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Reading In Our School

CBF's Recommended Reading List!

7-10 Years Old

Akimbo – Alexander McCall-Smith

A young Kenyan boy, son of a game warden, has amazing adventures in a safari park, always in the company of dangerous animals.

Just William – Richmal Crompton

A hilarious series about William’s escapades that always seem to go wrong.

Laura Ingalls Wilder - Little House on the Prairie (and many others)

Autobiographical account of growing up in the American Wild West amidst danger, hardship and famine.

Roman Mysteries – Caroline Lawrence        

A group of young boys and girls take you with them on their thrilling adventures during the Roman period.

War Stories for Boys – Jim Eldridge, Chris Priestly and Bryan Perett

3 stories set during the war including the Battle of Britain, El Alamein and D-Day. These books help you really visualise what WWII was like.

Survivors – Extraordinary Tales from the Wild and Beyond by David Long

These hair-raising tales, mostly unknown, tell you how much courage and determination people have to survive.

Emil and the Detectives – Erich Kastner

Emil chases down a thief in Berlin with a gang of friends.

The Orchard Book of First Greek Myths – Saviour Pirotta and Jan Lewis

Perfect introduction to the fascinating world of Greek myths, with brilliant illustrations too.

Britannia – 100 Great Stories from British History by Geraldine McCaughrean and Richard Brassey

Tales of the British Isles from 1100 BC (Gog and Magog) to Live Aid in 1984 with plenty in between!


Belle and Sébastien – Cécile Aubry

Boy and dog in the French Alps. Magical.


10-14 Years Old

Tiger, Tiger – Lynne Reid Banks

Twin tiger cubs taken from the jungle are sent to Ancient Rome and separated.  One becomes a pampered pet; the other is trained for the gladiators’ ring. Will their lives ever intersect again?

Silver Sword – Ian Seraillier

A simply wonderful tale of heroism during WW2 – three siblings escape from Warsaw to Switzerland.

Eloise Undercover - Sarah Baker

A book about a 12-year old girl’s French Resistance ‘membership’.

I am David - Anne Holm

A beautiful story of survival and friendship against the odds in Italy.

Sektion 20 – Paul Dowswell

Escape from East Berlin in the 1970s – we were hooked from page one.  In fact, anything by Paul Dowswell is excellent. We loved Wolf’s Children, Bomber, Ausländer and Cabinet of Curiosities.  His trilogy about the Royal Navy, ending at Trafalgar is a great start-point (Powder Monkey, Prison Ship and Battlefleet).

Mosi’s War - Cathy McPhail

An absolutely gripping story of murder and crime in Glasgow.

Oranges in No Man’s Land - Elisabeth Laird

Saving Granny in war-torn Beirut.

Elephant in the Garden – Michael Morpurgo

This had our entire family utterly enthralled.  Set against the backdrop of the WW2 bombing of Dresden, it is the fictional account of a family escaping with an elephant from the destroyed zoo and heading for safety.

We also loved Shadow and Running Wild.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit- Judith Kerr

A German family with a journalist father have to flee Germany in the 1930s when Nazism is on the rise. Judith Kerr (author of The Tiger Who Came to Tea) tells her own story of being a refugee in Paris and then London. 

Red Ribbon - Lucy Adlington

A ‘can’t put down’ story of a girl sent to Auschwitz, and how she survives.

Hero on a Bicycle - Shirley Hughes

Italy at the end of WW2.  A mother protects her family while covertly supporting the Partisans.

Escape from France - Ronald Welch (and many other titles by him)

Escaping the guillotine during the French Revolution of the 1790s.

Biggles – WE Johns

Thrilling stories of gripping adventures in the R.A.F.

Railway Children - Edith Nesbit

The well-loved classic story of a family in the early 1900s. When the father is unjustly imprisoned on suspicion of spying, the rest of the family leave London for the country and adapt to very reduced circumstances.

Laura Marlin Mysteries - Lauren St.John

Amazing stories of adventures where you never know what’s coming next.

My Brother’s Secret – Dan Smith

Rebellion in Germany during WW2 tears a family apart.

African Adventure (and many other titles) - Willard Price

Hal and Roger encounter wild animals, natural disasters and dangerous enemies in this gripping series.

The Other Side of Truth – Beverley Naidoo

Seeking political asylum in London after their father is murdered in Nigeria, two young children overcome obstacle after obstacle.


Tamar - Mal Peet

Love, jealousy and tragedy in Holland in 1944, which re-surface decades later in England.

Carve Her Name with Pride - R.J Minney

A true story of the immense bravery of a young SOE agent during WW2. Caught when she runs out of ammunition, and injured, she is tortured but defiantly shares no information.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

Set in a small town in Alabama, this is the story of a white lawyer during the1930s who defends a black man in court.

Anything by Agatha Christie

Famous murder mysteries, mostly set in the 1930s. Most ingeniously written, with incredibly unexpected outcomes. 

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

From a miserable childhood with relatives who don’t want her, followed by years at the infamous orphanage, Lowood, the orphan Jane Eyre finds work as a governess with the mysterious Mr Rochester...

The Boy in Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne

Harrowing tale of the friendship between the son of a concentration camp commander and a prisoner.

Escape Alone – David Howarth

Survival tale in a wintry WW2 Norway.

The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom

True story of a Christian family who hide Jews in Nazi-occupied Holland until they are betrayed and sisters Corrie and Betsie are sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp.  An awe-inspiring account of love, horror, suffering and forgiveness.

Song for Summer – Eva Ibbotson

Set against the looming Nazi menace, this is a story of a young English girl in Austria working as a cook in an eccentric School of Drama, Music and Dance and what happens to her there.

Codename Verity - Elizabeth Wein

Heart-rendingly sad and fiercely uplifting tale of war-time friendship...or is it?

A Bag of Marbles – Joseph Joffo

Captivating memoir in which 2 Jewish brothers in France use ingenuity, spirit and teamwork to avoid capture by the Nazis.

The Letter for the King – Tonke Dragt

A kind of Dutch ‘The Hobbit’.



The teaching of reading

All children have a daily English lesson together with Guided Reading sessions; a library session and handwriting practice session/s. Children will follow the objectives currently outlined in the new English Curriculum which include: speaking and listening, planning and editing, writing, reading, phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Children are taught to read by decoding the words and to extend their comprehension skills. They are regularly part of shared reading, guided reading and individual reading groups. Our core reading scheme is ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ but we have many other schemes and books to supplement these. The children choose from within graded colour bands of books which match their reading ability and are encouraged to read both Fiction and non-fiction.

Synthetic phonics and spellings are taught rigorously throughout the school based on the statutory requirements of the new English Curriculum for each year group. Spelling strategies that have been taught are expected to be reflected in everyday writing across the curriculum.  When spellings are marked, it is in accordance with Marking Policy.  It is important to note that depending on writing objectives set, spelling errors may be:

  1. Not corrected at all.
  2. Specific target words highlighted
  3. All errors corrected.

 Throughout the school, children are encouraged to spell independently.  To support this, word lists, wall banks, phonic charts etc. are displayed in the classrooms.