Whatever kind of reader you are, there are some simple things you can do to have a positive impact on children’s reading habits and the reading culture in your school.
Read, read, read
Children’s books are hugely enjoyable and really quite quick reads – which can be helpful if you’re pressed for time! Not sure where to start? Try some of our book lists full of brilliant titles to suit all ages and abilities. The more you read, the more you can recommend with insight. Set yourself a challenge – how many children’s books can you read across a term? Join a reading group – or start one amongst staff to help and encourage each other’s reading. And of course, don’t forget to visit your school library, local library or bookshop.
Use the school library in your lessons
Build in using the school library to your lesson planning and you’ll be demonstrating the importance of reading and books. If you don’t have a school library, use your class reading corner and allocate quality time for children to spend in it – even just once a week will help them engage with books and reading more positively.
We can sometimes take for granted shelves full of books – but many children have no books in their homes and the idea of a bookshelf is unfamiliar or impossible for a variety of reasons. Having books on display in the class, on your desk and featured on display boards are all really easy ways to draw attention to books and start the conversation about reading.
What are you reading? Use a Currently Reading poster to share what you’re reading with everyone who visits your class - a simple and effective way to role model reading. Talk about the books you’ve enjoyed and encourage children to share the stories they’ve loved with you. If you don’t like fiction, what are your interests? Find non-fiction books you can share and inspire reading that way. Let everyone know what you're reading by printing this Book of the Month poster and laminating it so you can write on a new title each month.
Book of the Week
Not everyone reads for pleasure regularly, but we all know the difference reading for pleasure can make to attainment and well-being. Discover the magic of stories with your class and invite them to recommend books for you to try. Choose a Book of the Week – talk about the book in question, read an extract and talk about the author. Even just talking about books can raise awareness of reading and stories.
Choose a book to read aloud across the term. Hold a class vote and decide what to read together – giving children a choice creates a more positive shared experience. Don’t like reading aloud? Try an audio book. Even just ten minutes of listening to a story, whether it’s read by you or through an audiobook, will make a difference (find out more audio tips here).
Create a Top Ten based on your class’ reading choices and use the book covers to make a display. Share them across the school and see if you can create an All Time Top Ten with the whole school community! You could even invite parents and carers to get involved and have a vote for the favourites.
Whatever you are doing to encourage reading in your school, we’d love to hear about it! Please contact [email protected] with 'Inspiring Ideas' in the subject line.