Try this in school

Great ways to engage families in reading

At West View Primary, Hartlepool, we pride ourselves on having strong relationships with our pupils, parents and wider community. Knowing our community is key – this helps us to provide resources and facilitate opportunities that everyone can engage with in a supportive and non-threatening way.  

Here are some of the things that we do:

Pre-Nursery and Nursery rhyming baskets 

Each week, a child is chosen to take a basket home – there are two baskets, one for our pre-Nursery and one for our Nursery. Inside each basket there is: a drawing pad, crayons, a treat bag of hot chocolate, a small chocolate bar and marshmallows, a nursery rhyme book and a soft, cuddly toy. The aim of the basket is for the child and their families to read for pleasure together. Children and families can mark make in the drawing pad if they wish.  

We share photos of the chosen children on our social media accounts weekly. Sometimes, parents and carers share their own photos with us, but there is no expectation that this has to happen.  

Reception and Year 1 story sacks 

Similar to our Nursery rhyming baskets, a child from Reception and Year 1 is chosen to take a story sack home every week. Each sack contains the same treats including a selection of stories and games. 


 Year 2 story box 

Our Year 2 story box has a PSHE focus, with themed stories, games, resources and of course, the much-anticipated hot chocolate, chocolate bar and marshmallows!  

Year 3 knowledge basket 

Each week in Year 3 class we choose a child to take home the knowledge basket. This has a non-fiction focus. The basket box contains a non-fiction book (linked to a known interest in class), some chocolate coins, felt tips, a notebook and a soft plush gorilla who likes diving into facts! The children can record their favourite fact in the notebook and illustrate it if they wish.  

Reading heroes 

We use the BoomReader app for parents, carers and teachers to log each child’s reading. This gives us instant access and helps us to monitor parental engagement. Each teacher chooses a reading hero every Friday to award a downloaded certificate and a tasty treat pack. 


Family story sharing  

We organise for parents to come in and ‘share a story’ with their child. This session takes minimal preparation from staff. These photos are from National Storytelling Week. Parents observed teachers reading to the class before reading individually with their own children – enjoying a biscuit or two at the same time!  

Recorded stories 

At different points during the year, staff will record themselves reading a story and share these on social media. This helps to build up a bank of stories for parents to access. 

Weekly Reading Round Up  

Our Phonics/Early Reading Lead created these after seeing an example on the Little Wandle website!  These are shared on Facebook, Twitter and our website weekly. NEW for Spring 2 is the teacher recommendation feature!    

 Book swaps 

We have a variety of different ‘book swaps’ set up around school which we promote via our social media accounts. We have a ‘Little library for grown-ups’ which is located in the main entrance area of school – because adults enjoy reading too! We promote a ‘borrow, replace, donate’ culture so that we can keep plenty of stock available. 

You can see more of West View’s fantastic Reading for Pleasure activities in action on their social media channels!

Facebook: West View Primary School
Instagram: @our_curious_journey
Twitter: @WestViewPrimary