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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.






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