Summary of the DfE reading framework

World Storytelling Day for dads, grandads, brothers and uncles

On Tuesday, we invited our male role models into school to discuss reading at home. Dads, uncles, grandparents and older brothers were invited in to talk about how we can help improve the reading experience at home. We also invited the local library to share their services and they were able to sign many of the parents and children up for their own library card. It was nice to see so many faces and the children enjoyed reading to their dads in the hall. We send our thanks to the local library for sharing their services and look forward to continuing our partnership with parents in making reading fun and accessible for all. #ReadToMeDad


This week, the children have been able to visit Uplands Booklands to receive their book prizes. The children have worked hard to read 5 times a week for 15 weeks at home. Well done to all the children who received their free books. 
Thank you again to everyone who has donated money, books or time to the reward shop. It really would not work without your support. We also want to thank the local book shops Books2door and BooksforPeople who donated to our cause. The money from World Book Day, which was close to £400, will be used to buy more books for the shop.

World Book Day 2024

We are thrilled to report on the wonderful celebrations we had for World Book Day this year! On Thursday, our school was buzzing with excitement as students, teachers, and staff came together to celebrate the joy of reading.

The highlight of the day was seeing our students dressed up in imaginative costumes inspired by their favourite book characters. From wizards to princesses, superheroes to animals, the creativity on display was truly remarkable. The enthusiasm for dressing up and embodying beloved literary figures added an extra layer of magic to the day.

Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to engage in various reading activities. They shared their favourite books with classmates, showcasing their love for literature and sparking conversations about different genres and authors. Additionally, students had the chance to unleash their creativity by crafting their own stories, letting their imaginations run wild and putting pen to paper to create their literary masterpieces.

One of the highlights was the online roadshow featuring the renowned author and performer, Michael Rosen. Our students were captivated by his storytelling skills and delighted in the opportunity to interact with such a celebrated figure in the literary world. Michael Rosen’s engaging presence added an extra layer of excitement to our World Book Day festivities.

As the day drew to a close, students and their parents gathered on the playground for a quiet reading event. It was heartwarming to see families come together to share the joy of reading, creating precious memories that will last a lifetime.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Mrs Patel for her hard work in sourcing all the raffle prizes, to the parents for their generous support in buying tickets, and to Kim and her team for baking delicious cookies to sell after school. Thanks to everyone’s contributions, we are thrilled to announce that we have raised an impressive £400 for books that will be placed in our reward shop, further enriching our school’s literary resources. Without the kind generosity of local businesses, the raffle would not have been a success and we are forever indebted to them.

World Book Day at Uplands was a resounding success, thanks to the dedication and hard work of our staff and the enthusiastic participation of our students and families. It was a day filled with laughter, learning, and a shared love for reading, and we look forward to continuing to nurture this love for literature in our school community.

Thank you to everyone who made this day possible, and here’s to many more literary adventures in the future!

Year 3 visit to Stonehurst Farm

This week, year 3 had a great adventure at Stonehurst farm, a family run farm in Quorn Leicester.  

During their visit they participated in a multitude of activities: 

  • tractor ride,  
  • dug up potatoes in the field,  
  • hunted for corn in the maize field,  
  • learnt about the animals,  
  • held guinea pigs in cuddle corner, 
  • went on a nature walk.  

The school kitchen team kindly took the freshly dug potatoes the children had collected from the field and cooked them with herbs and seasoning. They were then delivered to the classrooms for the children to eat. The children loved them!  

All the learning from the farm is helping the children to understand more about their English book (Charlotte’s Web) as the story is set on a farm. It will also help them in their up-coming Science topic: Animals including Humans. 

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.        Dialogue Punctuation

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.  

ALS 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 ALS validated phonic scheme, as used by Uplands Infant school, in order to aid consistency and familiarity for the students of Uplands Junior. It is a lively and interactive programme. Phonics is taught systematically to all Y3 children who have not yet passed the phonics screening test. 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 that match the sounds taught.

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.

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 (, Reading Rocketeers ( )  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:

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

A huge congratulations to all of our amazing winners from last term’s book prizes. Children are awarded based on one of three categories: the most words read on Accelerated Reader, those who have made the most progress in their reading age or reading results and those who have shown the most effort with their reading on a daily basis.

As a school, we read 26,848,994 words last term. We are very proud of all of the children and hope we can achieve even greater numbers this term.

I want to urge you all to find the time to enjoy the benefits of reading. Reading is not only a wonderful form of entertainment but it is also one of the most important skills you can develop.

When you read, you are opening up a world of knowledge, imagination, and inspiration. Reading helps you to develop your vocabulary, improve your memory, and enhance your critical thinking skills. It also allows you to escape into other worlds and experience different perspectives.

Moreover, reading is a great way to spend your holiday. It can be an excellent way to relax, unwind, and de-stress from the everyday pressures of life. Whether you prefer adventure, mystery, or romance, there is a book out there for everyone.

So, my plea to you this term, especially during the bank holidays, is to read. Read as much as you can, as often as you can. Make it a habit and enjoy the journey. Remember, reading is the key to unlocking a lifetime of knowledge and success. Here are some of the places you can access free or cheap books. Also, books make greater presents during celebration periods.

  • Highfields library is open over the holiday period.
  • Use of MyOn at home.
  • Your school library book and access to Accelerated Reader.
  • Local charity and book shops where you can buy books cheaper.

And do not forget to share your amazing reading pictures with us on our Twitter page. @uplandsleadacad

Happy reading!

Mr Deacon