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Schools Library and Resource Service

Representative Reading Spine

Representative Reading Spine for Key Stage 1

Primary English logoThe Representative Reading Spine is a spine of books designed to support inclusion, diversity and reading for pleasure in Primary Schools. Devised and created by experts from Coventry Schools Library Service and Primary English, it’s a reading spine that inspires, connects and engages children through high-quality texts from contemporary authors and illustrators.

Our Reading Spine is a collection of contemporary children’s books selected for the quality of their writing, illustration and ability to represent the lives and experiences of all children regardless of their gender, ethnicity or social class. The books in our reading spine offer children (and teachers) the opportunity to read, share and talk about books that support a holistic approach to reading. They help children understand the world around them, to process emotions and experiences, and most importantly to provide them with “mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors” (Rudine Sims Bishop) through using up-to-date modern texts from a diverse range of authors and illustrators. 

What is included in the Representative Reading Spine packs?

Each book is accompanied by a range of reading activities. These focus on making links between the book and the children’s existing knowledge; identifying themes; exploring emotional literacy and expressing opinions about what is read. Extensive prompts are provided to support discussion about the books, there are visual literacy cues to help children dig deeper into their understanding of the text and questions to help teachers explore the books. There are also expertly curated lists of additional texts , which include book band and Lexile levels. These are organised by theme, topic, author and illustrator to help teachers extend and expand upon the reading spine itself.

Where can I get the Representative Reading Spine?

There are two main ways to access the Representative Reading Spine:

  1. Order the resources together with copies of the book/s (at a discounted price) directly from SLS. The prices for the different options are below. Contact SLS for more information or to order your sets. If you would like to save time and money and be able to get straight on with teaching then we recommend the ‘Ready to go’ pack which gives you copies of all of the books (12 titles) plus all of the teaching resources for £100.
  2. Purchase any of the packs:
    • 1 copy of the book plus teaching resources for £9 each (specify title required)
    • Large school value set (includes 3 copies of every book plus teaching resources) for £230
    • 1 spine book plus teaching resources and 6 wider reading books £50 each
    • Set of spine books  (all 12 titles) plus 72 wider reading books (6 for each spine book) and all the teaching resources for £600

The other way is to download the planning and support materials alone from the resources area on the Primary English website.

With the books being chosen to reflect the realities of contemporary childhoods, we feel confident in saying that our Reading Spine will help you build a community of readers who are passionate about books and reading.

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