School Logo


How do we teach reading at Hardwick & Cambourne CP School?

Here at Hardwick and Cambourne Primary School we strive to ensure that all children will leave our school equipped with the skill of reading as well as having a a life-long love of reading. To reach that goal we begin our reading journey with daily phonics in EYFS, KS1 and where necessary in KS2. As children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they practise by reading texts which are entirely decodable and matched to their phonics lessons. The books are designed to give children experience of a variety of reading genres and allow children to practice their phonetic decoding that they have learnt in phonics lessons. Children are regularly assessed to determine that the books they read in school and take home are at the correct level for them. We strongly believe in reading for pleasure, so as well as having a book that it closely matched to their phonetic ability, children will also bring home a 'reading for pleasure' library book which the children select themselves. 


Once children can read fluently and with a good understanding, they self- select books to take home from a selection of organised books.  Teachers supervise and check which books children are selecting each week to ensure children are building upon their reading ability as well as gaining a love of reading for pleasure.  


In addition to daily phonics; all year groups from Reception to Year 6 will have daily or weekly reading lessons. This may take the form of a guided reading carousel or a whole class shared reading lesson. In these sessions children will focus on a range of skills such as text retrieval, comprehension and inference.  Activities are finely tuned to the needs of the children and either support or extension put in place to cater for the needs of each  individual child.


Class teachers also promote a love of reading by sharing what they are currently reading for pleasure on their classroom doors as well as offering the chance to ‘relax and read’ in book areas in their classrooms and break out library areas.

We heart reading at school and at home!

Wherever possible, please read with your child at home and expose them to a variety of fiction and non-fiction. Not only is reading an essential life skill but it can be a really rewarding past-time where quality and interesting texts are available and it will help build your child's vocabulary as well as their written skills. The lists attached are not exhaustive, but aim to provide an overview of potentially suitable books for your child to read with an adult and/or independently. Fairy tales and nursery rhymes are the ideal place to start learning to read and we would expect children to begin school with an understanding of the most well-known of these tales and rhymes. Older children still very much enjoy traditional fairy tales: The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, as well as 'twisted fairy tales' are always very popular in our assemblies. EYFS are enjoying their 'poetry basket' to learn poetry and rhymes, so please ask your child to share these with you at home. Please see your child's teacher if you would like advice as to how to help encourage your child to read.

Online Reading Resource

As well as having a wide range of physical books in school, we also have a fabulous E-library for KS1 children which allows for greater variety of colour-banded books. This will allow your child to read fully-decodable books that match their reading ability and phonetic knowledge, but also have a wider selection available to them for interest. Even if in KS2, your child may still happily access and benefit from using this E-library at home and in school. To access the E-library look out for the link coming soon. It then looks as if only one book is available, but if you click on this Lilac - White book (the only option in colour), you can access a range of fiction and non-fiction books from the drop-down boxes within the 'menu' found on the top right.

Reading for Pleasure Recommendations

Black Lives Matter

This is a very topical issue. BBC Newsround offers child-friendly information and advice for anyone wanting to learn more about racism, including how they might help. Within the Blue Peter link, there are also a number of additional links to web-pages that provide historical context and offer suggestions of where to seek support. The 'Little People Big Dreams' series can be a good starting point to help children learn about key black figures (and other influential people) from history. These picture books can make a lovely gift and can also be watched online for free via You Tube.

Books to support conversations about race and racism

It is important that we share stories from a broad range of cultures, races and experiences with our children. Right now stories about acceptance are more important than ever. Click on the link below to find a selection of books for all ages:

Reading Well Initiative: how to support mental health and well-being

Recommended Reads (Non-fiction) : Children's newspaper : A Newspaper that only reports good news : Topic-related reads Online newsroom for children (reading and/or watching news items)

Magazines are a very useful resource for encouraging children to read in short bursts and to broaden their curriculum learning, interests and world knowledge vocabulary, for example:

  • National Geographic for Kids
  • First News
  • The Phoenix
  • The Week Junior
  • Aquila
  • RSPB
  • Wildlife Watch

Books for Boys

We asked our male staff to share what they enjoyed reading as children to help boys who might be reluctant to pick up a book or who might like some additional suggestions. Children from all year groups will also be posting their own reading recommendations on this page, but meantime this is what our staff have chosen to share as potential inspiration:

Mr Regan: he loved Spike Milligan's poems and other nonsense poetry, Goosebumps, Horrible History and Horrible Science series.

(the Poem Hunter website provides access to a range of poets)

Mr Minei: he was obsessed with Roald Dahl books and even used to collect them! His favourites were The Twits, The Witches, The BFG and George’s Marvellous Medicine. When he was in year 5/6 he loved Fighting Fantasies books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. These are books where the reader has to make decisions and turn to the relevant page based on what they choose to do...he was engrossed these books. 

Mr Hoban: he enjoyed Ronald Dahl, books by Dick King-Smith (especially Charlotte's Webb), a magazine called Animal Ark, Happy Families, Winnie the Pooh, Wind in the Willows, The Littlest Vampire, The Beano, Goosebumps. Mr Hoban says he read loads as a child. He particularly liked the poetry in Winnie the Pooh and also a poem called 'When Daddy Fell into the Pond' by Alfred Noyes (of The Highwayman fame) that was his favourite for ages. As young teenage reader, he enjoyed Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.

Mr Atkinson: he was not always a big reader growing up. He preferred to be out playing sports. However, as he grew up he developed a love of books. Being such a sports enthusiast, he loves finding out about sports people so seeks out non-fiction and is always reading biographies and autobiographies of sports stars he admires. Mr Atkinson leads a busy life juggling his family, work and hobbies so he also enjoys reading mindfulness books about how to improve his life; stay calm; and be the best possible version of himself! He is happy to share these with anyone who might like to learn more about improving their own well-being.