Year 3/4 Reading Page

“You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

Why Reading is important:

Why is reading so important?

Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance (Pearson, 2020).

Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures (Pearson, 2020).

We read, in every lesson, in Year 3 / 4. In RE, we read the bible; maths, we read word problems; history, accounts of events; geography, maps; design and technology, instructions. Literacy and reading is a vital skill used everywhere in daily life.

The pupils, in this class, read twice a day. They will read in a guided reading session as well as individually to a volunteer or teaching assistant. This has made a vital improvement to the children’s fluency as well as love for books.

Mr Hawtree also loves to read aloud to the class, demonstrating expression and local dialect. He enjoys the drama!

Building vocabulary and understanding

Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what’s printed on the page. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read.

It’s important for them to understand how stories work too. Even if your child doesn’t understand every word, they’ll hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard.

As children start to learn to read at school, you can play an important role in helping to keep them interested in books. Find out what interests them, help them to find books that will be engaging and fun, and spend time reading the books they bring home from school together.

Book as a Hook:

Book as a Hook:

We use a “book as a hook” to support our literacy lessons.  This means that our writing is inspired by, and linked to, a specific book.  So far this year, we have used four “books as a hook”:

Pre history topic

  • Stone Age Boy – One day a little boy is walking along when he trips, stumbles and falls … into the Stone Age! He meets a girl his own age and her tribe, and learns all about their way of life. He watches them make tools, clothes and weapons. He sees how they hunt, fish, cook, celebrate and even how they paint on the walls of caves. But when a furious cave bear attacks, he wakes up back in his own time where everyone tells him it was only a dream. But was it?
  • How to wash your wooly mammoth – Does your woolly mammoth need a wash? It’s not a very easy thing to do… Find out exactly how to wash your mammoth in this hilarious instruction manual – just remember don’t get any soap in its eyes or it might escape up a tree!
  • Stig of the Dump a very nice, old, classic story book about when two boys, who are complete opposites of each other, become friends. It all starts when Barney goes down the chalk pit, where everyone tells him not to go, to find a little dilapidated, scruffy hut. That was not the only thing; he also found a man.

Desert Island / Great Barrier Reef / natural world gardening topic

  • Kensuke’s Kingdom – a treat for lovers of drama-filled stories. It tells of how a young boy named Michael mysteriously disappears the night before his twelfth birthday. The next morning, Michael finds himself washed up on a beach on a remote island with a bowl of water and some grilled fish next to him
  • The Secret Garden – The Secret Garden (1909) is one of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s most popular novels. The book tells the story of Mary Lennox, a spoiled, contrary, solitary child raised in India but sent to live in her uncle’s manor in Yorkshire after her parents’ death. She is left to herself by her uncle, Mr. Craven. Mary becomes intrigued by the prospect of the forgotten garden, and her quest to find out the garden’s secrets leads her to discover other secrets hidden in the manor.

Read for my school competition (Year 5 and 6)

If you also have children in year 5 or 6 at primary school, the national Read for My School competition gives them the chance to win books for their school by taking part in a reading-for-pleasure challenge.  

Mr Hawtree’s Favourite Book:

This is my favourite book because of the memories it created for me… Fantastic Mr Fox is the first book, which I can remember being read to me as a child by important family members. I recall the images it created in my imagination and what’s not to love about the sound of a fox outsmarting 3 farmers through the description of words…

Mr Hawtree’s Favourite Authors:

Roald Dahl (1916 – 1990)

Dahl’s children’s fiction is known for its sudden turns into the fantastic, its fast-moving pace, and its decidedly harsh treatment of any adults foolish enough to cause trouble for the young heroes and heroines. Similarly, his adult fiction often relied on a sudden twist that throws light on what hads been happening in the story.

Michael Morpurgo (1943 – present)

Michael Morpurgo has won many awards for his writing. These include winning Prix Sorcière in France three times for King of the Cloud Forests (1993), Wombat Goes Walkabout (1999) and Kensuke’s Kingdom (2001) and he also won the Red House Children’s Book Award twice for Kensuke’s Kingdom (2000) and Private Peaceful (2004)

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

Mr Hawtree’s fond memories of school: Macbeth and Twelfth Night. William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”.

Mr Hawtree’s list of favourite books:

The Gruffalo, What the lady bird heard, Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson (some of my best memories as a parent).

Skelling by David Almond.

Stig of the Dump by Clive King.

Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden.

Kensuke’s Kingdom and My Friend Walter by Michael Morpurgo.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

Children’s Classics: Treasure Island, Black Beauty, The Jungle Book and The Secret Garden.

Recommended Year 3 and 4 Reading lists:

The Book Trust

The School Reading List