Harold Court Primary School

  • "It was nice to come in and view all of the different years' work" Mrs Fox
  • "Open Evening is great. It's lovely to see how my daughter is improving" Mrs Rummell
  • "Very good. The classroom is great. He's working hard and enjoying it!" Mrs Allen
  • "Lots of fun for parents and children... a very interesting session" Mrs Brown
  • "A nice opportunity to see how all of the children listen/interact and behave as a class. Well done!" Mrs Foster
  • "Very eye opening- would come again" Mrs Duncan
  • "Useful to get feedback and updates on the reward system and parent questionnaire" Mrs Pottinger
  • "I have been shown some great methods that I understand" Mrs Kneller
  • "I have learned different methods that I never knew existed" Mr Muthaka
  • "It was lovely to see my daughter so happy about showing me what she does in Maths" Mrs Fair
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Reading at Harold Court



At Harold Court Primary School we use Rigby Star, published by Pearson, as our structured reading scheme. The children follow the structured colour banded system from EYFS until they are fluent, confident readers when they select books to read at their level with guidance from their teacher. Guided Reading is a daily lesson where the teacher works with a small group of children to focus on comprehension skills and discussing the texts. Our on-line reading programme Bug Club, produced by Pearson, consolidates reading skills, linking together home and school learning.

We have the following recommend reading lists for Years 3 to 6

Year 3: http://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks2-school-pupils/reading-list-for-year-3-pupils-ks2-age-7-8/

Year 4: http://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks2-school-pupils/suggested-reading-list-for-year-4-pupils-ks2-age-8-9/

Year 5: http://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks2-school-pupils/suggested-reading-list-for-year-5-pupils-ks2-age-9-10/

Year 6: http://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/reading-lists-for-ks2-school-pupils/suggested-reading-list-for-year-6-pupils-ks2-age-10-11/

Individual children’s reading progress and attainment are rigorously monitored through termly assessment tests and teachers continuous assessments. We also use the Hertfordshire Reading Test to monitor children’s reading age in relation to chronological age and gaps are quickly addressed. Attainment levels are reported to parents at our termly parent’s consultations where progress is discussed. Children are encouraged to read at home as often as possible and our Reading Challenge initiative encourages all children to gain recognition for their effort. We work closely with our parents, using the children’s planners to as a two-way communication to record reading success. 

Please click here for the book banding system we use in school from January 2014

What / How will your child read in school?

Your child will experience a variety of reading activities in school:

  • · They may be given opportunities to read individually from reading

scheme books

  • · They will read with the class during the ‘shared’ part of the daily Literacy lesson
  • · They will read with the teacher or teaching assistant in a group during ‘guided reading’
  • · They may read during quiet reading sessions, where they may be encouraged to read silently or share a book with a partner
  • · They will also be given the opportunity to read during other curriculum areas
At every occasion when your child read in school there will be an emphasis ontheir understanding of what they have read, as well as fluency. It is alsoimportant this is encouraged at home.When hearing your child read it is necessary to ask them questions abouttexts as they are reading. Encourage them to look back at the pages of thebook to find information.

Hints on helping with reading at home

As a parent, you can play an important role in helping your child learn to read.Research shows that children who are helped at home make better progression school.Reading with your child can be fun and very rewarding. It also shows that you value his/her efforts. If children enjoy reading, it will benefit their whole education. They are also more likely to carry on reading as adults.

Choosing what to read

Choose any books that appeal to your child, for example, stories or information books on hobbies/interests such as football or animals. Vary your reading together. It doesn’t have to be school books. Newspapers,magazines, recipes, games instructions can be read together and still be part of the process of learning to read with enjoyment.We hope that you will also borrow books from the school library and from the local library to read together.Your children may keep choosing the same book because it is a favourite. This is all part of learning to read.Children enjoy being read to even when they are fluent readers.

How can I help?

  • · Find a quiet, relaxing place away from distractions such as TV
  • · Sit comfortably in good light and talk to your child about their book
  • · Read for about 10 minutes; a regular short time of quality is better than a long session which happens only occasionally
  • · Ask why they have chosen the book
  • · Talk about the cover and title and what the story might be about
  • · Ask them to tell you who wrote the book or point to the author
  • · Look at the pictures and ask them to tell you where the story takes place
  • · Ask who they can see in the pictures (especially in simple caption books)
  • · Try to be supportive and positive during the reading time
  • · Encourage your children to look closely at the print
  • · Read the first page or two together until your child is ready to continue alone
  • · Encourage your child to point to each word as they read aloud
  • · Where possible wait for your child to decode words
  • · Encourage the use of clues such as the look/sound of the letters, what would make sense and the illustrations
  • · If they get stuck on a word, you could:

Let them read on so they can work out the word themselves from the contexto point to a picture if it will help them guess the meaningo give them the first or last sounds to help themo read along with them then pause, prompt, praise if they get it righto read the word for them (especially if it is a Proper Name)

when they are confident with sounds, let them sound out unknown words – break longer words down in to syllables (please click here for our action phonic sheet)

do not sound out words which are not phonetic e.g “because”

  • · When a mistake is self-corrected or a previously unknown word is recognised, praise highly
  • · Encourage expressive reading by drawing attention to punctuation
  • · Help understanding by talking about the story or text – the setting, the plot, the characters
  • · Discuss the kind of people the characters are and the way they behave
  • · Talk about the kind of story it is (adventure, fantasy, science fiction, myth…)
  • · Encourage your child to refer to words and passages in the text to justify opinions
  • · If your child is finding a book difficult, help out by reading it together

Remember – Practice, with praise, makes perfect.

Please remember that the purpose of the ‘Reading Record’ book is to give your child’s class teacher feedback on how well your child is reading at home. If you have any concerns about your child’s reading please contact the class teacher by letter or in person. A bank of helpful phrases to use can be found below when reading with your child;

Useful Questions

Reception & Key Stage One

  • · Who is in the story?
  • · Where is the story set?
  • · Can you use the pictures to tell part of the story?
  • · How do you think the story will end?
  • · What will happen next?
  • · Do you like the characters? Why?
  • · What happens in the story?
  • · What did the characters say? Why?
  • · How did a character scare, upset or help another character?
  • · Has this ever happened to you? How did you feel?
  • · Did the story make you think of something that has happened to you or someone you know?
  • · Can you put the main events in order?
  • · How would you feel at this point in the story?
  • · What would you do?
  • · How do you think a character feels?
  • · Why did a character do/say something in the text?
  • · How did a character in the book help/upset another in the story? Why?
  • · What advice would you give the characters?

Lower Key Stage Two

  • · Can you explain why you think a character did that in the story?
  • · What does this word/phrase tell you about the character or setting?
  • · What does the word ‘X’ tell us about ‘Y’?
  • · Fine two ways in which the writer tells you about an event/setting/character/theme?
  • · Which words did you like the most? Why?
  • · In the story ‘X’ is mentioned a lot. Why?
  • · What other words/phrases could the writer have used?
  • · What do you think the writer meant by writing ‘X’?
  • · Which words do you think are the most important in this sentence/paragraph/page? Why?

Upper Key Stage 2

  • · What did that character mean when they said ‘X’?
  • · Are the character’s actions a surprise or what you expected?
  • · Why is that character surprised/scared/excited/angry?
  • · Explain the character’s actions or reactions to events in the story?
  • · What clues are there in the story to show that that character is happy/angry/sad/excited etc?
  • · What do you think this character thinks or another character? Why?
  • · How did the writer make you think this?
  • · Has the writer been successful in creating a setting/mood/character/theme?

What else could they have done?

  • · Choose a passage from the text describing a particular event and question

the children on the atmosphere before and after the event.

  • · Describe different character’s reactions to the same event?
  • · Who is the ‘voice’ in the text?
  • · Which character does the writer want you to like or dislike? How have they

done this?

  • · What do you think will happen because of a character’s




Harold Court Phonics videos

The children in KS1 and Reception have been working hard learning their sounds. they have been practising their actions and segmenting and blending using robot arms!

Check out the playlist on our youtube account for all sounds. 





Further information can be found in: ‘A guide to supporting reading for

parents of primary school children’ at www.parentcentre.gov.uk/publications/