Skip to content ↓

Reading Policy (1)

Reading Offer/Policy

Reading        2

Story times        2

Phonics        3

One-to-one reading        3

Reading comprehension        3

Independent reading        4

Reading across the curriculum        4

Displays, library and raising the profile of reading        4


Books and texts have been carefully selected for reading lessons, writing units and storytimes. The books, along with rationale and explanation of where each fits within the wider curriculum can be found in the appendix.

Story times

Story times happen at least daily in every class. This is extended to twice daily in Reception. These are aimed at developing pupils’ love of reading. The books chosen are typically just above pupils’ reading ages and/or contain pertinent themes. Adults have been trained in reading aloud so that they can make these sessions enjoyable and engaging. Storytime is modelled and monitored by both the reading leader and the English leader. All Story time texts for all year groups can be found here.


The Read, Write Inc programme is followed for teaching phonics. We follow the trust Early Reading and Phonics Policy.

Pupils in lower Key Stage 2 (3 or 4) who are not yet decoding accurately are identified through diagnostic assessments which are completed by the reading leader using the Read Write Inc half termly assessments. Pupils in upper Key Stage 2 (5 or 6) who are not yet decoding accurately are also identified through diagnostic assessments which are completed by the reading leader using the Fresh Start half termly assessments. These pupils access the Fresh Start phonics programme daily.

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have a daily 15 minute class phonics session that focuses on sound knowledge and decoding words.

One-to-one reading

Pupils struggling with decoding are listed on our ‘Priority Readers’ list. These pupils read with an adult every day and have additional practice of recalling speed sounds, as well as sounding out and blending words. The books they use to practise reading contain only the sounds and non-decodable words they know.

Reading comprehension

Reading comprehension lessons take place 5 times times a week in Years 3-6 and 3 times a week in Years 1-2 in addition to their Read Write Inc. Sessions which take place daily. All content domains will be covered over a half term, with an emphasis on vocabulary, inference and retrieval.

Extracts are chosen carefully to match the content domain. Extracts are typically short (one or two paragraphs). Once a half term, pupils will work on a longer extract (similar in length to one text from the NTS tests).

These include a balance of poetry, non-fiction and classic texts. Extracts from the story time book and the English texts will also be used. Each half term, where appropriate, one extract will be linked to the science topic of the previous half term, and one will be linked to the history or geography knowledge from the previous half term. This forms a part of our system of revisiting key knowledge.

Teachers follow this sequence for teaching reading. They write their own questions and use question and answer stems to support this and pupils’ answers. Teachers design a range of activities, including those found in the teaching strategies resource.

The extract (small version if necessary), questions and pupils’ answers will appear in their reading comprehension books. The title of each entry will be the content domain.

Independent reading

Pupils have time tabled sessions for independent reading. Pupils are assessed half termly using the Accelerated Reader programme. This gives them a ZPD. All books in the library are coded so that pupils choose books at the appropriate level of difficulty.

The reading leader(s) analyses data in relation to pupils’ independent reading rates each half term. Pupils who are not reading frequently will be targeted and supported to do so.

Reading across the curriculum

Teachers in all subjects are aware of the pupils who are not reading fluently at an age-appropriate level. For those pupils accessing phonics, teachers have a copy of their latest assessment and know the sounds which are a gap for the pupil. Teachers ensure all pupils can access lessons by modelling reading aloud, adapting texts, using text-to-speak technology (add as appropriate).

Displays, library and raising the profile of reading

  • All classrooms have a specified reading area which gives them easy access to a range of books to read for pleasure. These reading areas are comfortable and inviting areas of the classroom that we encourage all pupils to use frequently.
  • Our project curriculum (which focuses on History, Geography, Art, D&T and Music) have key texts linked throughout their content, ensuring time is spent reading and teaching relevant books focusing on the project area, as well as giving pupils opportunities to use non-fiction texts for independent research.
  • Classes visit our local library at least once annually. This is overseen by our Coco lead.
  • Whole school events, such as World Book Day, are celebrated as part of our annual events calendar.

Book Choices


Key text




Linked Texts


A Brave Bear

Sean Taylor

Relationships, supporting each other and “succeeding together”

It's a long way. Little Bear tries to impress his Dad by doing a big jump from one rock to another, but he falls over. When he picks himself up and keeps going, his dad says, "I think a brave bear is probably the bravest thing in the world." For very young children just beginning to dare to do new things and their supportive and loving parents, this gentle read-aloud just might be the best thing in the world.

A book that explores the relationship between adults and children and how supportive they can be to each other. A great book for the initial phase of reception to be abl;e to develop a positive rapport between staff and children as they enter EYFS

Range of supporting texts available in Reception

The Naughty Bus

Jan and Jerry oke


An excellent opportunity for children to find wonder in their everyday uses of familiar scenes and settings to bring to life a story about adventure and link together aspects of our children’s world so they can begin to narrate and retell their own stories using everyday objects.

Chance for teachers to share how we can tell stories about anything and use our imagination to give life to the things around us.

Range of supporting texts available in Reception

Blue Penguin

Petr Horacek

Fitting in, celebrating difference

A modern interpretation of the ugly duckling that shines a light on the celebration of being different linked to our Co-op Value Be Yourself Always and the Fundamental British Values of tolerance and mutual respect.

To explore being proud of who we are and begin to celebrate our differences to develop a trusting, collaborative and respectful culture.

Written by a Czech author to reflect our demographic

Range of supporting texts available in Reception

A Great big Cuddle

Michael Rosen


The poems in A Great Big Cuddle fizz off the page with sound and rhythm, energy and laughter, as Rosen captures in the most remarkable way what it means to be very, very young.

A child’s world with all its details and feelings – toys and games, animals and made-up creatures, likes and dislikes.

A first look into poetry giving wonderful opportunities for children to investigate rhyme

Range of supporting texts available in Reception

Stanley’s Stick

John higley

IMagination, loving the world around them

Stanley's stick is not just a stick. With a stick in hand, Stanley's options are endless - he flies to moon, writes in the sand, goes fishing, plays a whistle and rides a dinosaur - and his imagination takes over as the magic begins. Stanley shows that seeing truly depends on the ability to believe in the possibilities.

A great books for inspiring creative minds and facilitating children’s imaginative play in being able to create make believe worlds, developing story-telling verbally alongside children and encouraging them to write about the stories they create.

Range of supporting texts available in Reception

Ruby’s Worry

Tom Percival

Diverse protagonists

Feelings and how to process them

Emotional intelligence and ,managing anxieties

Meet Ruby—a happy, curious, imaginative girl. But one day, she finds something unexpected: a Worry.

It's not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger . . . And a little bigger . . . Until eventually, the Worry is ENORMOUS and is all she can think about.

But when Ruby befriends a young boy, she discovers that everyone has worries, and not only that, there's a great way to get rid of them too . . .

This perceptive and poignant story is the perfect springboard for talking to children about emotional intelligence and sharing hidden anxieties.

Range of supporting texts available in Reception


The Secret Sky Garden

Young female


A picture book intro to year one that covers themes such as friendship which are reflected in PSHE sessions.

Linda Sarah

Big Friends

Tom’s Magnificent Machines

Nina Laden

If I had a little Dream

Astro Girl

Ken Wilson-Max

Young Black Female main character

Aspirations, hopes and dreams

Inspirational story about following dreams that ties in well with the Y1 Project ‘ Moon Zoom’

Ken Wilson-Max

Where’s Lenny

The Flute

Max Loves Sunflowers

Lore-Ann Glover

I Love all of Me

Kory James

Atom and the universe

The Last Wolf

Young Female character

Environmental themes and moral dilemmas

Modern spin on a classic tale – Introduces some themes for class teachers to discuss with their class.

Introduce talk about stereotypes and changing how you think about someone/something

Mini Grey

Traction man series

Hermelin- The Detective mouse

David Litchfield

The Bear and the Piano

Lynley Dodd

Hairy Maclary series.

How to Find Gold

Viviane Schwarz

Female Character





Encourages children to engage with the text, empathise with characters and used to engage them by participating in the story.

An introduction into humorous stories that encourages children to be able to take on the roles of characters and follow a journey through a narrative assisted by illustrations.

Viviane Schwarz

Timothy and the Strong Pyjamas

There are cats in this book

There are no cats in this book

Roald Dahl

The Enormous Crocodile

Bernard Walker
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile

Judith Kerr

The Tiger who came to tea

If all the world were…

Joseph Coelho

Young Female character

Loss and sadness


A rhyming, poetic picture book that explores the relationship the main character has with a grandparent and how they cope with emotions when he dies.

Written by Poet and writer Joseph Coelho

Joseph Coelho

Grandpa’s Stories


Overheard in the Tower Block

Skyla Duncan

The Four Seasons - Poetry

Dineo Dowd

Spring hike


Environment, nature and the link between humans and animals

Evolution Story. A picture book that uses ambitious depictions of the animal battle against a developing world, a first insight into Darwin’s theory of evolution and providing engagement into the Science learning children will cover as they move through school.

Children to talk about how actions can impact the world around them and discuss conservation

Isabel Thomas

Frida Kahlo

The Fox - Circle of Life Story

This Book is not Rubbish.


Out and About – First Book of poems



4 Seasons

Shirley Hughes provides a look at all four seasons through poetry and introduces children to rhyme and imagery, A great way to start the new school year as children learning and reciting and performing, building their confidence.

Talking about the world around them and building a bank of reference points, especially as KS1 writing weather and surroundings can be key in adding depth and detail to writing and narrative.

Shirley Hughes


Alfie gets in First

Hero on a bicycle

Eilieen Spinelli


Mary Ann Hoberman

The Seven Silly Eaters

The Dark

Young male protagonist

Picture Book

Exploring emotions


Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark is not afraid of Laszlo.

Laszlo lives in a house. The dark lives in the basement.

Lemony Snicket’s unique take on fear and the emotions that underpin it. Great for initiating conversations about personal differences and bravery linked to PSHE and mental health.

Also useful to show the power of words due to few words on each page but well-chosen throughout

Lemony Snicket

A series of Unfortunate Events

Jessica Flow

Mr. Stripes helps me to sleep


Young female Protagonist

Fairy Tale/Traditional tale

The wicked witch has Rapunzel trapped - but not for long!

Rapunzel lives all alone in a tall, dark tower. Under the threat of a witch's fearsome curse, the poor girl seems doomed to a life in captivity. But is Rapunzel frightened? Oh no, not she!

Triumph of good over evil, picture book adaptation of a classic fairytale.

A suitable introduction into fantasy and fairy tales which can support work done through talk for Writing modules that cover similar themes, lots of generalisable vocabulary about adventure magic and good vs. evil that will play a part in building independent writers.

Bethan Woolvin

Little Red

Hansel and Gretel

Bo the Brave

Usborne Fairy Tales


Snow White


Julia Donaldson

Room on the broom

Pattan’s Pumpkin

Chitra Soundar

Picture book

story from another culture

When Pattan finds a yellow-flower vine wilting in his valley, he replants and cares for it, watching as a pumpkin appears and grows taller than the goats, taller than the elephants, as tall as the very mountains. When a terrible storm rages across the valley, Pattan wonders if perhaps his pumpkin can save the seeds and grains and saplings, the goats and birds and bison, and protect them all as the storm clouds burst and the waters rise.

Protection of nature and acting for the greater good. Proposed by some to be an adaptation of Noah’s Ark story and saving humanity.

The author of this story from another culture gives a view into another lace Geographically and will allow teachers to begin discussing the difference between places and environments - linking back to “Out and about”

Chitra Soundar

You’re snug with me

Mangoes, mischief and Tales of Friendship

Farmer Falgu goes on a trip.

Son Sharma, Very Best Big Sister

Ibtihaj Muhammad

The Proudest Blue

Anna Hibiscus


Story from another culture

Female protagonist

Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa with her mother, her father, her baby twin brothers, and lots and lots of her family. Join her as she splashes in the sea, prepares for a party, sells oranges, and hopes to see sweet, sweet snow.

A first introduction into a proper chapter book, exploration of the world that surrounds another culture, family life and the dynamics behind this.

Year 2 children should have a developing love of reading and this marks their move away from picture books into a proper chapter book where stamina for reading can be modelled and they can be signposted to further related texts as they move into KS2 to enjoy Reading for pleasure.


Anna Hibiscus Song

Hooray for Anna Hibiscus

Hibiscus Series

Andy Shepherd

The Boy who grew Dragons

Flat Stanley

Jeff Brown

Dick King-Smith

Sophie’s Adventures


Alexis Deacon



Picture book

Themes of fitting in

Beegu's spacecraft is stranded on Earth. Now she is lost and wandering. Waiting for a rescue signal from her mother, she fails to make friends with the strange creatures she encounters. Rabbits don't seem to understand her; windblown leaves won't stay still to listen

A story of belonging and fitting in in strange places and unfamiliar circumstances - To lead discussion on equality and understanding everyone is equal

Aims to stimulate writing in the abstract away from children’s frame of reference. useful way to recap earlier learning in Y1 when they completed Moon Zoom.

Alexis Deacon

A Place to Call home

Slow Loris


Mini Grey

Traction Man Series

Helaine Becker

Counting on Katherine

Tom Percival

The Invisible


The Tin Forest

Helen Ward

Fantasy, involvement of robots and creating life

In the middle of a windswept wasteland full of discarded scrap metal lives a sad and lonely old man. In spite of his gloomy surroundings, he dreams every night of a lively forest full of trees, birds, and animals. When he finds a broken light fixture that looks like a flower, his imagination is sparked.

Imaginative picture book excellent for drawing attention towards setting description

An empowering message for children and adults alike: No matter where you live or what your circumstances are, where there is imagination, there is hope

Helen Ward

The Dragon Machine


Carol Lindstrom

We are Water Protectors

The Wild Robot

Female protagonist


Kindness and relationships

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is-but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island's unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

Action-packed thriller

Aims to provide children with a real model of an adventure book, with an atypical main character and a fast moving plot great for focus on plot devices such as adverbials, conjunctions and using speech and description to move the story along.

Ted Hughes

The Iron Man

The Iron Woman

Peter Brown

The Wild Robot Escapes

The Wild Robot Protects

Tom Gauld

Little Wooden Robot

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Runaway Robot

Rabbit and Bear – Rabbit’s Bad Habits

Animal protagonists

Julian Gough

Jim Field

Developing a view of relationships between characters


When Bear wakes up early from her hibernation, she decides to build a snowman. Her grumpy neighbor, Rabbit, decides to build an even better one. Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits is full of laugh-out-loud moments and chronicles the forming of an unlikely friendship

Introduces humour into fiction and engages reluctant readers.

Serves to show children a different side of reading and compare and contrast the two narratives they have read in the last two half terms from Wild Robot to Rabbit’s bad Habits.

Teachers can signpost to the other books in the Rabbit and bear series to provide pathways to reading for pleasure

Julian Gough

Rabbit and Bear Series

Jude in London

Zanib Mian

Planet Omar

Eva Ibbotson

The Abominables

Jeff Brown

Flat Stanley Collection

Mouse, Snake, Bird, Wolf

Human protagonists

Mythical fiction

links between humans and nature

Stories with morals

PSHA - link

The gods have created a world that is safe and calm and rather wonderful. They have built mountains, forests, and seas and filled the world with animals, people, and unnamed beasts. Now their days are fat with long naps in the clouds, mutual admiration, and tea and cake.

The story tells of recognising failure and acting to improve it. Filling emptiness with creatures that go out of control.

Really useful to launch some deeper character development in children’s own writing and linking to Co-op Values, what happens when we do and don’t show them, impact of actions on others.

Kenneth Grahame

The Reluctant Dragon

Saviour Pirotta

Orchard Book of Greek Myths

One Plastic Bag



Picture Book

Environmental themes

Caring about the world

Story from another culture

Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred.

Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person's actions really can make a difference in our world

A story based on fact that is about improving our world and caring for others and the environment we live in.

After several novels children return to a picture book but one that is developed from Beegu the last one they read as a key text, talk about the use of pictures to support narrative and the emotions/imagery this supports with.

Miranda Paul

Water is Water

Speak Up

Little Libraries

Neal Layton

A Planet Full of PLastic

Richard Salisbury

Ask and Expert- Climate Change

Jess French

What a Waste

Varjak Paw

animal protagonist

Themes of Good vs evil

Story from another culture

Varjak is forced out into the city when the sinister Gentleman and his two menacing cats take over his home. With help from his mystical ancestor, Jalal. Approaches themes of good vs evil

A journey to investigate and find out about mystical events and triumph in the face of adversity.

The final Key text of Year 3 looks to develop children’s reading maturity and this book has an increasing number of and nuance of themes for children to investigate, discuss and understand

S.F. Said

The outlaw Varjak Paw


Lauren St. John

The White Giraffe

Jess Butterworth

When the Mountains Roared


The Lion and the Unicorn and other tales

Jane Ray


For her third collection, acclaimed author and illustrator Jane Ray ventures into forests, jungles, mountains, and even imaginary worlds to find stories about animals of all kinds

This mythical offering provides all kinds of fantastical stimulus for teachers and children to build exciting and engaging narratives.

Useful to use these short stories to show children how plot can be built and how all aspects of stories can be demonstrated in limited time.

"The Singing Ringing Tree," "Theseus and the Minotaur," "How the Rhinoceros Got his Skin," and "The Leopard’s Promise." are some of the offerings which teachers and children can learn and retell - option to use Talk for Writing to develop the telling of these stories.

Berlie Doherty

Fairy Tales

Jane E. Ray

Can you catch a mermaid

Ahmed and the Feather Girl

Arthur and the Golden Rope

Described by some as Norse Mythology for kids.

We start with Professor Brownstone telling the story of his ancestors' adventures. We learn about curious Arthur who sets out into the forest looking for adventure. This is useful in not only weaving the facet of historical fiction and adventure into one but learning about storytelling from different

Joe Todd Stanton

Tony Bradman

Viking Boy

Jeremy Strong

There’s a Viking in my bed


Terry Jones

Saga of Erik the Viking

The Proudest Blue

Ibithaj Muhhamad

Young Muslim female main character


Refugee story about fitting in and pride in who you are.

A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school–and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab–by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad.

The content of this book is incredibly apt for Nightingale due to our high mobility and many of our children coming from the same background as the author and main characters. This explores PSHE themes of acceptance, pride and identity

Onjali Rauf

The Boy at the Back of the Class

Kate Milner

My Name is not Refugee


Eoin Colfer

The Boy at the Back of the Class

Onjali Rauf

Modern fiction

Main character from another culture

Refugee story of fitting in and pride in identity.

Told with humor and heart, 'THE BOY AT THE BACK OF THE CLASS' offers a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense.

Explores themes of kindness, friendship and fitting in. Poignant to our school as many of our children face similar issues through being refugees, having EAL and being new to the country.

This book is purposely placed to follow the Proudest Blue as the themes that are covered in both are built upon from picture book to Novel and children can use their learning and understanding from one to apply to the other

Onjali Rauf

The Star outside my Window

The Night Bus Hero

The great (food) Bank heist


Eoin Colfer

Werewolf Club Rules (Poems)


But if you like those last two authors and you're keen to introduce kids to poetry + very very gently introduce a few simple concepts like onomatopoeia and similes, then this collection is perfect.

A combination of well-written poetry packed with grammar and humour and silliness, this collection is perfect for engaging children in poetry, exploring different types and especially how poetry can convey emotion, good point to signal children to poetry books for pleasure.

Spike Milligan


Laurie Stansfield

Poems Out Loud

Joshua Seigal

I don’t like Poetry

Pugs of the Frozen north

Contemporary fiction

An enjoyable and fun story based on animals - can support children’s writing in their use of animals as this is a common theme in children’s stories.


Phoenix Code

Helen Moss

Detective Story linked to historical fiction

When Ryan Flint accompanies his journalist mother to an archaeological expedition in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, he isn't expecting life-threatening danger and a 3,000-year-old murder mystery

A mini-detectives adventure that explores the excitement of Ancient Egypt, Supports Year 5’s Egyptians project and offers a different take on the codecracking genre

Terry Deary

The Plot on the Pyramid

Shirley Climo

Egyptian Cinderella

Emma Carroll

Secrets of a Sun King


Picture books

Environmental Themes

The most overlooked threat in the world is that of the loss of peace and quiet. The Varmints come and build their city where once was grass. Before they realise what they have done, there is nothing but a huge dark city. Can someone find the time and space to stop, think and plant seeds of change?

To explore themes of environmental change. Linked to PSHE themes of caring and how individuals respond to change.

Teachers make links to the present day, and what's in the news forge the relationship between the impact of humans on variables.

Julia Green

The Wilderness War

Dark Sky Park

Poems Compendium

A collection of poems

Nature themed to secure understanding and prompt discussion around curriculum

Humour - to support poem part of writing sequence

Mandy Coe.

Belonging Street.

 Dom Conlon

This Rock That Rock.

Laura Mucha & Tania Rex.

Dear Ugly Sisters.

Benjamin Zephaniah

Funky Chickens.

Tom’s Midnight Garden

Graphic Novel

A classic of children’s literature

With stunning art from award-winning graphic artist Edith, a  transcendent story of friendship is useful for exploring SEMH and PSHE themes around the dynamics between the characters and friendship and distance.

In the format of  graphic novel this allows teachers to show there are many ways of writing effectively and writing can be enjoyed in different formats not simply novels

Offers insight into developing children as writers as a story turns from normal to fantastical due to a special helper

Nina Bawden

Carrie’s War

Phillippa Pearce

Minnow on the Say

A Finder’s Magic


Historical fiction

Themes of gender stereotypes and religion

A boy in Tudor England is thrown into Prison and goes on an adventure that takes him into contact with royalty, peasantry and everything in between.

Teachers draw comparisons between children of similar age across history and make reference to how things can be similar or different regardless of time.

Opportunity to secure understanding and make links to curriculum

Berlie Doherty

Street Child

Lucy Worsley

Lady Mary

Marcia Williams

The Tudors: Kings, Queens, Scribes and Ferrets


Women main characters

Author: David Roberts

A non-fiction book that examines the issue of women’s fight for equality, Prompts discussion about the history of women’s rights and equality.



Sara Penny Pennypacker

Male character



Links to: Pax 2: Journey home, follows on from Some earlier Sara Pennypacker books they may have read earlier in school.

This book examines the character’s experiences and relationships with his father and his pet Pax through the War. It explores themes of war and resilience in the face of adversity. Has moral dilemmas for readers to consider and discuss and is a journey story about how both characters’ journey to find each other against the odds.

The story is told from 2 perspectives intertwined to introduce this approach to storytelling and how individual plot lines can be knit together

Useful for promoting a different format of story writing to encourage children's appreciation of perspective and how characters can influence each other

Zillah Bethel

The Shark Caller

Sharon Creech

Love that Dog

Michael Morpurgo

Running Wild

Betsy Byers

The Midnight Fox

The Journey – Shackleton’s Expedition.

William Grill

Study of a Significant Figure (Ernest Shackleton)


Antarctic Exploration

Focuses on the character of Ernest Shackleton and retells the story of his expedition aboard the Endurance, explores the hardships they faced and the resilience needed to overcome.

A picture book with detailed illustrations of the ship and the ill-fated expedition which resulted in a brave rescue, is fantastic as a driver for recounts and non-fiction writing based upon the crew and their exploits.

Children compare and contrast this non-fiction account with the fictional narrative they have covered in Year 6. A return to a picture book to show how depictions even in cartoons can support the emotional thread of a narrative. Opportunity to signpost to other non-fictional writing linked to biographical writing

Alexandra Stewart


Alastair Humphries

Great Adventurers

The Last Wild

Piers Torday



Family Relationships.



This explores a young boy's adventure through a post-apocalyptic world that has been savaged by a ‘virus’ which has affected all manner of wildlife, it tells of his journey to find his Dad while helping the animals who he meets.

Themes of individuality and difference which children can explore and discuss.

Told from a contemporary point of view and with the side narrative of good vs evil and overcoming this.

Some complex examination of the relationship between main character and his father

David Almond


RJ Palacios


Pig-Heart Boy

Malorie Blackman

Young Teenage

Black Male Character

Explores the moral dilemma of ill-health and its implication on family and relationships

Focus on a young boy who has a medical issue that means he needs an urgent transplant. This story illustrates the effect of this issue on his immediate family and relationships with his parents and best friends Marlon.

It explores the moral dilemma of wanting to hold on to all of the things he has but also longing for the things that he isn’t able to enjoy.

Moral issues around animals and exploration of justifying the hardship of choice. Year 6 can use their increasing awareness of social cues and depth of emotion to justify the choices of the characters and to think about the themes of sacrifice, friendship and hope.

Malorie Blackman


Tell me no lies

Peter Bunzl


Robert Swindells



Louis Sachar

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Protagonist is a boy of Year 6 age

Adolescent male


Justice and fairness

An exploration of truth. Based on an adolescent male who is sent to a detention centre with more secrets than he realizes.

The book ties in humour with a dark twist and provides an entry point to signposting books that children may read in Secondary.

Author examines  Mr. Sachar examines the impact of our history and the nature of hope and human compassion. Requiring children to appropriate circumstances and observe unfairness.

A wonderful opportunity on children to reflect on society and oppression in a coming of age story about history, with moral views on racism and persecution in the relatively recent past

Frank Cottrell-Boyce


The Unforgotten Coat

David Baddiel

Future Friend

Anthony Horowitz

Groosham Grange

Public Enemy Number two

Helen Fox


Louis Sachar

Fuzzy Mud


Katherine Rundell

Female protagonist

Contemporary set in a large city in another country

The story of Sophie who everyone believes is an orphan despite her claims of seeing her mum shout for help. Explores themes of loss and belonging and is an example of a narrative about a search for something lost. Themes linked to welfare and society’s treatment of children.

Teachers use the time of the year to focus on growing independence and responsibility. Author has links to a wide range of other books pitched at a similar level and beyond.

PSHE themes to be explored linked to moving on and transitioning as they leave Nightingale

Katherine Rundell

Sky Steppers

The Good Thieves

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

Onjali Rauf

The night bus hero

Kiran Milwood

The Girls of Ink and Stars