Power of Reading
Created: 17th September, 2019

Eight new Power of Reading teaching plans for quality children's books for 2019/20

Another year of CLPE's flagship Power of Reading training project is underway and with it, we are launching eight brand new books and accompanying detailed teaching plans onto the exclusive members’ website!

Our Early Years training book pack welcomes Ken Wilson-Max’s Astrogirl (Otter-Barry Books), a wonderful story about the importance of family, striving for goals and encouraging aspiration. In the Early Years, where children are developing a wider sense of self, it is important for them to be able to see themselves in stories and respond using their personal experience to develop comprehension, and this text offers ample opportunity for children to do just that.

Along with it, is a new information text from Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura: Beware of the Crocodile (Walker), a rich text, that enables children to hear the differences in the voice and tunes of narrative and informational language with lots of examples of descriptive, comparative and technical language, enabling children to enlarge and enrich their stock of words in the engaging context of learning more about an animal.

In Key Stage 1, we have introduced three books this year. First is The Secret Sky Garden by Linda Sarah, illustrated by Fiona Lumbers (Simon and Schuster). This exceptional picturebook supports teachers to explore local issues and personal relationships and engage in real world writing tasks. The main themes of the story revolve around caring for the local area, making positive changes to improve the local environment and the importance of friendship.

Mini Grey’s Traction Man has been one of the most transformational texts on the Power of Reading throughout the life of the programme and this year we are introducing her latest book The Last Wolf (Puffin). The book allows children to draw on traditional story knowledge as well as supporting consideration of the value of helping others, of community and of nature and conservation. 

As a longer read, we have included Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits by Julian Gough and illustrated by Jim Field (Hodder). As the first in an ongoing series, and with laugh out loud moments, it is great for encouraging young readers to follow up independently on a partnership that will amuse and intrigue by continuing to read the subsequent stories. 

In Years 3 and 4, we have introduced The Boy at the Back of the Class, by Onjali Rauf (Hachette). This text is a wonderful example of positive representation in a children’s book, as highlighted by CLPE’s research on Reflecting Realities. The subject matter provides the opportunity to develop reader response and reflections of complex and mature themes whilst inspiring creative and authentic responses from the children.

We also have a new information text joining the Year 3/4 collection, The Bluest of Blues by Fiona Robinson (Abrams). The book supports exploration of a number of themes, linking history, science, art and design including pioneering women, the natural world and the development of photography as a medium. The narrative structure offers young readers a good model for their own biographical writing.

Suffragette: The Battle for Equality by David Roberts (Two Hoots) joins this year’s Year 5 and 6 collection. This stunning text, shortlisted for this year’s Kate Greenaway Award is a carefully crafted study of one of the most significant periods in history in the UK. The text and its accompanying planning is an opportunity to immerse children in historical enquiry, through which sophisticated literacy skills will be developed.

We are so excited to welcome these texts and their authors and illustrators to the Power of Reading Family and can’t wait to see more examples of practice from schools sharing the work they have done with these texts in the classroom. We are also lucky to have some of the authors joining us on the training days to share their insights into their texts and the impact that reading has on them. Confirmed speakers this year are Ken Wilson Max (Rugby), Chitra Soundar (London), Onjali Rauf (London) and Joe Todd-Stanton (London), who will also be leading a new Power of Pictures course at our Literacy Library this year.

Attendees on any of our Power of Reading Training projects will receive a pack of 12 texts, specific to their age phase which will include these texts for the first time, as well as an additional 4 texts to develop their knowledge and understanding of children’s literature. They also are also given 12 months membership to the Power of Reading website, which provides detailed teaching plans for these and over 220 other texts, plus examples of how to use the texts to develop a whole school English curriculum, examples of classroom practice and subject knowledge about a wide range of creative teaching approaches proven over the history of the project to raise engagement and attainment in reading and writing. Discover your nearest training project.