Norton Hill Primary School’s Reading Culture

At Norton Hill Primary, we believe that reading is the most important skill that we can teach our children. The ability to read, to decode text and understand what it says, allows children to access a whole new world of learning. Developing a child’s ability to read, not only enables them to access all other parts of the curriculum but embeds in them a love of books that will give them a life time of happiness.

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Developing a life long love of reading is really important to us at Norton Hill Primary and as such we make sure that we give children time to read for pleasure each week as well as plan extra reading events to excite our children. Reading at our school goes beyond the classroom and we aim to continue to nurture and expand our reading culture within our school. Please take a look below to see how we prioritise reading at our school.


Last year we opened our very popular 'Starbooks Cafe' at Norton Hill Primary School. Starbooks Cafe provides families with a space to enjoy reading with their children whilst enjoying a hot beverage and a biscuit (or two!). We strive to foster a love of reading within our children and found that Starbooks sessions enabled families to be part of this. Starbooks is ran termly and offered to all year groups.

Birthday Books

We often get requests from parents asking if they can bring sweets into school to celebrate their child’s birthday. As a healthy eating school our policy is that we do not support the sharing of sweets. However, we do recognise that birthdays are an important event in the lives of the children at our school, and they enjoy sharing their celebrations with their school friends. For those who would like to share something with their friends in school we are starting up a ‘Birthday Book’ corner in our school library.

If you wanted to celebrate your child’s birthday with their school friends, you could purchase a book for their classroom’s Birthday Book corner. The book you purchase can be enjoyed by your child and their classmates all year round. 

To help parents choose a suitable book, we have created a Birthday Book Wish List on Amazon. These wish lists will be available all year round and will be added to throughout the year, so there will always be something to choose from.  If you would like to take part, when it is getting close to your child’s birthday just click on the link to view the Wish List for your child’s class, and simply buy one book from the selection available. 

Once delivered, a book plate with your child’s name, birthday and age will be added to the front of the book. Your child will be presented with their book(s) in an assembly. The new books will be displayed in the library for a couple of weeks and then added to the shelves for pupils to read.

Please ensure that all book purchases are made via the Amazon online Wish List. This will ensure that we prevent too many duplicate titles, enabling us to buy popular book sets and requested publications etc.

There is no requirement to take part in the ‘Birthday Book’ initiative. Please be reassured that we will always celebrate and mark these important days in our children’s lives, whether a book is gifted or not.

Curiosity Corner Wish List: 

Reception Wish List: 

Mobile Library

We are visited by our local mobile library approximately once a term. Children are exposed to what a local library can offer and are taught how to use a library's services. 

Reading Challenges

To inspire and motivate a love of reading, we hold termly reading challenges for children to participate in. This is to show children the fun and enjoyment that reading can bring. The aim of the challenge is to get children excited about reading! The children are asked to read in unique and fun places, read books my new authors and read within different contexts. The children are awared for their efforts in assembly at the beginning of the next term.


C.R.O.W.D Reading Time

At Norton Hill Primary School, we want to ensure that all reading slots are carefully planned for and purposeful. In order to achieve this, we have designated time each day for C.R.O.W.D reading sessions. C.R.O.W.D is an acronym for the questions asked during the reading session. This includes completion questions, recall questions, open-ended questions, 'wh' questions and distance questions. Please see further information here:

World Book Day/Vocabulary Day 2023

To celebrate World Book Day this year, we invited children to dress as a word to enhance their vocabulary. We participated in a range of events including a vocabulary parade! Children spoke about their words throughout the day. As you can see, it was a very fun day for all.