The importance of reading at Barnham:
Research proves that children who enjoy reading do better at school in all subjects. Reading improves a child’s literacy skills and can offer them a lifetime of enjoyment and learning. At Barnham, we aim to promote a love of reading and feel that children discovering books and how to use and enjoy them is crucial to their development.
In terms of reading, we want children to be able to:
∙ Enjoy reading and see it as a pleasurable leisure activity, as well as a means of following instructions and finding things out.
∙ Have the reading skills necessary to read a range of text types for pleasure and for information.
∙ To be confident and competent readers, children need to have access to a range of reading experiences.
Reading with your child at home is a crucially important way to support their learning. Reading books together, reading to your child, hearing them read, discussing reading technique, stories, poems and non-fiction texts are all key ways to help your child to develop into an able and accomplished reader and writer.
We have provided question prompts in children's reading records to ask your child when reading with them. Children need to read a variety of texts such as stories, reports, information texts, poems, etc. They also love being read to by adults, particularly if you can do the voices! If you show children you enjoy reading, it will have an incredibly positive impact. Please speak to Miss Cross (our reading lead) or your child’s teacher if you have any difficulties with reading with your child at home so they can support you.
Inspiring a love of reading for pleasure:
Reading for pleasure remains a focus at Barnham Primary. We recognise the many benefits that reading for pleasure brings, including:
To encourage a love for reading, we have had two authors visit our school. We have recently revamped our library to encourage children to enjoy finding a new book and have a quiet and calm space to read in. We also have a little library outside on the playground for children to read outside and also to allow parents to choose books with their children to take home. Readathons have helped children to enjoy reading and want to read as much as possible to raise money for us to buy more books. We have literature, arts and culture MPs who help in advocating reading across the school. Days such as National Poetry Day and World Book Day are important to Barnham as a way of celebrating books and authors.
Barnham's Book Bulletin:
Miss Cross writes a 'book bulletin' to keep children, parents and staff up to date with everything book and reading related! Have a read to find out what exciting things we have been up to to inspire a love of reading.
The school library has become a central hub for the children where they are able to select books with their families to take home to read, spend time each day reading in the comfort of the library or engage in daily activities carefully selected by staff. New books are continually being purchased to reflect the latest bestsellers, new and up-coming authors and, quite simple, the old classics.
Each class has it's only designated area for reading, where it is inviting and 'cosy' with a selection of texts, fiction and non-fiction, for the children to choose.
In response to the pandemic, a mini-library has been made where children and families are able to select stories to share at home. The library is situated outside where all are able to access it.
Cultural capital is important at Barnham as we want to open our children’s eyes more to the world around us. We have had two authors visit us this year. Onjali Rauf came to unveil our revamped library and talk to us about becoming a writer and the importance of the themes in her books. Onjali has written books about homelessness, foster care, refugees, food banks and racism. These are all prominent topics that children need to understand and empathise with.
A key part of our reading curriculum is the diversity in the books the children read during their primary years. It is important to us that children read books they can identify with in terms of themes and characters. It is also important that children read books where they learn about different cultures, countries, religions, disabilities and ways of life to help them become understanding, empathetic and culturally aware.
Teachers as readers:
All adults are role models to children so our staff are role model readers. We show children that we enjoy reading and are readers ourselves. We have a staff book club where newly released books are shared with staff for them to enjoy reading for pleasure themselves or to share with their class. This allows staff to enjoy reading new books and recommending them to children.
Miss Cross is a teacher judge for the UKLA book awards this year! This means she has 22 books to read for the age 7-10 category and is on the judging panel to decide the short list for this category. To share this with all staff and children, these books are being shared in the staff room and in classrooms so Miss Cross can receive feedback about them from adults and children alike!
At Barnham this year we have started a 'Teacher Reader Group' in collaboration with the UKLA and Open University. This group is open to school staff, librarians and trainee teachers in Suffolk. Led by Miss Cross, teachers can attend to for CPD around reading for pleasure and to complete their own research projects within their schools to improve RfP.