Reading at HCJS


At various times throughout your child’s life at H.C.J.S., they will be assessed on their decoding and comprehension skills. These results will determine which books are best suited to them.

We use a reading scheme called Cliff Moon. This is a scheme into which books are banded by difficulty. There are 12 bands which each are marked by different colour stickers. Each of the bands has a variety of books which are roughly the same difficulty to read. The advantage to this is that there are a range of books in each band - different genres, authors, illustrator, font types, etc. This means that children have an element of choice over their reading and also that they do not grow reliant on a particular 'style' of book type.

We encourage children to choose their own books; we never tell the children which book to choose from within the colour bands. We want children to develop enjoyment in reading; just as very few adults would want to read a book that they 'have' to, children prefer to read their own choice of book.

Similarly, we have developed our reading scheme so it is not immediately obvious to children where they are in the scheme. We do not wish for children to become too aware of what colour sticker they are on as this can dominate their feelings about reading. We are trying to encourage children to love reading for its’ own sake, to relax and make the most of the book they are reading, and not worry about ‘moving up’.

A few tips when hearing your child read:

  • Please try and read every night with your child and record this in their reading diary.

  • Encourage your child to use their phonics to sound out some unfamiliar words, but tell them some words to keep the 'flow' of the story going.

  • Talk about the characters, their feelings, the pictures, the meaning of different parts of the text, the author, other books it is similar to, the types of words used, etc.

  • Read some parts of the book to your child occasionally as this models good reading to them.


Other Reading Schemes
We have a few other reading schemes in school which we may sometimes use to supplement the Cliff Moon scheme. Sometimes teachers may feel that these books benefit children as they are more repetitive. Your child's class teacher will inform you if they need to have books from this or a similar scheme.