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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning

Cultural opportunities in reading

Cultural opportunities in our curriculum

Our curriculum is carefully designed to provide pupils with a wide range of cultural opportunities expanding their understanding of the world.

In all subject areas, pupils learn about significant individuals who made a life-changing contribution to our society. This includes scientists, inventors, athletes, composers, mathematicians and writers. We want our children to appreciate these achievements and understand the impact on our lives today.  



Our library is full of amazing books! We have a fantastic range of fiction, non-fiction, magazines, comics and newspapers. Books are chosen by the reading coordinator to ensure pupils have the opportunities to read a wide range of authors including children’s classics, traditional tales and recent book releases. We want our children to experience different writing styles from Shakespeare to David Walliams.


Cracking Comprehension


Pupils study in detail extracts from the following fiction texts:

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Fantastic Mr Fox

Roald Dahl



The children of Green Knowe

Lucy Boston

Stig of the Dump

Clive King

The Railway Children

E. Nesbit 

Grandpa’s Indian Summer

Jamila Gavin


The Diary of a Killer Cat

Anne Fine


The Cat Who Walked By Himself

Rudyard Kipling


Just William

Richmal Crompton


Mr Majeika

Humphrey Carpenter


Gangsta Granny

David Walliams



David Almond



Jill Paton Walsh


The Lost Happy Endings

Carol Ann Duffy


Mackerel and Chips

Michael Morpurgo

Robert The Bruce and the Spider

Geraldine McCaughrean

The Tempest

William Shakespeare


There is a fantastic variety of male and female authors, across different time periods, writing in different styles. Pupils also study a range of poems and non-fiction texts.   


Reading Avengers


Our Reading Avengers scheme is deliberately designed to challenge higher ability readers and increase pupils’ knowledge of authors including Children’s Laureates, children’s classical books and other renowned writers. Some examples are:

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Ottoline and the yellow cat

Chris Riddell


George’s Marvellous Medicine

Roald Dahl


The abominables

Eva Ibbotson



You’re a bad man Mr Gum

Andy Stanton

Winnie the Pooh

A.A Milne



The firework maker’s daughter

Philip Pullman


The Butterfly Lion

Michael Morpurgo



Tom’s Midnight Garden (graphic novel)


The lion, the witch and the wardrobe

C. S. Lewis


 Charlotte’s Webb

E. B. White



 Asha and the Spirit Bird

Jasbinder Bilan



Street Child

Bernie Doherty


Louis Sacher



The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett



Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone

J. K. Rowling


Graphic novels




Comprehension through song


Comprehension is also taught by studying song lyrics. This engages children with comprehension as it is fun and active. Song lyrics contain a wide variety of poetic devices such as metaphors, similes, personification and often there is a hidden meaning to discover. Songs allow for acquisition of new, exciting vocabulary. In addition, pupils will experience a range of musical genres and listen to artists that perhaps they have never heard before!


Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Disney musical soundtracks from The Lion King, Moana, Frozen, The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan


Disney musical soundtracks from Aladdin, Jungle Book, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and The Nightmare Before Christmas


Alanis Morissette


Indian Sunset

Elton John


Space Oddity

David Bowie


The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald  Gordon Lightfoot


Michael Jackson


Big Yellow Taxi

 Joni Mitchell 





The Trooper

Iron Maiden


What Is Truth? Johnny Cash


Class books


Teachers are provided with a varied box of books to borrow and read to their class. These books are deliberately chosen to target particular cultural themes and to expose children to the very best picture books, short stories and poems.