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What are we reading in Term 5?

This term, we are reading the curious story, 'The Boy who swam with piranhas' written by David Almond and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Take a look at part of the blurb below, it's going to be an adventure!


"Fish fish fish fish!


Fish in buckets and fish in bins!"


Stan's Uncle Ernie has developed an extraordinary fascination with canning fish, and life at 69 Fish Quay Lane has turned barmy! 


You will have to read the book to find out more as we don't want to give too much of the plot away. Let's just say, it will be a rollercoaster of emotions with lots of twists, turns and laughs along the way. 



Reading in Year 5...

We aim to cover a range of different text types throughout Year 5, including: instructions, narratives, diary entries, persuasive adverts, non-chronological reports, newspaper reports, balanced arguments, explanations and interviews (to name only a few!). We will also be using some digital images and short film clips to develop our inference and deduction skills, and to support our written work. Some of the skills we will be developing are broken down into more detail below...


Our latest strategy for reading is called the 'Vipers' approach. This involves using a range of key question prompts based on the 2016 reading content domains found in the National Curriculum. Please refer to the posters below to see the key questions and National Curriculum content domains.

Here is an example of some VIPERS questions for the picture book 'Return' by Aaron Becker:


V - Can you think of one word that will best describe how the girl's Father is feeling?
I - How is the girl feeling at this point?  Use evidence from previous pages to explain why she may be feeling like this. 
P - What do you think will happen now her Father has arrived? 
E - Explain the difference between her Father in this scene and when we see him in the first two pages of the book. 
R - Where are the characters when the girl's father finds them?
S - The Father will want to know what has been happening.  Imagine you are the girl, summarise the events in the story so far to tell to her Father.

How can you help your child with their reading at home?

We encourage your child to read on a regular basis. Short, regular bursts of reading is key: even if it's only 10 minutes a day, you'll be surprised at how much they learn and improve! To support and help your child in developing their reading skills, please encourage them to talk about their books, empathise with characters and predict events within the story.  We have a lovely library in school and a superb library in the town centre.  Try to encourage your child to widen their reading horizons by selecting books from different genres - if they usually choose a fiction book maybe suggest that they try a non-fiction book for a change. Perhaps they might be inspired by our current topic, or one that they know is coming soon, to select a book relevant to that theme. Here are some activities that could help you fit reading into your daily routine!


Why not try...

  • Tag Team - take it in turns to read a page each of your child's favourite book before bedtime.
  • The Early Bird - get your child to read to you on the way to school, instead of listening to the radio.
  • Poetry Post-its - write short poems on Post-its or note paper and put them up in random places around the house. When your child spots one, they have to read it.
  • Magazine Madness - that football magazine or the one that seems only to be filled with happy, rainbow-coloured unicorns still contains words! Instead of just looking at the pictures, ask your child to tell you about it and read it to you while you're cooking the dinner or washing the car.


The key is, make it fun - reading can be enjoyed by everyone!

How can you help with your child's comprehension?

If you have the pleasure of having more time to read with your child at home, then there are many different types of questions that you could be asking them, in order to help develop their comprehension and understanding of the text.


The following documents provide examples of questions that could be asked while reading, for both fiction and non-fiction text types. We hope you find these useful!

Are you challenging yourself to read books from our literary heritage?

The Times Educational Supplement have put together a list of books all children should read before they leave primary school. You only have two more years left at River; how many do you still have left to read?