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'Reading and Phonics Workshop'

On Thursday 6th October, we held a 'Reading and Phonics Workshop' where we outlined our aims and expectations for reading and phonics at Almond Hill. During the workshop, we shared the ways in which we teach reading and comprehension, the additional provision that we provide to further develop the children and the information and resources that are available to support at home.

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Reading Afternoon

This half-term, we will be inviting parents into school for a reading afternoon. This is an opportunity to come in and listen to the class reader with your child and get tips for how to help with reading at home e.g. asking questions and discussing unfamiliar vocabulary. This will take place on Thursday 8th December Any parents who wish to, can take their children home at 2.45pm after the reading session this allows time for Letchmore parents to collect siblings. At Almond Hill, reading is one of our key focusses and we would love to see as many parents there as possible.

Our Book Recommendations

Year 3


  • Why water is worth it by Lori Harrison
  • After the Fall by Dan Santat
  • Tell me a Dragon by Jackie Morris
  • Beyond Platform 13 by Sibeal Pounder and Eva Ibbotson
  • I love this tree by Anne Clybourne
  • The Minipins by Roald Dahl
  • Owen and the Soldier by Lisa Thompson
  • The Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton
  • Firebird by Misty Copeland
  • Elspeth Heart and the Magnificent Rescue by Sarah Forbs
  • Lob by Linda Newbery
  • Cat Tales by Linda Newbery
  • I believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo
  • Beaver Towers by Nigel Hinton
  • Knighthood for Beginners by Elys Dolan
Picture Books
  • The Tunnel; by Anthony Browne
  • Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by
  • Same but Different
  • The Colour Monster
  • The Pea and the Princess
  • Beware of the Story Book Wolves by Lauren Child
  • Frost by Holly Webb
  • Remarkable Reptiles by Jake Williams

  • Quick, Let’s Get out of Here
  • The World's Greatest Space Cadet
  • Paint me a Poem
  • The puffin Book of Utterly Brilliant Poetry
  • Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg (performance)
  • The Dragon who ate our school by Nic Toczek (performance)
  • The Sound Collector by Rodger McGough (performance)

Teaching Texts
  • The Snail and The Whale
  • Flotsam
  • Atlas of Adventures
  • Super Joe does not do cuddles
  • Atlas of Adventures
  • Voices in the Park
  • The Barnabus Project
  • Ziraffa Giraffa

Year 4

  • The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo
  • Charlottes Web by E B White
  • Oliver Seawigs by Philip Reave and Sarah McIntyre
  • Kensuki’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
  • A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison
  • The Magic Place by Chris Wormell
  • Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Book of Anima Super Heros
  • The Artic Fox by Jackie Morris
  • Ice Bear by Nicola Davis

Picture Books
  • The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
  • The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers
  • The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner
  • It’s a no money day by Kate Millner
  • Flight for Freedom by Kristen Fulton

  • Deep in the Green Wood by Wes Magee
  • Hot Like Fire Hello by Valerie Bloom
  • Sensational! By Roger McGough
  • Being Brave at Night by Edgar Guest (performance)
  • Sick by Shel Silverstein (performance)
  • There’s a Monster in the Garden by David Harmer (performance)
  • The Plight of the Bumblebee by John F McCullagh
Teaching Texts
  • Varjak Paw by SF Said
  • Leon and Place Between
  • The Iron Man
  • The Sounds of Silence (poetry)
  • Teaching Texts

Year 5

  • The Dream Snatcher by Abi Elphinstone
  • The girl of the Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • The Last Wild by Piers Torday
  • King of the Cloud Forests by Michael Morpurgo
  • Beetle Boy by MG Leonard
  • The Train to Impossible Places by P. G. Bell
  • Secret Suffragette by Barbara Mitchel Hill
  • Eagle Warrior by Gill Lewis
  • The Boy who Flew by Fleur Hitchcock
  • Pages and Co by Anna James
  • The lost Tide Warriors by Catherine Doyle
  • Animals Grimm: A treasury of Tales by Kevin Crossley-Holland
  • The Girl who stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook
  • The Apollo Time Capsule
  • Under the Parrot Sky by Rachel Delahaye
  • The Blizzard Wizard: Tales of Ramion by Frank Hinks

Picture Books
  • The List thing
  • The Fantastic Flying books of Mr Morris Lessmore by W. E. Joyce
  • I Dissent - Ruth Bader Ginsburg makes her mark
  • The youngest Marcher – The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks a young civil Rights Activist
  • William Shakespeare: Scenes from the Life of the world's greatest writer by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom
  • Pax by Sara Penny Packer
  • The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie

  • Lost Magic
  • The Magic Box
  • Juggling with Gerbils
  • Life doesn’t Frighten ne by Maya Angelou (performance)
  • The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alred Lord Tennyson (performance)
  • The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll (performance)
Teaching Texts
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • The Highwayman

Year 6

  • Deadman’s Cove by Lauren St John
  • Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis
  • Cog Heart by Peter Bunzl
  • Strange Star by Emma Carroll
  • The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange
  • The Horse with Chcken Legs by Sophie Anderson
  • Into the Jungle by Katherine Rundell
  • Return to Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • North Child by Edith Pattou
  • The Princess who flew dragons by Stephanie Burgis
  • The Somerset Tsunami by Emma Carroll
  • Nevertell by Katherine Orton
  • A Story Like the Wind by Gill Lewis
  • Clockwork by Philip Pullman
  • Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
  • Short by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Picture Books
  • Farther
  • The Tear Thief
  • Can I build another Me?
  • The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad
  • Sulwe by Lupita Nyong
  • Weslandia by Paul Fleischman
  • The Viewer by Gary Crew

  • Ted Hughes: Collected Poems for Children
  • Charles Causley: Collected Poems for Children
  • The Tyger by William Blake (performance)
  • The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (performance)
  • The Listeners by Walter de la Mare (performance)
Teaching Texts
  • Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen
Pre-Loved Book Sales 

I am very grateful to the parents and children who are engaging in our monthly preloved book sale. I am incredibly pleased to tell you that these book sales (which were first brought in by a previous school government) funded the purchase of new books for the classes which were given out in assembly this week. We are dedicated to sustaining and improving our class libraries. I purchased the books from David's bookshop in Letchworth who give us 20% discount and delivery free of charge! It is a really lovely bookshop where I selected some books this month for those more reluctant readers, diverse novels encouraging wider representation and picture books with a moral or personal development message. I hope the children will enjoy reading them. Our next book sale will take place in school on Thursday 29th November.

Year 3 Author Visit

Year 3 have a very exciting week in English as the author of our new book 'SuperJoe Does Not Do Cuddles' will be visiting Almond Hill in person on Friday. Michael Catchpool will be spending time sharing his book with the children and then doing a class based Q&A throughout the morning. Children in Year 3 are also hoping to show Michael some of their writing on SuperJoe and share their amazing ideas. Keep an eye out in next week's newsletter where we will share with you how the author visit went and what Year 3 found out about their new book!

November 2022