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Boys enjoying a book together

Great books to get boys reading

If I were in charge of education, reading for pleasure would be at the heart of the curriculum. All the evidence suggests that the benefits are huge and wide-ranging, both educationally and personally. Plus, it’s fun, and I do think that school should be fun. Sadly, the evidence also suggests that boys read for pleasure … Read more

What is the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?

If you have a child in Year 1, you may have heard of the phonics screening check. Here we explain what the phonics screening check is and give some helpful tips about how to support your child’s learning. What is the Year 1 phonics screening check? The phonics screening check is taken each June by … Read more

Key Stage 2 SATs – advice and help for parents

With Key Stage 2 SATs slowly appearing on the horizon, you might be wondering how you can best help your Year 6 child prepare. Fortunately, we have a wide range of useful resources to give you a head start in figuring out exactly what SATs involve and how you can support your child. Take a … Read more

Oxford's 12 books of Christmas 2017

Competition: win our 12 books of Christmas 2017

Books make wonderful gifts at Christmas, and – to celebrate – we’re giving away a complete set of our 12 Books of Christmas! THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize, visit our Facebook page and like and comment on our prize draw post telling us which … Read more

Boys sharing a book

Why non-fiction is important for reading development

Roderick Hunt MBE, co-creator of Oxford Reading Tree, asks ‘Why is non-fiction important for reading development?’ Why is it important to widen children’s early reading experience into reading non-fiction and information books? It is because the literate, print-bound world for which children are being educated requires the ability to process information and master the many … Read more

Mum and daughter reading together

What are reading schemes and why do they matter?

What are reading schemes? A reading scheme is a series of books that have been carefully written to support the process of learning to read and to help children make progress as readers. What educational researchers know about how children learn to read – and how best to motivate them to learn – is changing … Read more

boy and cat in reading den

Building reading dens

Since my boys were babies, I’ve been keen to make books and reading feel very special. This doesn’t mean saving books for special occasions or insisting they are treated more carefully than other toys – this would totally ruin their appeal! It’s about making the experience of sharing books special. Reading together at bedtime is a … Read more

Girl looks at books in library

Your local library — a forgotten treasure trove

Guest blogger, Clare Turner, is a Primary School Librarian with a passion for books and reading for pleasure. She has two children of her own. I still remember visiting my local childhood library with my mum. It was a place to explore; a treasure trove containing the keys to hundreds of different worlds. I may … Read more

otter

Why is animal fiction important?

If you ask children whether stories, and books, are important they always say yes. The more difficult question is why are written stories important? My short answer is that a book allows us to learn from things that haven’t ever happened to us — by letting us imagine, and therefore experience, what the characters see … Read more

SATs

Preparing for the KS2 SATS reading test

In May of year 6, your child will sit a reading test as part of their end of Key Stage Two National Curriculum Assessments (SATs)*. This is designed to assess how well your child is doing in relation to the National Curriculum programme of study for reading, and is primarily a test of reading comprehension. … Read more