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Introducing our new AR reading programme?

Miss Towell is Head of Year 5 and one of the Year 5 teachers; she is also Riverview Junior School’s Head of English. She overseas the Literacy program, the reading, spelling, grammar and reading comprehension that takes place in all of the four year groups. We went to speak to Miss Towell to ask her more about her role as Head of English and to find out more about our exciting new AR reading programme.

The importance of reading

Riverview Junior reading room
Our new comfy reading room

This year Riverview Junior has spent around £10,000 on new reading books across all the four year groups, we have a wonderful selection of titles to choose from and are convinced that there is something for everyone.

Each child is allowed to choose a book and take it home to read as well as read it in class.

We ask that the children read for 20 minutes, at home, every day – at least 5 times a week – and we ask that their parents or guardian sign the Reading Record which the children bring into school. This creates a good communication between the school and the family. Plus, any issues that crop up can be acted upon quickly. Daily reading is an excellent habit to get into; it supports understanding, word recognition and word understanding. This important skill also feeds into all of a child’s writing at school.

Children who are given the opportunity to see good writing, naturally start to use it in their own work. They start to understand different author’s styles of writing and it inspires them to discover their own style.

Reading also supports a child’s spelling ability.


Riverview Junior School reading room
Pretty lights and sweet sounds make this a very relaxing place.

The National Curriculum has sets of words that the children are expected to know by the end of the four year groups (see your child’s reading record book for a copy). Riverview Junior has decided to start whole school spelling tests – where 20 words will be selected from the lists and, at the same time on a set day each term, the entire school will carry out a spelling test in their classroom.

Children will be awarded points for their house if they get them all correct.

Accelerated Reading


You may have heard the children talking about our new Accelerated Reading programme (AR reading) that the school is running. It is used widely across the UK and evidence proves that it helps a child progress rapidly.

We have recently started with a selected group of 100 children and they have all sat a baseline quiz which determines which level of reading they are at.

Each child chooses a book from the level determined in their baseline test from our brand new library and, on completion, they sit at a computer in the Reading Room and sit a test on that book.

The data is monitored and as the child progresses through the course they move on to higher levels.

We hope that the 100 children participating will prove that it is a valuable method and can be opened up to the entire school. Watch this space!

Guided Reading

Over the past year, our school has been focusing on Guided Reading. During this lesson the children read (in small groups of 5/6 children – grouped by ability) all manner of texts. The teacher and the TA will sit with a different group each day whilst the others are expected to read and answer questions on the text, working autonomously and quietly.

The tests that follow the reading help the children develop important skills: decoding, word recognition, vocabulary building, retrieving information and summarising. These skills are found in tests and once learnt will be used throughout secondary school and onwards.

Blog Club interviews Miss Towell


Teacher’s are very inspirational to the children and they often want to find out more about the people they spend a lot of time with. Alice wanted to find out a little bit more about Miss Towell so she arranged a meeting to ask the following questions….

What is your favourite colour?

Pink. There are a wide variety of shades of pink, my personal favourite would be a baby pastel pink.

What is your favourite movie?

There are quite a few movies that I like. Mary Poppins however, is my favourite childhood movie.

What is your favourite type of food?

I love traditional food, I like Yorkshire puddings – homemade with lashings of gravy on top.

What is your favourite drink?

I start every day with a caramel latte.

What is your favourite restaurant?

*Miss Towell has her ‘thinking’ face on* I like eating out anywhere. I think my favourites would be a country pub or Parson’s in Whitstable.

When is your birthday?

September 29th.

Are you a cat or a dog person?

I would call myself a dog person. I don’t have a dog of my own but I do get to ‘doggy sit’ for my friends furry friends when they go on holiday.

If you could be anyone in the world, who would you be?

*Miss Towell has her ‘thinking’ face on again* There are lots of people I would like to be, the Queen for a few days would be an interesting time. I would also like to spend a day as a famous fashion designer.

What standard of writing would you expect from a year 6 child?

Definitely nothing but amazing. I would like to think that it would be beautiful writing too.

What is your favourite subject?

As a child, my favourite subject was maths. I equally enjoy art and being creative.

We hope you have discovered more about how Riverview Junior School Literacy department works and will be able to support your child in their reading.


Blog Club is held on a Monday evening and is a group of about 20 pupils from Riverview Junior School who choose their own content and with the help of the teachers, create blog posts for you to read.

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