Orchard Church of England Primary School

12th December Christmas dinner, 13/12 FS2/KS1 Christmas Performance @ 9:15am, 14/12 FS2/KS1 Christmas Performance @ 2:15pm, 15/12 @ 9:30am KS2 Christmas Carol Service at St. Marys Church, 16/12 OPA Event - Breakfast & Tea with Santa

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Book of the Month - December 2017

If you have read the 'Book of the Month' maybe you could write a book review and have it featured here on our website.... House points are available to those that are published. Any book reviews should be forwarded to the school office with the title Book of the Month.

Reading Information for Parents

Your child's reading experience is much more than the reading book which comes home from school. Reading is happening all the time in a classroom and in the school. It is taught in specific reading and English lessons, but children are practising and using their 'reading' constantly across all subjects too.

At Orchard we ask that parents support this work that is done in the classroom as it can make a dramatic difference to a child's achievement within school. Try to read at least 3 x a week with your child. Children who have a signed reading record 3 x in a week receive a reading token, 5 x a week and they receive 2 tokens. These tokens are then collected and 5 are drawn out at the end of each term for those children to receive a book token. At the end of the year there is an additional prize which includes a family cinema ticket or family day out passes.

Top tips for reading with your child at home, including:

  1. Make time to read- even if it is only for ten minutes (Daily is better)
  2. Choose different types of books
  3. Take turns to read
  4. Talk about the book- asking your child questions
  5. Pay attention to the language
  6. Enjoy reading

 Learning To Read At Orchard

Children learn to read in different ways and at different ages. The first part of a child's journey towards being a successful reader starts when the child is a baby and is listening to stories and rhymes. This encourages a love of language and stories and develops the child's vocabulary and understanding of language as they start to become familiar with what words mean and what they look like.

A vital first stage of a child's development as a reader is to be able to 'read' pictures and to determine what is happening or to predict what might happen from the pictures in a book. As this skill develops, children become able to use their grammatical skills to listen to words within a sentence and to make sense of what they can hear. This is an important tool for the young reader as it enables them to make sensible guesses at unknown words within a sentence and to continue to read for meaning without being stopped in their tracks. 

Teaching Phonics at Orchard

We ensure that all children in our Foundation Stage, year 1 and those in year 2 who have failed the Year 1 phonics are taught phonic skills through Read Write Inc. This develops the child's ability to tackle unknown words within a text by blending the phonemes (sounds) within the word. These phonic skills also enable a child to work out the phonemes they will need to use when they are writing words.

The phonic lessons are structured to ensure that children are first able to identify letters and to say the sound those letters make. Once children are confident with saying the single letter sounds and blending them to create words, they then start to learn the common digraphs (where two letters go together to create a new phoneme such as sh), trigraphs (where three letters create a new phoneme such as igh) and spelling patterns that we use within the English language.

Reading in Years 2-6

Children in Year 2 and Key Stage 2 will continue their reading journey through individual reading, small group guided reading session and as part of daily English lessons

Orchard Reading key aims

At Orchard, the key objectives in our phonic, reading and writing lessons are that children are taught to:. 

  • love books and enjoy listening to stories, poems and rhymes
  • read and write letter-sound correspondences quickly
  • decode effortlessly, spell and handwrite easily
  • comprehend what they read
  • read with fluency and expression
  • write confidently using oral rehearsal
  • work effectively with a partner or within a group to articulate their learning at every step


Please find below the Powerpoint presentation from our Phonics meetings

FS2 Twiglets Phonics Meeting

Year 1 Phonics Meeting

Year 2 Phonics Meeting

Top Ten Books for Foundation Stage

A Bit Lost
By Chris Haughton 
A baby owl falls from the nest and begins a quest to find his mummy. Squirrel tries to help, but the characteristics described by baby owl lead to all the wrong creatures.  
A New House for Mouse
By Petr Horáček 
A mouse peers out of her hole one day and spies a huge apple. The search is on to find a hole which can accommodate both her and this delicious food.
A Royal Lullabyhullaballoo!
By Mick Inkpen 
The princess cannot sleep because of all the noises – dragons snorting, knights clanking, ghosts OOOOing – though when they are all told to STOP she finds she needs a lullaby to send her off.
A Squash and a Squeeze
By Julia Donaldson 
An old lady finds that her house is too small and asks a wise old man for advice. One by one, he suggests that she takes in a variety of animals until eventually her house is so full that she has to turn them all out again.
All Join In
By Quentin Blake 
This zany collection of noisy verse for the nursery is a let-off-steam poetry picture book.
Animal Boogie
By Debbie Harter 
To illustrate this popular song, a succession of children is each shown boogie woogieing through the jungle
Blue Chameleon
By Emily Gravett 
A lonely blue chameleon adapts himself to the colours and shapes of several creatures and objects in a vain effort to make friends.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
By Bill Jnr Martin 
A series of bright and decorative illustrations of animals, each of which is being asked in turn ‘What do you see?’
Dear Zoo
By Rod Campbell 
A child writes to the zoo to ask for a pet and is sent all sorts of unsuitable animals until finally a ‘perfect’ puppy arrives.
Dinosaur Roar
By Paul & Henrietta Stickland 
The prehistoric creatures which fascinate children so much loom large in these pages.

Top 10 books for Key Stage one (Years 1 and 2)

A Dark Dark Tale
By Ruth Brown 
This book gives certain proof that repetition can build excitement rather than be boring.
Are You My Mother?
By P D Eastman 
A baby bird hatches while his mother is away. He sets off to find her and asks every moving thing “Are you my mother?”.
Bears in the Night
By Stan & Jan Berenstain 
This circular tale of a journey up Spook Hill in the middle of the night demonstrates how it is possible to use a minimal text and still tell an interesting and amusing story.
By Alexis Deacon 
A small creature from outer space lands on Earth accidentally.
Click, Clack, Moo. Cows That Type
By Doreen Cronin 
Farmer Brown can’t believe his ears when he hears his cows typing in the barn. And then a demand for electric blankets appears, pinned to the barn door!
Come Away from the Water, Shirley
By John Burningham 
A picture book that broke the bounds of convention by telling two stories simultaneously - on pages opposite one another.
Daisy: Eat Your Peas
By Kes Gray 
Daisy's mother tries to persuade her faddy daughter to eat her peas with increasingly wild promises of tempting treats which are depicted rebus fashion.
Don't Forget the Bacon
By Pat Hutchins 
Pat Hutchins is a wizard with words as well as with the pictures they conjure up. A boy is sent to the shop for ‘six farm eggs, a cake for tea, a pound of pears (and don’t forget the bacon)’...
Down by the Cool of the Pool
By Tony Mitton 
Frog asks all the other animals if they want to dance. And so they do, but not like him.
Duck in the Truck
By Jez Alborough 
A rollicking rhyme reminiscent of ‘The House That Jack Built’.

Top ten books for Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4)


Angry Arthur
Arthur’s frustration at his mother, who won’t let him watch TV, makes his anger grow and grow until it causes a ‘universequake’. This evocation of strong childhood emotion strikes a chord with young people of all ages.
By Ed Vere 
Two monkeys argue over a banana and which of them should have it, eventually finding the solution is to share it. The text is totally minimal, consisting only of the words ‘Banana’ and ‘Please’
Beware of Boys
By Tony Blundell 
Like Catherine Storr’s Clever Polly and its traditional prototype Red Riding Hood, this is a tale of a child outwitting a hungry wolf.
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
By Verna Aardema 
Ki-pat, a young African cowherd rescues the cattle he tends from the drought by shooting down a rain cloud
Cheese Belongs to You
By Alexis Deacon 

A strong repetitive and cumulative text with support and appeal for older less confident readers


Chicken Clicking
By Jeanne Willis 
The jolly rhyming text expounds the exploits of a cheery little chick who sneaks into the farmer’s house and makes hay by using the computer to order all sorts of extraordinary items on the internet
Dave's Cave
By Fran Preston-Gannon 

Stone Age Dave seek new cave. Will he find one he like? The seemingly simple staccato text, omitting auxiliary verbs and definite and indefinite articles, is surprisingly hard to imitate.


Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish
By Michael Foreman 
A book with a large theme, an ecological fable whose central message is that the planet is home for all those who inhabit it and that all have a responsibility for its future.
Don't Put Your Finger in the Jelly, Nelly
By Nick Sharratt 
A hugely enjoyable book which uses rhyme, repetition and wordplay to good effect.
By Anthony Browne 
Joseph’s father has told him that things are ‘going to change’ and the pictures, which reveal so much more than the brief but complementary text, take us through the surreal world of his imaginings

Top ten books for Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6)

Anancy and Mr Dry-Bone
By Fiona French 
Anancy wins the hand of Miss Louise as he can make her laugh, unlike the rich, skeletal Mr Dry-Bone.
Artemis Fowl. The Graphic Novel
Artemis Fowl is a twelve year old master criminal in a gothic world. He plots to obtain gold from the underworld inhabited by the People, otherwise known as the fairies.
Asterix the Gaul
By Goscinny 
The first book about the plucky little Gaul whose village is holding out against the might of the Roman Empire.
Bananas in My Ears
By Michael Rosen 
The contents of this book were originally published as four thematic collections, on the topics of breakfast, the seaside, doctors and bedtime. Each follows a similar pattern of rhymes, poetry, stories, sayings and anecdotes
Billionaire Boy
By David Walliams 
Joe Spud is remarkably rich thanks to his dad’s invention of a loo roll which is moist on one side and dry on the other. All he really needs, though, is a true friend.
By Quentin Blake 
Most children will be familiar with Quentin Blake’s distinctive illustrations. This is a wordless book but readers will need to bring their understanding of narrative informed by the conventions of comics to the story which has the cinematic quality of a silent film.
By Michael Morpurgo
A short chapter book with a satisfying conclusion which will help to build reading confidence. Nick is saddened by the death of his grandmother’s Alsatian dog which has always provided a barrier between him and a local bully. Nick needs to build skill and determination in order to beat the bully at the game of conkers and rescue a dog which is being ill-treated.
Count Karlstein
By Philip Pullman
A tongue-in-cheek Gothic tale, told in a blend of conventional text and comic strip. A ripping yarn with a host of interesting features such as maps, a cast of characters and contemporary ‘advertisements’. The list of ‘works consulted and ideas stolen from’ at the end gives scope for discussion about intertextual references and influences from literature, film, art and music. This book teaches much about developing as a reader.
Daft Jack and the Beanstack
By Laurence Anholt 
One of a series of Seriously Silly Stories, retellings of well-known fairy tales given a modern twist.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
By Jeff Kinney
Greg Heffley is at pains to tell his readers that this is a journal not a diary and this book is about surviving in school as a cool kid. Greg is a creator of cartoons which he uses to illustrate his diary- sorry, journal – and for a brief period becomes cartoonist for the school paper, later usurped by his former friend Rowley. First in a series, some of which have been filmed, which has avidly devoured by many previously reluctant readers, especially boys, who understand all about the ‘Cheese Touch’!

Online Reading

Whilst we all like to have a book to hold to be able to share with others the content and pictures, often children seem more interested in their tablet or computer.  We can now do both by reading on line,  Below are some websites that offer reading on line, some also have games related to the book  or text that they are reading.


Oxford Owl

Magic Keys



Wordless Books

Do you remember learning to read when the books were just pictures?  You used the pictures to imagine what might be happening. Wordless books are pictures where you can look at them over and over again making your own stories up, changing what is happening each time. Click here for the list of wordless books suggested by The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.