All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading also feeds pupils' imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

National Curriculum 2014


Throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 we teach literacy through the Power of Reading programme, alongside our very clear and structured methods for teaching Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar.

The Power of Reading approach has raised achievement in over 2500 schools across England and internationally. Here at Derwent Vale we have seen The Power of Reading transform the way the teachers teach and the way children feel about reading and writing. Children engage with high quality picture books, novels, poetry and non-fiction through a wide range of teaching approaches. Children are immersed into the text through art, drama, discussion and role-play. Other approaches include responding to illustrations, 'Book Talk', story-mapping and book making.
Children take ownership of the text and engage with it deeply.

The carefully chosen texts are all part of Centre for Literacy in Primary Education's (CLPE) Core Book List. Each teacher has carefully selected books for their class this term:

Class 1
 

Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne

 

This vibrant illustrated story takes us into the world of a little girl in Kenya who plans to surprise her special friend Akeyo with a basket of fruit. As she walks along the path with her gift the fruits are stolen one by one by a succession of animals, finally being replaced by an accidental windfall of tangerines, to the delight of the reader who enjoys being 'in the know' while Handa remains baffled. Each picture is rich in realistic detail providing much to talk about as well as providing support for young readers to tune into and predict the pattern of the story. Using painting, small world play, role-play, writing cooking and tasting tasty food from around the world, our children have been able to more fully enter Handa's world and develop their understandings.


Class 2
 

The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

 

Sub-titled 'Other People's Letters', this is a stupendous and original picture book. As the Postman delivers his letters to the Wicked Witch, the giant (Mr. V. Bigg in Beanstalk Gardens) and B(ig) B(ad) Wolf, Esq., c/o Grandma's Cottage, Horner's Corner, the reader can actually open the envelopes, take out the letters or cards and read them. The rhyming text, the witty pictures, the references to nursery rhymes and stories make this picture book a treasure trove.

To support our understanding of this fantastic book, we have also been reading a Traditional Tale every week, such as The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella.


Class 3
 

Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae

 

There's a rumble in the jungle
There's a whisper in the trees
The animals are waking up
And rustling the leaves.

From the outset this book is an open invitation for our children to enter the world of the jungle and experience this wonderful collection of animal poems. Bright colours, jungly music and animal sound effects make this collection of animal rhyming verse perfect for helping us explore adjectives and adverbs through Poetry.

We have also been reading Traditional Tales and soon will be enjoying learning all about the work of author Julia Donaldson.


Class 4
 

Jemmy Button by Jennifer Uman

 

Inspired by the true story of a native boy from Tierra del Fuego, brought to England to be 'civilised', Jemmy Button is a touching story about the wonder of being somewhere new and different, while feeling the 'pull' of home.

The story of Jemmy's journey and encounters in the strange, unfamiliar land of England is told through the engaging and descriptive text and the beautifully poignant mixed-media illustrations that accompany it. It is difficult not to share in Jemmy's feelings of surprise, isolation, wonder and longing, and experience some of the excitement of his voyage to this new place, and his subsequent journey home. We have been exploring these themes through poetry, descriptive language and writing diaries in role as the characters in the story.

Class 4 will soon also be reading the following books:

Mouse Bird Snake Wolf by David Almond

 

A powerful and thought-provoking text, illustrated in graphic novel-style, which will enable children to explore the beauty and dangers of nature as well as the importance of boundaries and self-restraint.
 

Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne

 

Noah is leaving home ostensibly because he wants to have adventures and make his way in the world. But something is troubling him, a situation from which he seeks escape. He has not travelled far before he finds himself in a world that seems somehow off kilter, where a dachshund and a donkey can speak, and time runs freely and is difficult to measure. He meets an old man, a master toymaker with a shop full of carefully crafted puppets that he never sells. Their stories movingly unfold in parallel as they relate them to each other in ways that are very satisfying for the reader as the identity of the old man and the anxiety in Noah's life are gradually revealed.


Class 5
 
Year 5

So far this year we have embarked on a secret spy mission, gone back in time to witness the tragic murder of a Scottish King and we are currently enduring the harsh conditions of a Victorian workhouse ... all of this through the power of our imagination (helped by our Power of Reading books!).

We have enjoyed a spy adventure story (Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz), a Shakespearean play (Macbeth)
and our current book is an historical story

Street Child by Berlie Doherty
 

Set in the second half of the nineteenth century, Street child tells the story of a boy called Jim who, after a series of misfortunes, spends time in the workhouse as a child labourer and lives on the streets. The book is based on the true story of an orphan whose plight inspired Doctor Barnado to try to help street children, and led to the founding of his children's homes. Exploring the novel enables children to discuss challenging themes including cruelty, injustice, resilience and humanity. It also enables children to develop an understanding of issues such as poverty and child labour. We have so far enjoyed writing diaries in role as the characters, informal letters and formal persuasive letters to Theresa May, our Prime Minister, urging her to do something about the thousands of children in the UK who are sadly homeless.


Year 6
 
Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
 

Wolf Brother is an exciting adventure set 6,000 years ago during the time of the hunter gatherers. Torak, of wolf clan, is the main character. His father's death, at the hands of a gigantic bear inhabited by an evil spirit, triggers Torak's quest - to save the forest from destruction. His loyal guide is a wolf cub and the story is told from both human and animal perspectives. There are strong themes in this story, including bravery, loyalty and a deep respect for the forest and its inhabitants which have so far inspired us to write descriptively and to write journals in role as the characters.