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At William Lilley, we understand the importance of reading and developing a love of books from a very early age. We are here to support you and your children with knowledge, strategies, tips, ideas and advice to make the reading journey from Nursery to Year 2, a successful and enjoyable one.

Teachers will discuss individual targets and strategies with you for your child during each parents' evening but this website page (and the school newsletter) offers up to date research, tips, resources and events to support reading. It will be updated weekly with new information.

If you require any further support about reading please see your child's class teacher or Miss McMahon, Deputy Headteacher.



Here is a lovely website with reading ideas for children from 0 to 13+ years…


Here are some examples of reading ideas from the website…



  • Act out the story

Or, if it’s a nonfiction book, use the information and vocabulary in a pretend play scenario. “Let’s play fireman!”


  • Experiment with book yoga

Yoga has many benefits for kids, from improving flexibility and strength to promoting mindfulness. It’s also a unique tool for getting kids to think about using their bodies to connect to a book’s content. You can incorporate yoga poses for kids as you read aloud a simple book or use yoga after the story as a reflection tool.

You don’t need a yoga background to do this. A quick search can help you learn poses relevant to many animal characters. Or, you and your students could learn a few basic poses together that align to common character traits, such as “warrior” and “hero,” and then decide which pose matches the text. Making up your own yoga poses is also a great exercise; a question like “What could a ‘jealous friend pose’ look like?” gives readers a new way to think about the story.


  • Word fun

Start a word collection of all the words your child can read. Keep in a kid-decorated glass jar or any other fun container. Be proud of those words!







Our Local Library

There is lots going on behind the scenes at Stapleford Library…

‘Three new learning spaces will be created within an updated library layout which will accommodate the same amount of stock as well as computers, floor space for children and exhibitions. Our Adult Learning team will increase the offer in Stapleford providing entry level skills training, community and family learning opportunities’.

Stapleford library will be reopening during June 2023 but until then other local libraries can be used…

‘During the closure Stapleford residents can continue to use library services at any library across the county. The nearest libraries are Toton Library 1.8 miles, Inham Nook Library 2.9 miles, or Beeston Library 3.2 miles’.

There is also lots of interesting information on the library website, including book recommendations for different genres or subjects including 'being green' and 'starting school'.

Children's Books | Inspire - Culture, Learning, Libraries (







You may have heard your child talking about ‘red words’ from their phonics lesson and you may have practiced these words with your child as part of your one to one reading, using their phonics book.

Red words (also known as common exception words or tricky words) are words where the usual or most common spelling rule doesn't apply. As children come across unfamiliar spelling and sound patterns in tricky words, they will discuss them and find the tricky part of the word. This will help them to remember the word next time they see it!

For example, the word ‘the’ requires knowing the phoneme ‘th’ and understanding that in this word the ‘e’ phoneme is making the sound ‘uh’ instead of the ‘e’ (as in ‘egg’) sound that they’ve been taught. It may not look like it to us, but ‘the’ is a very tricky word, indeed!

Some of these exception words are used frequently (65%) so children are introduced to them throughout their phonics scheme and the more easily they can recognise and read them, the more fluent their reading will become.

The statutory requirements of the Year 1 Spelling Curriculum include the common exception words: the, a, do, to, today, of, said, says, are, were, was, is, his, has, I, you, your, they, be, he, me, she, we, no, go, so, by, my, here, there, where, love, come, some, one, once, ask, friend, school, put, push, pull, full, house, and our.

The statutory requirements of the Year 2 Spelling Curriculum include the common exception words: door, floor, poor, because, find, kind, mind, behind, child, children*, wild, climb, most, only, both, old, cold, gold, hold, told, every, everybody, even, great, break, steak, pretty, beautiful, after, fast, last, past, father, class, grass, pass, plant, path, bath, hour, move, prove, improve, sure, sugar, eye, could, should, would, who, whole, any, many, clothes, busy, people, water, again, half, money, Mr, Mrs, parents and Christmas.








At William Lilley, the adults love reading just as much as the children! Therefore, the staff have been very busy picking authors for the whole school to learn about each term. This term’s author was chosen by the Key Stage One staff. The children have been learning all about Oliver Jeffers in assemblies as well as in their class. There is a display in the library for the children to enjoy with key facts and recommendations of stories that they may enjoy. Copies of Oliver Jeffers stories are in each classroom for the children to enjoy as well as in our reading for pleasure sections, for the children to bring home and enjoy.






24.3.23 says...

Thanks for taking part in World Book Day. Remember to use your free voucher if you have not picked up a book already.

Also take a look at World Book Day Audiobooks where you can enjoy our FREE audiobooks. Audiobooks are a brilliant way of enjoying stories, whether you’re reading together with the family, or listening in your own time, find your next audiobook to tune into here.

Please note that the audiobooks listed will be available from February 16 – March 26 2023.








Story in the Park

As we often discuss, reading can take many forms and the more exciting it can be made, the more your children will be interested and excited about reading.



There are often reading events happening in the local community and below is some exciting information about a new Spring challenge.


“This Spring will see an enchanting story and themed challenges take over West Park in Long Eaton.

Organised by the council’s Health and Wellbeing Development Team, visitors will be able to collect the children’s story at West Park Leisure Centre reception. The tale ‘Adventures at West Park’ has been written especially for the event…

Families can read the story which will lead them to markers placed around the park. At each marker there will be fun story related challenges to complete in order to continue the narrative”.







Wow! What a fantastic day yesterday celebrating World Book Day 2023!

A huge thank you to all of those children who dressed up or brought in their favourite book to celebrate the day. You all looked amazing!

We hope you enjoyed Reading Morning listening to grown ups from school read you a story…thank you to all of those grown ups 😊

The children from Nursery to Year 2 had so much fun sharing their books, having a special World Book Day assembly, making bookmarks and sharing a book called Billy’s Bravery by Tom Percival, throughout the day.

Remember to spend your World Book Day voucher by 26th March 2023 for a free book.


Around Stapleford the Yarn Bombing Team have been busy again making a World Book Day themed postbox topper trail…take a look!






World Book Day 2023 – Thursday 2nd March




We are inviting children to dress up for World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March. They could choose to wear the costume of a character from their favourite book OR a colour from the rainbow (or all of the colours at once!) because…



On the day there will be a selection of activities to celebrate World Book Day for parents and children to join in with.


Reading morning will be a special event because the grown ups in school will be reading to you! Further details will follow so that you can pick in advance the storytime that you would like to visit.


Children are invited to bring their favourite book into school to share with their friends in class.


Children will enjoy a World Book Day assembly all about their love of reading.


During the school day, the children will complete activities around one of the World Book Day texts…Billy’s Bravery by Tom Perival. At William Lilley we are big fans of Tom Perival and share lots of his high quality books with the children.


Each child will come home with a World Book Day voucher so that they can buy a copy of Billy’s Bravery or another of the selected World Book Day books. Find out where to buy your book here… Participating retailers - World Book Day






Tongue Twisters!


As we often talk about, reading should be as fun as possible. This will help to develop your child’s love of reading.

For a change from their reading book, your child could try reading jokes, rhymes or even tongue twisters!

Enjoy the selection below…


What followed the dinosaur?

Its tail!


Why are fish so clever?

Because they are always in schools.


'Eleven elves licked eleven little liquorice lollipops.'


'Kitty caught the kitten in the kitchen.'


'Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy wuzzy wasn't very fuzzy, was he?'








All year round the World Book Day website has brilliant ideas and resources for reading with your child. A particular favourite is Share a Story Corner ( with lots of exciting books for you to share and lovely comprehension activities that accompany the stories…









As part of our Read Write Inc. phonics scheme, we have now invested in an online subscription called Oxford Owl. Oxford Owl offers an eBook library where children can access a wide selection of titles from Oxford’s loved and trusted series to support reading for pleasure and phonics practice at home.

This week your child will be given their own class login details that you will find on a sticker in your child’s Home School Diary.

Please follow these simple steps to access Oxford Owl from home….

Step 1

Simply go to, click login and enter your class username and password as a student.

Step 2

Click on the Read Write Inc. section, eBooks Selection.

Here children can access a range of Read Write Inc. titles to practise some of the reading they have already been working on in school.

Step 3



Next to your child’s login details in their Home School Diary, you will find a coloured sticker that will inform you of the best titles to select in this section.  For example, if your child has a red sticker,

the red titles will be most appropriate for them.


Talk to your child and ask them to select a title that your child is familiar with and have read at school.


Your child can also access a number of eBooks by clicking on this section.

The titles at the top are texts are aimed at children who developing early reading skills and they become increasingly more challenging as you scroll down the titles. Please note that the coloured bands on these texts do not link with our Read Write Inc phonics books.

Please support your child in selecting a title that matches their reading ability.


Step 3

Please continue to write the date, book and comment in your child’s Home School Diary if your child reads any of the titles on Oxford Owl as well as the phonics book that your child will bring home in their book bag. Please keep reading these books too!


There are many other useful resources available too including ‘Word Sparks’ which has a range of audible books for your child to listen to as well as many top tips to support parents when reading at home.






Our library in school is used by all children. It has non fiction books, big books and a wide range of fiction. Key Stage One pupils select their own READING FOR PLEASURE books (marked with a black sticker) from our library.



We are seeking to recruit Year 2 pupils for librarian roles this year. They will read to others, keep the library tidy, pick new titles to stock in the library and meet with classes and feedback their ideas about reading.


YEAR 2, look out for an application form coming to you this week. Complete it and hand it in to Miss McMahon by Friday 27th January. Good Luck!








At William Lilley, the adults love reading just as much as the children! Therefore, the staff have been very busy picking authors for the whole school to learn about each term.

This term’s author was chosen by the Reception staff.

The children have been learning all about Anthony Browne in assemblies as well as in their class. There is a display in the library for the children to enjoy with key facts and recommendations of stories that they may enjoy. Copies of Anthony Browne stories are in each classroom for the children to enjoy as well as in our reading for pleasure sections, for the children to bring home and enjoy.

On his website Anthony Browne says: 

“I have published 50 books. My books are translated into 26 languages and my illustrations have been exhibited in many countries - U.S.A., Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, France, Korea, Italy, Germany, Holland, Japan, and Taiwan, and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting these places and working with local children and meeting other illustrators.

In 2001-2002 I took a job as writer and illustrator at Tate Britain working with children using art as a stimulus to inspire visual literacy and creative writing activities. It was during this time that I conceived and produced The Shape Game.

From 2009-2011 I was the Children’s Laureate."



For more information see Anthony Browne Books





Welcome to Christmas at you local library...


Can you hear that? It's those sleigh bells ringing again!

It's time to get in to the festive spirit with us as we bring you a whole host of Christmas-themed activities and events at your local library. From craft fairs, to children's activities, to Christmas carols, we're sure we have an event to even get the family Scrooge in to the festive spirit! Follow the link below...


Christmas Events at Your Local Library | Inspire - Culture, Learning, Libraries (





4 is the magic number!

You may remember information on the newsletter at the beginning of the school year about the importance of reading as

often as possible, to ensure your child makes the maximum possible progress on their reading journey.

Has your child managed to read 4 times a week yet and had the magic number 4 written in their reading diary? Have they managed to do it more than once this term?

Have they done this EVERY week?

.If so your child should visit Miss McMahon for a special sticker J .

Every time that 4 ‘reads’ are recorded in your child’s reading diary they are entered into a prize draw to win a brand new, high quality books at the end of term. The more times they read, the more chances they have of winning. Good Luck for this term!




Although World Book Day is celebrated in the Spring Term, the World Book Day website is updated all year round. There is a wealth of useful resources, snippets of advice, challenges and book recommendations.

Hot off the press are their ‘cosy reads’ recommendations for enjoying through the winter months. Here we shine a spotlight on two of their recommendations for early readers…

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

In this cozy bedtime story, follow a child and his grandma through a winter landscape to explore how the Earth goes to sleep for winter.
Spot the sleeping animals as the tale unfolds , then learn about their hibernation habits from the information pages at the end.
Co-authors Sean Taylor (picture book author) and Alex Morss (ecologist, journalist, and educator) offer a gentle introduction to the concept of hibernation . In the frosty, quiet forest, the snow blankets the ground and the trees have shed their leaves. Where have all the animals gone? Are they asleep too?
In each cut away,see what the child cannot - that underground below his feet are dens with sleeping creatures , and within the hollow trunks of trees, animals are nesting . After the story, annotated illustrations explain the hibernation facts for each animal and what they will do when they wake up for spring.
Cozy up as you expand your and your child's knowledge of the natural world.


The Lights that Dance in the Night

In this wonderfully festive picture book, Yuval Zommer imagines the Northern Lights' fleeting journey from space to Earth and how they weave a special magic for the animals and people living in the frozen lands below.


See the full list of recommendations at




We have received our latest Ofsted report from our inspection visit in September. WE are very PROUD that our Inspector was very impressed with the reading that takes place in school. They said,



‘Reading is taught well and is a clear priority for the school. From the start of the early years, children enjoy rhymes, stories and songs. Staff focus on developing children’s communication and language skills. They have received the training they need to deliver the school’s chosen phonics programme. The books the pupils read in all year groups match the letters, sounds and words pupils learn. Pupils read every day. They enjoy story time. Teachers use assessment well to identify the sounds that pupils do not know. Leaders provide extra help for pupils if they struggle.’



Thank you for all of your support at home with reading. Keep a look out for details of our new online reading library coming soon…




As you might be aware, the phonics scheme that we use at William Lilley school is called Read Write Inc. It is published by Oxford Owl. Oxford Owl has a fabulous website for parents with lots of information all about reading!

One exciting resource it offers is a free ebook library for all ages and all levels of reading ability. Have a look at

Free eBook library – practise reading with phonics eBooks - Oxford Owl



Soon you will receive further information about the new school online reading subscription to Oxford Owl too. Watch this space!







Reading Activities


We know just how important it is for children to read regularly but lots of activities can also help to deepen understanding of all things reading! Here are some ideas from



Bubbles and Clouds READING TASK

Using speech bubbles and pictures of the characters, draw a conversation between two characters from the story you have read.

Remember, thought is drawn as a cloud, and a spoken statement is drawn as a  bubble.

Be sure to look at some comics or graphic novels for inspiration and insights.

This activity is usually best done on pen and paper, but numerous digital apps and tools will allow you to make this a reality through technology.



Draw the main character from a book you have recently read.  Show them as a baby, middle-aged and as an older person.

Underneath each picture, write what you think they might be doing at that point in their life, and explain why they may be doing so.

For example, if you drew Harry Potter as a baby, he might be casting spells on his mum to feed him lots of yummy food.

Have fun trying out a task following on from a story. Bring any work into school that you complete and your class teacher will love to see it.






Author of the Term Update


Ooh our author of the term, Julia Donaldson has been very busy and has just released a brand new book. It is called The Baddies. The illustrator is William Lilley’s favourite; Axel Scheffler. 


Here’s the blurb to tell you a little more…


The Baddies are the meanest, nastiest ghost, witch and troll in the land. They just adore being bad, and fight over who is the worst. When a little girl moves into a nearby cottage, the Baddies can’t wait to scare her out of her wits. But baddies don’t always get their way…


Also, if you enjoy the new book there is a sticker and activity book coming soon…

Join the baddies in this wickedly fun sticker activity book based on the original story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.


Packed with over 400 stickers, colouring-in activities, dot-to-dots, puzzles, spot the difference activities, mazes and simple word searches, there's plenty to keep children busy for hours!

  • Can you complete the scenes with their puzzle stickers?
  • Or make your way through a maze?
  • Can you spot five differences between two pictures?
  • Or even match the pairs with this treasure trove of endless fun?!
  • Includes a variety of activities to do with all the family
  • Don't miss it - available from 10th November 2022



Come Read With Me for Reception,

Year 1 and Year 2


Starting on Thursday 13th October and every week there-after.


Please come along with your child on a Thursday morning from 8.45am until 9.00am and share with them a range of exciting reading materials.


The children will astound you with their fabulous reading!






Our school target is to read 4 TIMES PER WEEK at home, as we know that this benefits your child and helps them to be a fluent, confident reader.


Please record the reading that you have done at home, in their reading diary as your child will earn PROUD points and will be entered into a prize draw every time they have completed their 4 reads.


There is now a display in every classroom to celebrate all of the hard work that the children put into reading at home. It is updated every week so please encourage your child to earn their 4 reads and have their diaries signed so that their name appears on the board.


Reading can include school reading books but also library books, magazines, instructions, recipes, news articles and much, much more.


If you need any advice on completing the reading at home magic number challenge, please speak to your class teacher. We are always here to help with reading suggestions.










At William Lilley, the adults love reading just as much as the children! Therefore the staff have been very busy picking authors for the whole school to learn about each term.

This term’s author was chosen by the Nursery staff.

The children have been learning all about Julia Donaldson in assemblies as well as in their class. There is a display in the library for the children to enjoy with key facts and recommendations of stories that they may enjoy. Copies of Julia Donaldson stories are in each classroom for the children to enjoy as well as in our reading for pleasure sections, for the children to bring home and enjoy.


Julia has written 210 books, including these titles that you might recognise…


A Squash and a Squeeze was the first book Julia Donaldson wrote.


Julia Donaldson’s favourite book that she has written is The Snail and the Whale. (Although it keeps changing, she says!)


For more cool facts about Julia Donaldson and her books, songs and plays have a look at her website -

Home - Julia Donaldson

Here you will also find Julia Donaldson re-enacting some of her stories!




Let’s talk…reading!


We know that you have been busy over the last week enjoying the ‘reading for pleasure’ books that your children have selected, from their class choice in Reception and from the library in Key Stage 1. The children have been talking about what they have been reading and who they have been reading with. Here is a link to a clip by author and professor of children's literature, Michael Rosen, discussing the importance of reading for pleasure.

Professor Michael Rosen on reading for pleasure - YouTube



This week we are going to focus on the questions that can be discussed with your child, to begin conversations all about reading. These conversations help children to develop their language and comprehension skills, to keep reading in the forefront of their minds as we know it is the key to learning and allow children to envisage themselves as readers.

Examples of reading questions:

  • WHEN did you last buy a book? What was it called?


  • WHERE do you enjoy reading?


  • WHERE do you get books from?


  • WHERE do you keep your books?


  • WHO else reads in your family?


  • WHO is your favourite author? Why?


  • WHO is you favourite character in a book?


  • WHO do you talk to about the books you read?


  • WHO is your favourite author?


  • WHY do you like reading?


  • WHY is it important to be able to read?


  • WHAT makes a good book?


  • WHAT book would you like to read again?


  • WHICH book character would you like to meet?




Reading For Pleasure

In Reception and Key Stage One your child will have brought home a book with a black sticker around the base of the spine. Nursery children will be bringing them home soon. These are our ‘Reading for Pleasure’ books. These books vary in difficulty so your child may not be able to read all of the words yet. It is more for you to read to your child and talk about together.

Your child has chosen this book themselves from a wide selection because they like the look of it! They will be changed by your child’s class teacher each time that you indicate in their diary that it is finished.


The Reading Framework: Teaching the foundations of literacy, January 2022 document suggests these tips for enjoying reading for pleasure books:

· If you can find the time beforehand, read the read-aloud book to yourself first, so you can think about how you’re going to read it to your child.


On the first reading:

· Make reading aloud feel like a treat. Make it a special quiet time and cuddle up so you can both see the book.

· Show curiosity about what you’re going to read: ‘This book looks interesting. It’s about an angry child. I wonder how angry he gets…’

· Read through the whole story the first time without stopping too much. Let the story weave its own magic.

· Read with enjoyment. If you’re not enjoying it, your child won’t.

· Read favourite stories over and over again.


On later readings:

· Let your child pause, think about and comment on the pictures.

· If you think your child did not understand something, try to explain: ‘Oh! I think what’s happening here is that…’

· Chat about the story and pictures: ‘I wonder why she did that?’; ‘Oh no, I hope she’s not going to…’; ‘I wouldn’t have done that, would you?’

· Link the stories to your own family experiences: ‘This reminds me of when …’

· Link stories to others that your child knows: ‘Ah! Do you remember the dragon in ….? Do you remember what happened to him?’

· Encourage your child to join in with the bits they know