We all know how important reading is for children – not only does it underpin all aspects of learning but a reading habit developed young is a lifelong source of relaxation, entertainment and education.  Here at Blue Coat we want to nurture all of our children into readers for life.

Staff across the school have been working hard to create a wonderful list of recommended books for each year group.  Each list is a mixture of books of different styles, with diverse authors and illustrators representing many aspects of our world both real and fantastical.  The books should appeal to different interests, helping to develop empathy, knowledge and vocabulary.  Some children will like some books more than others but the willingness to try unfamiliar things, even things we don’t like the look of, is all part of becoming a well-rounded reader – there is a reason ‘never judge a book by its cover’ is such a common expression!

The challenge for children is to read as many of the books on their year group list as they can.  We don’t want them to rush through the books but to savour and enjoy each title – there is plenty of time!  

Pre Prep

Year One and Two will have their reading lists stuck into their Reading Diaries at school and can highlight titles as they read them.  They will also write reviews of the books to show that they are engaging with them.  

Children that read all of the books on their list will receive a certificate from Mr Neeson at the end of the year and other incentives as they are going along.


Prep children will have their year group Recommended Reading list stuck into their planner which again they can highlight as they have read books.  They will get two house points for each book that they review and the keenest readers who manage all of the books on their list will be invited to a very special celebratory event with Mr Neeson at the end of the school year.

To support the BCS Reading Challenge for Prep children we are also delighted to be relaunching the Reading Cloud.

Reading Cloud is our library management system.  As from today all Prep children will be able to go online to:

– Search for books that The Blue Coat School Library has and reserve them for delivery to their classroom or collection from the library when that is possible again.

– Manage their own library account checking which books they have, whether they need to be returned and even renewing their own books (as long as no-one else has reserved that title).

– Write reviews of books that they have read and read other’s reviews to help them choose their next great read.  These reviews will show that the book has been read and the child has earned their house points.

– Look at the Recommended Reading List for their year group.  Where relevant this includes whole series, for example The Famous Five.  One book from each series is enough for the challenge as we want to encourage wide reading.

Each child has been given a unique barcode which is their login to the system.  They will have stuck it in their planner but can get it again from me at any time.  The url is readingcloud.net.  Mr Hill will be making sure that the children know how to login to the system, but we would also appreciate parents checking this at home.

The video below gives an overview of Reading Cloud.  Children need to be aware that checking the cataloguing of the thousands of books across the school is still in progress so sometimes there may be a delay but I will keep communicating to ensure that no-one goes long without a great library book to read.

Happy reading everybody!

Ms Stacey