Harpur Hill Primary School

Trent Avenue, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 9LP

01298 23261



We use "Letters and Sounds" for phonics and our phonic scheme is "Jolly Phonics" 


The Book Banding, introduced in September, for our reading at school has now had time to become established. We have bought many new books and introduced new schemes – such as Collins Big Cat, which are proving popular.
The children who are reading up to Grey in the Book Bands will have advice on how to support your child when hearing them read, this is either in their reading record books or on a book mark. For more information about book banding please see our website.

We would like to remind you that although teachers try to hear the children read regularly in class, we still need you to help support your child by reading regularly at home for approximately ten minutes each night for Reception to Year 4 and twenty minutes for Years 5 - 6.  We have been using Active Reading Strategies in class, to help children
understand what they are reading.

This strategy involves 
linking the text to something that the child has knowledge of eg a holiday, trip or an object predicting what will happen in the story visualising a scene – by drawing or describing what a character might look like for example being able to recognise when they have made a mistake read again and fix the mistake work out the gist of the story.

These skills are helping the children to have a deeper understanding of what they are reading and as they become more familiar, the children should be able to use these strategies in their independent reading too.  As a parent, you can ask questions about the story that your child is reading and this will help to build on the skills above.  Thank you for all your help with reading!

Key Stage 1 Guided Reading

Traditionally we have always endeavoured to hear the children read individually twice a week. As a staff we realise that this is not the best use of the teacher and TA time. Therefore, we are now having a guided reading session each day to support the children with reading and comprehension.

This means that within a week your child will be heard read once a week with their class teacher and once a week with a TA. We have parent helpers that come into school and hear the children read so there are still opportunities for quiet, one to one reading times. This means your child should be heard read individually once a week and in a group twice a week. We still encourage you to hear, and share a book, with your child for approximately ten minutes each night. Guided reading is a twenty-minute small group lesson with children working with other children at their reading stage of development. In Key Stage 1 the focus is on teaching the skill of reading, applying phonic knowledge, using expression, teaching children how to read in their head and children showing their understanding of what has been read at a literal level and beginning to discuss the hidden meanings. Children are also encouraged to read independently of the adult and discuss what they understood from their reading.

As teachers we are continually assessing your child within the guided reading lessons and on a termly basis. Be assured, like all subjects, reading is a high priority within our school and if you have any queries or concerns about how we are now teaching reading then please do not hesitate to ask.

Book band letter to parents
Book bands at Years 3 - 6
The New National Curriculum Book Banding