  We aim for all quizzes to be taken within 48 hours of finishing a book. 

If your child does not do well on a quiz, they will be encouraged to choose a book that is more appropriate. You can help by asking questions about the book as your child reads it at home.

Recommended Reads

Pie Corbett’s Reading Spine

Great Reads

The CURVE Theatre Trip

Reading In Unusual Places Competition

Coffee Morning