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Northmead Junior School

Northmead Junior School

Reading spine

Our reading spine is a core list of books which children will experience as they move through our school.  These essential reads for each year group ensure children experience a breadth of literature and different genres. The books may be read aloud to children as part of the daily read, form part of their reading comprehension work or be the basis for a writing unit. 

Genres include, among others; Science fiction, mystery, fairy or folk tale, historical, biography. 

In his book ‘Reading Reconsidered’, Doug Lemov points out that there are five types of text that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence. We have used his five types of text as a basis for our reading spine. 


Archaic Texts 

Books written include vocabulary, syntax and contexts which are of an earlier period.  These include classic children’s literature.  These include classic children’s literature. 


Non-Linear Time Sequences. 

Time does not move in a steady fashion. In these books children may experience changes in the direction of time; flashbacks, or in the rate of time elapsing; a narrative slows down suddenly or leaps ahead. 



Complexity of the Narrator 

Books narrated by an unreliable narrator, or those with multiple narrators.  Others have non-human narrators  


Complexity of Plot

Books which may have multiple intertwined and apparently (for a time) unrelated plot lines. 




Resistant Texts 

When authors write resistant texts, they mean for the material to be difficult to understand, to deliberately resist easy meaning-making by readers. 

As well as the five text types noted above, we have also ensured children at Northmead will read books which reflect the diversity of our society, those books with Black, Asian or Minority Ethic characters and those which encourage children to explore inclusivity.  Northmead is an incredibly inclusive school, so it is hugely important for our children to see themselves and their friends reflected in the books which they read. Representation matters.




Poetry is a regular feature of our reading curriculum and our reading spine ensures coverage of a range of poetry types such as Riddles, Odes, Comic Verse, shape poems, Syllable poems, Narratives etc








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