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Children have a set of words to learn at home each half term, and they are tested in the last week of the half term. The words can be found in the children's planners.


At Shirley Junior School we want our pupils to foster a love of reading, to be able to read confidently and enjoy reading.  All children must choose an appropriate reading book for their ability from the reading bookshelves to read at home as well as choosing a book of their choice from the library.

Each week we ask children to read at least 4 times at home, and to record their reflections on their reading in their planner, and we ask parents to sign the planner to say this has happened.

Reading Incentives

Teachers check children’s planners in class once a week and look at the preceding 7 days of reading.  We want to celebrate children who have taken the time to write their reflections, and encourage children to engage more with their reading, and we do this in two ways:

Reading Chest Raffle

Any child who has read and reflected at least 4 times in the preceding 7 days has their name written on a raffle ticket which is placed in a year group box. Once a week, a ticket is picked out at random during year group assemblies and the lucky winner will have the opportunity to choose a brand new reading book from our reading chest.

Reading Tree

The reading tree is a display in the classroom. It may look like a traditional tree or the design may be connected to the class reading corner or a year group theme or topic.

Children who have 4 reflections in their planner get moved up the reading tree each week, and at the end of the term those who have consistently reflected every week are celebrated by getting the chance to watch a film. This is NOT a reward for reading (we strongly believe that reading is its own reward), but for consistently and regularly reflecting on what has been read, because this is good practice and helps children to engage more with the book and ultimately to enjoy it more.


If your child really struggles to record their ideas, please speak to your child’s teacher who will suggest alternatives, such as the child drawing a picture to show an event in the text, or a verbal discussion which you can record briefly for them. We would encourage children to write their own reflections however, particularly in upper school, as children’s responses to something they have read can help inform an assessment of their writing, and also because it prepares them gently for their Key Stage 2 Reading test in year 6.  Those children who achieve “age related standards with greater depth” in their year 6 reading outcome are most often children who have consistently read and reflected on their reading at home throughout their time with us.

Questions that could be used for reflection can be found below; these are also in children’s planners.