Read for pleasure and nourish the soul - Mill Hill Schools

Head’s blog

Read for pleasure and nourish the soul

As we approach Book Week at Grimsdell we are preparing for a range of varied and exciting activities throughout the school. Along with the rest of the nation we will be dressing up as book characters on World Book Day, having a visit from an author and embarking on a range of tasks that will promote a buzz around reading and expose the children to the power and beauty of literature within the momentum of a national event.

Reading at Grimsdell however, is more than just Book Week and as we march towards our quest to becoming a nationally approved ‘Reading School’ we are beginning to enjoy the feeling that every week at Grimsdell is Book Week!

Due to the passion and diligence of our full time librarian and the appreciation of literature that we all share as a staff team we have put reading at the heart of our school because reading opens the door to all learning and allows everyone to access stories, facts, ideas and information that can feed both brain and soul.

As a result we have been embracing the 6 criteria to achieve Reading School Status:

  1. Supporting staff –equipping staff with the skills and knowledge they need to teach children to be accomplished and keen readers.
  2. Teaching the reading curriculum – Making use of every opportunity the curriculum offers to teach children to become life-long readers.
  3. Engaging Parents – harnessing the enthusiasm of parents to ensure the culture of reading developed by the school extends into the home.
  1. Developing the reading environment – Understanding the role the physical environment, including libraries, book areas, and displays, can play in teaching children to be readers. Targeting Resources – Using a wide range of different reading material to teach children to become readers.
  1. Targeting Resources – Using a wide range of different reading material to teach children to become readers.
  2. Celebrating reading – Involving the school community in special events to raise the profile of reading and engage children.

Two of my current favourite examples of our work in this area are:

Staff suitcase of treasured reads  

This project  has generated lots of ‘book talk’ and sharing of literature. Each class have a suitcase filled with the class teacher and TA’s favourite reads of all time. Children are allowed to take these books home too, as well as use for reading aloud to whole class sessions.

The concept is that reading can take you on many different journeys – where will reading take you? Dr Seuss: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

I also have a suitcase of my favourite children’s books of all time and carry these around to various classroom to read with different children.

I am delighted to share my suitcase contents in this blog…please look at the attached pictures to view my chosen book titles.

Teachers are Readers

In each class, the teacher has a sign stating This Week I Am Reading ….. We put up a picture or copy of the book or magazine they are reading which shows the children that teachers are readers and makes us role models. We have been amazed by how much the children have enjoyed finding out about the books teachers read and how quickly they notice when we are onto a new title!

“Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success” (OECD 2002)

Remember reading with and to your child is a pleasure not a chore. Happy Book Week for next week everyone!