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The Epiphany School

Love - Courage - Respect

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Whole School Reading Spine

The Epiphany School Reading Spine has been developed with the aim to offer children a breadth of high-quality, challenging literature in order to prepare them for their secondary school and foster a love for reading. Each year group has a core text which must be read within the half term specified; these are chosen as ambitious and aspirational texts to develop children’s comprehension skills. The Spine also includes poetry to be studied. Additional, optional fiction and non-fiction texts are carefully linked to the wider curriculum to support children’s learning.

In his book ‘Reading Reconsidered’, Doug Lemov points that there are five types of texts that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence. These demand more from readers. This has provided a basis for text selection:


Archaic Language:

The demands of archaic texts – those over 50 to 100 years old – are vastly different to today in terms of vocabulary, syntax and context. To prepare them for their next school, children must be exposed to and explore antiquated forms of expression.

Non-Linear Time Sequence:                                      

In these texts, the plot events of the narrative are not written in linear time order.

Narratively Complex:

In narratively complex texts, the narrator may be unreliable (such as Felix Salinger in Once or the narrator in The Tell-Tale Heart). Sometimes, they have multiple narrators (such as Wonder) or non-human narrators (Black Beauty). These can also be non-linear and plot lines can be unrelated, making them more challenging to read.

Complexity of Plot and Symbol

These are texts which are complex in plot and/or happen on an allegorical or symbolical level – they have a deeper meaning.

Resistant Texts:

Resistant texts are written to deliberately resist easy meaning-making by readers. Meaning has to be assembled around nuances, hints, uncertainties and clues. This includes half of all poetry ever written.