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Reading Spine

Reading Spine at Prince Rock


From the earliest ages, reading is much more than decoding. From the start, reading is also accessing and further acquiring language knowledge and domain knowledge. This means that instruction and practice in fluency of decoding need to be accompanied by instruction and practice in vocabulary and domain knowledge. If we want to raise later achievement …, we need to combine early instruction in the procedures of literacy with early instruction in the content of literacy, specifically: vocabulary, conventions of language, and knowledge of the world.’ 

E. D. Hirsch, Jr. (2003)


The aim of this reading spine is to provide an extensive list of books which staff can apply to their own long-term plans. These are books to use as class reads, study books for writing and whole class reading, recommendations for reading corners or for extracts (taken from them to look at in greater detail). The intention is that by the time they reach year 6 and beyond, they have developed a wide, rich vocabulary and broader knowledge of the world and, as a result, are able to access the more complex books expected of them in secondary schools. It should be noted that book and text selection in school not only considers narratives and poems but also recognises that a good balance of topic-appropriate non-fiction should also be read to help further develop children’s background knowledge of the subject they are studying. 


Learning to Read

These are books which are particularly supportive for children who are learning to read.  Books are included here because they help children to behave like readers. They may be: 

  • memorable texts that feature repetition and encourage predictions 
  • texts within which rhythm and rhyme are important 
  • texts that allow children to practice and apply their phonic knowledge 
  • books with strong story shapes and structures 
  • texts which positively reflect children's interests and backgrounds 
  • books with supportive illustrations 
  • books that draw attention to written language and to the way books work 


Literature Collection – High Quality Texts for All

These are books which will form the basis of a literature curriculum and the collection has been designed to introduce children to a growing range of texts. Whilst some children in the class may not be able to read all the books independently, an important function of the collection is to give them access to a wider range of titles, authors and genres that they might not otherwise meet.  For more experienced readers, this collection offers an increasingly challenging range of material for individual or group reading. Books in this collection are likely to be: 


  • texts that are multi-layered - capable of being read at different levels 
  • books that deal with important themes 
  • books in which language is used in lively, inventive ways 
  • books by skilful and experienced children's writers and illustrators 
  • traditional and contemporary 'classics' of children's literature 
  • stories with different cultural settings  
  • texts that promote discussion and reflection 


The reading for pleasure fiction collection was developed from Doug Lemov’s work ‘Reading Reconsidered’. In his book, Doug Lemov points out that there are five types of texts that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence. These are complex beyond a lexical level and demand more from the reader than other types of books. The selection in each age group aims to guide children (and staff supporting text selection) in ensuring children read books from these ‘5 plagues of reading’: Archaic, Non-linear, Narratively complex, Symbolic/figurative and resistant. 


Information Texts 

These are high-quality information texts which are interesting and enjoyable. All the information books promote how the text and pictures can work together to provide comprehensive information and an enjoyable reading experience whilst broadening knowledge, vocabulary and experience of the world. 


These texts have been selected through recommendations: National Literacy Trust, CLPE, The Book Trust as well as consideration for areas of learning covered in the curriculum (geography, science, and history, RE etc…) to encourage wider reading. 


Within this document, there are 3 reading spines. Each one is used in a different way to support and develop a love of reading at Prince Rock. 


Author Study Spine

This spine contains a variety of high-quality books which staff will read and share with their class. This will be completed a minimum of three times a week. 


Reading for Pleasure Spine

We would like all children to develop a love of reading and understand which books they enjoy and why that may be. There is a reading for pleasure spine for Y1 & Y2, Y3 & Y4 and Y5 & Y6. Within each spine there are 100 books which aim to provide depth and breadth to the children’s reading. Please click on each book title to be taken to or to find out more information about each book and guide the children with their choices.


Non-Fiction Spine

We have created two non-fiction spines to support the development of background knowledge and provide additional reading for those children who enjoy non-fiction texts. There is one spine for KS1 and one for KS2. There are 15 recommendations for each of the following subjects: science, history, geography, RE and PSHE. These books will support the teaching of specific subject areas, whole class reading, or they could be accessed independently by the children.

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