Welcome to the web page dedicated to Reading for Pleasure. Did you know that there is strong evidence that reading for pleasure can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve wellbeing throughout life?

At St Thomas More School we want to encourage all our pupils to develop a life long love for reading.

This page will show you some of the things we do in school to promote reading and will provide information for parents and carers to help them support their children with reading.

For more information on reading for pleasure, see the link below from the Reading Agency:



World Book Day 2021 

St Thomas More Presents…


Click on the links to watch the Masked Readers tell you all about their favourite story. Can you guess who the teacher is behind the mask?

The Masked Reader – Potato

The Masked Reader – Big eyed lady

The Masked Reader -Mrs Strawberry

The Masked Reader – Twin cat number one

The Masked Reader – Donkey

The Masked Reader – Teddy bear

The Masked Reader – Frog

The Masked Reader – Twin cat number two

The Masked Reader – Unicorn


Winter Mini Reading Challenge 2020


Please find instructions for how to take part in the Winter Mini Reading Challenge 2020.

It is completely free and all you have to do is read at least three books between Tuesday 1st December 2020 and Friday 15th January 2021. Click on the link below https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/news/general/winter-mini-challenge-2020






Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

As part of St Thomas More’s ongoing Reading for Pleasure campaign, we would like to invite you all to the Summer Reading Challenge 2020. This popular initiative is presented by The Reading Agency and funded by Arts Council England. The aim is to encourage children between the ages of 4 and 11 to set themselves a reading challenge to prevent the summer reading ‘dip’.

Each year the Challenge, delivered with the support of public libraries motivates over 700, 000 children to keep reading to build their skills and confidence. With the disruption caused by COVID-19 and the impact of social distancing on schools and public libraries, the 2020 Challenge will launch as a digital activity. The official launch day was Friday 5th June. It is free to access and features games, quizzes and downloadable activities to encourage children and their families to enjoy reading related activities at home.

With school life disrupted and many children missing the company of their friends, this year’s fun-filled Summer Reading Challenge will be all the more vital as a way of helping parents and carers find fun, family-friendly activities, maintain literacy levels and create a safe space for children to connect with their peers.

For more information go to https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/parents-carers





Motivating Children to Read during Lock down

Dear Parents and Carers, click HERE  for some top tips for fostering reading motivation.



This year we celebrated World Book day with a variety of activities involving Reading for Pleasure.

Year 5 led a special whole school assembly, ‘The Day the Books Quit,’ which they wrote themselves. Afterwards, parents joined us in the classroom to share stories with their children. During the day, teachers swapped classes and read stories to other year groups and the children also visited other classes to enjoy books. Other activities included: designing book covers for favourite books, creating ‘black-out poetry’ using extracts from well- known books, quizzes and writing book reviews. It was enjoyable day, with books placed at the heart of everything that we did. Our aim now is to continue to raise the profile of Reading even further at school and home. Here are some photographs.



Are you looking to support your child with their reading at home? Would you like some suggestions for suitable, age appropriate high quality texts?

Please see School Reading List for Primary Schools  which is curated and reviewed by librarians, parents and teachers, who meet each summer to discus which books have worked well with groups of children, including new releases within the last 12 months. Click on the tab for your child’s age group to see the most up to date list of recommended books along with advice and ideas for ways to support and engage your child in reading. The lists are regularly updated and are a great starting point for finding high quality books!

According to the Reading Agency, ‘We often see stories in the press about declining reading frequency and concerns that parents are not reading to their children often enough. But why does it matter? There is strong evidence linking reading for pleasure and educational outcomes. We know that academic attainment is of vital importance, but the benefits of reading for pleasure go beyond this and stretch throughout a person’s life’.

For further information about Reading Reading Agency Reading for Pleasure Report

At St Thomas More School, we want to support families in bringing reading for pleasure into their lives at home and at school. Please do take some time to look through this information and come and speak to us if you need further help or ideas for encouraging your children to read – or indeed, anything reading related!





As part of our ongoing venture to promote Reading for Pleasure, we have invested in more exciting brand new titles.

This has been made possible by the generous donations from the Friends who have worked hard to raise money for our children to provide them with books and resources that are so vital to enable our children to become enthusiastic learners.

A number of children have volunteered to be the first to read one of the new books and will take them home to enjoy. When they have finished they will write a small review to describe what the book is like and whether they would recommend it to anyone else.

If parents have any ideas about how we can improve how we raise the profile of Reading within the school or would like any information about how to help their child with any aspects of reading, please do come and speak to your child’s teacher.

Here are some photos of the new books…



Year 5 Oxfordshire Book Awards Reading Group

A group of Year 5 enthusiastic readers have begun their new book group with Children’s Books editor Kathy Webb. The group will be meeting in the school library at lunch times to
read books that have been nominated for the Oxfordshire Book Awards 2020. They will be taking part in discussions and debates and developing a critical appreciation of the books that they read. There are many other pupils across Oxfordshire Primary and Secondary schools also taking part in this event which will culminate in an awards ceremony in November 2020, where children will be invited to attend and meet the authors of the books that they have voted for. This is a fantastic opportunity for St Thomas More School to promote Reading for Pleasure and hopefully this will be something that we can continue in future years to inspire our children to become readers for life.
Here are the books that our Year 5s will be reading over the coming months.





The fact-packed science and technology magazine!

How It Works is the action-packed science and technology magazine bursting with exciting information about our universe.

Thank you to the Friends who have funded a subscription for this fantastic educational resource to promote reading for pleasure and learning.

 Children will have the chance to read the magazines in class and use them in lessons to support the Curriculum. If you are interested in subscribing to this magazine at home, please see https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/hiw/


Books to commemorate Armistice Day

This week in school, children will be commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Books can be a brilliant way to ignite interest in and teach children about great moments in history. Here are some fictional and factual books to help young readers understand the significance and importance of this day. Click on the link below to find out more about these books.






Thank you to the Friends for funding the purchase of some brand new non-fiction books to support our Curriculum for next year. Each key stage has hard copies of beautiful books to be used in History, Geography, Science and Literacy.




Thumbnail image for mischief makers english&bw final-3.png


What is the Summer Reading Challenge?

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice to complete the Challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s FREE to take part!

The Summer Reading Challenge website helps you keep track of your reading all year round: find new books to read, take part in competitions and play games.

The Summer Reading Challenge is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 11. It is completely free and last year over three quarters of a million children took part in libraries across the UK.

Every year the Challenge has a new theme. This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is called Mischief Makers, inspired by the much-loved iconic children’s title Beano, which celebrates its 80th anniversary.

Children will explore a map of Beanotown to find the mysterious buried treasure and become ultimate mischief makers. Dennis, Gnasher and friends will help young readers solve clues and collect stickers, having lots of fun and adventures along the way!

How does the Summer Reading Challenge work?


The word gap: How to build your child’s vocabulary at home

A recent report published by Oxford University Press in May 2018, Why the Word Gap Matters , revealed that there’s an increasing number of children at primary and secondary school who have a limited vocabulary – a word gap. During the research, 67% of primary school teachers said that broadening pupils’ vocabulary is a high priority. Find out more about the report, why the word gap matters and what you can do at home to help your child’s vocabulary in our blog post: The word gap: How to build your child’s vocabulary at home.



Many children in Year 4 are enjoying reading about their favourite football players at the moment. They are eagerly reading and then swapping books about Ronaldo, Neymar, Sanchez and Messi etc. It is encouraging to see so many children reading for pleasure and discussing their books with one another. Remember – reading is good for you and has a positive impact on emotional well being as well as improving knowledge and vocabulary.

For more information on encouraging your children to read, please see the link below.


New Year, New Books – Library Update 2018

We have yet more brand new books in our school library – all funded through the School Friends Association. There are some wonderful titles by fantastic authors that we hope the children will enjoy and recommend to their friends.



We have some brand new titles in our school library – all with a Christmas theme. Thank you to the Friends for funding this purchase. We will be looking to buy more titles in the new year. Watch this space!
Thank you to those children who volunteered to review some of the books also!




It is National Non-Fiction November. This month we are encouraging our children to choose one of the many exciting non-fiction titles that we have available in our school library.
Children are also invited to take part in a competition inspired by Lots (Walker Books, 2017).



The aim will be to create posters using either A4 or A3 sized paper, which reflect this year’s theme for National Non-Fiction November. The posters can celebrate the beauty of the world around us, whether near to home or further afield; or they can convey a message about our need to take care of and protect the world. They can focus on a single plant or animal, or feature a particular natural environment. You are welcome to use any media you would like – pencils, crayons, pastels, paints, or collage, for example.

We are looking for creativity and originality, as well as powerful messages expressed in images and words. Posters must be returned to school with the child’s name, age and school on the back and handed in to the class teacher or Mrs Machin by Friday 1st December.

There will be a prize awarded for each age group, plus an overall winner. The prizes will consist of signed books and prints, and for the overall winner a visit by Nicola Davies to their book group, school or library.

The winners will be announced in January 2018.

For more information please see http://www.fcbg.org.uk/national-non-fiction-november-2017-competition/




Miss Coleman has started the lunchtime Chatterbooks club. The children visited Kidlington library on Thursday to choose books based on their chosen themes and to join the library if they are not already members. Everyone is looking forward to reading their new books and discussing them next week.

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