Flexing fluency muscles with great texts (Oh…and they are free too!)

    Published: 20 April 2017

    In this short blog, Penny Slater points to some texts that may prove useful in the last few weeks leading up to this year’s SATS.

    Let’s cut to the chase…It’s early summer term. You are a Y6 teacher. You have a couple of weeks left before the 2017 Reading SATs paper. What you are probably looking for are some great texts that will give your pupils a final push to prepare for the challenge ahead? Oh…and you probably need those texts to be free and easily accessible. If so, read on….

    You may be aware of BBC2’s writing competition ‘500 Words’ as a great way of inspiring young writers, but have you ever considered it as a source of material to inspire young readers? Having been running now for several years, there are hundreds of fabulous short, engaging, brilliantly written texts just waiting to be read (or in this case, plundered for suitable material to prepare children for the KS2 reading test).

    I worked with the fabulous Subject Leader and Y6 teacher, Nicola Potter – reading SL at Little Green Junior School, Croxley Green –  and together we searched through the best of the best of the texts available on the site. We finally hit upon 5 texts that we felt had scope to both interest the Y6 children, and provide them with a reading challenge that was comparable in nature to the KS2 reading paper that they are just about to sit.

    In order to judge comparability with the texts used in the KS2 reading paper, we ran each text through the Lexile Analysing (for more details on the rationale behind this analysis, see my earlier blog: Preparing for a Fair Fight). We have provided the Lexile rating along with the title.

    Cold as Ice by Annabel Burdess

    670L: comparable to How to Hide a Lion (KS1 DFE exemplification ARE)

    2052 by Ophelia Spracklen

    760L: comparable to Space Tourism (KS2 sample reading paper – lowest challenge)

    A Stellar Job by Elizabeth Quigley

    910L: comparable to The Last Leopard (KS2 reading paper 2016 – middle challenge)

    Crime Doesn’t Pay…but…by Tom Foreman

    900L: comparable to The Last Leopard (KS2 reading paper 2016 – middle challenge)

    Fake Book by Anna Harries

    1030L: comparable with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (KS2 DFE Exemplification ARE)

    The Y6 teacher now intends to use these texts alongside the Question Stems (see previous blog by Jane Andrews: A Secret Shared and Some Questions to Ask) alternating between the teacher asking some of these questions, and the children creating some of their own based on the texts read.

    Either way, the hope is that these texts will provide a little last minute practice for your children, alongside some inspirational reading material (and all without costing you your time…or sanity)!

    Finally, from all of us at HFL English team to all of you out there who will be supporting the Y6 children over the next few weeks to shine, we wish you the best of luck.

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