Reading for Pleasure
Reading for Pleasure
At St. Francis Primary School we believe that it is vital that children have a time to read. Reading should be a fundamental part of childhood and a skill which should be developed to support lifelong learning. We believe that it is vital that children have time to read a variety of books so that they can enjoy reading for pleasure, not because it ticks a learning objective or sets up a writing opportunity but to foster a culture within the school of enjoyment of reading.
Our aim is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture within the school community. To achieve and support this, a range of different strategies are implemented. Confident and competent readers will foster a love of reading through a rich and varied experience of texts, in which they can exercise freedom of choice and independence; we start this in our Reception class (EYFS) and build on it.
Inspiring children to read is their fundamental right. It underpins all learning and secures a good trajectory for personal development and an understanding of the world in which they live.
We believe that a child who reads is a successful child and that:
- Children deserve a rich curriculum which encourages extensive reading of books and other kinds of texts.
- Planning enables links across learning, which creates a wide range of opportunities in which children can read for pleasure or spark an interest in children to follow a particular genre of text e.g. folktales, fairytales or adventure stories.
- Children will have the opportunity to experience whole books to support them in their understanding of literary structures and allow them to become absorbed in the story itself.
- The active encouragement of reading for pleasure should be a core part of every child’s educational entitlement, whatever a child’s background or attainment. Extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts make a huge contribution to pupils’ educational achievement.
- Children will be encouraged to read texts which reflect their own heritage and that of other cultural groups.
- All children should have access to a wide range of texts in different formats and genres to again support a broad exposure of genres and cultural material.
- Home-school relationships will promote the importance of all adults / parents in fostering a love of reading.
- School reading should not only be seen as synonymous with attainment and judgement as this could influence children’s perceptions of books and reading.
Our aim is to ensure that our practice and ideas are continually reviewed to ensure all children become lifelong learners.
Strategies that we use to promote Reading for Pleasure
Class Reading / book corners
The reading areas in each KS1 classroom are provided to allow children an opportunity to sit and read within the class environment. They have soft-seating provisions to allow children to sit or lay as they want to whilst reading. Every class has a book corner with a range of texts to support exposure of cultural and social material and covering a range of potential areas of interest in order to increase pupils’ literacy-related skills and interests, vocabulary, comprehension and writing. These, alongside our spacious school library are accessible, welcoming places that are stocked with good-quality reading material in a variety of formats (comics, magazines, novels, playscripts, maps, atlases, pop-up books, picture books).
Books and information about books are displayed in classroom book corners and also our library where browsing, choosing and reading can take place on a daily basis. We know that there are books which lend themselves to being talked about, thought through, returned to and which are engaging for children for a variety of reasons. Powerful stories engage children, stir ideas, feelings and excite the reader’s interest and imagination. It is often this that provides a link to writing, which, in turn, can make children want to be authors themselves.
We celebrate literature by organising events such as:
- Author or poet visits
- Illustrator visits
- Book Fairs
- Visiting organisations which have a link to a book through science or history e.g. visiting reptiles or birds
- Theatre trips for play scripts and drama for expression and performance
- ‘Reader of the Week’ achievers’ assembly
- Book reviews of our library or book corner books
- World Book Day
On days such as World Book Day we set aside the timetable and really celebrate books. We have engaged in all sorts of exciting activities over the years such as:
- Creating book boxes which asks for a scene in a book to be presented in a cardboard box like a freeze frame.
- Making bookmarks using origami or plain card.
- Dressing up as their favourite character is a firm favourite with the children.
- Making up stories using a mixture of characters from different books.
- Making a short story film or freeze frames mixing different characters from different books.
- Creating short plays using different characters.
Such an event gives children a real reason for understanding characters, expressing preferences, talking about books they have enjoyed and hearing about books from their peers. Perhaps more importantly, it enables them to see the power of a shared love of reading.
In addition to the activities above we involve staff in reading across the year. They read stories that they love which exposes children to good quality expression, intonation and models good practice.