Reading in SMMJ
At St Margaret Mary’s our aim is for all children to develop into confident, independent readers and, most importantly, to enjoy reading.
We have many effective initiatives running throughout the school to encourage and promote reading for pleasure.
Guided reading is now well established across the school and takes place four times a week in every class. We have access to a diverse range of texts including – fiction and non-fiction. Books are used from schemes as well as novels for more advanced readers. As well as the structured guided reading sessions, all classes have a class read. This is something they read together on a regular basis and often complete activities or discussions related to this book.
Due to the technological environment we now live in, we have recently subscribed to Bug Club. This is a finely levelled reading scheme which children access via their own personal website. Children are allocated books by their teacher, which they then read and answer questions on to develop their comprehension skills. So far, this scheme has been a great success in encouraging reluctant readers as it is done in a fun and interactive way as pupils gain coins to reward them for correct answers; pupils can them spend these coins in a virtual shop. We encourage parents to access this resource at home with their children; however opportunities are also available in school through Guided Reading and reading clubs.
Drop Everything and Read Time
In our school, we advocate reading for pleasure. We believe in dedicating time every week where we all ‘Drop Everything and Read’. Children are encouraged to sit with their friends during this time, ensuring that they view reading as a fun and relaxing activity. At the end of the session, children are encouraged to talk about the books that they have read and recommend them to their friends. We also feel that it is important for the children to see the staff working in their classes as readers too, and so for twenty minutes a week, we all ‘drop everything and read’!
Each class has a reading champion. Reading champions meet weekly along with a member of staff from each year group to discuss new ideas and initiatives to promote reading for pleasure across the school. Reading champions go back to class to discuss new ideas and ask for any suggestions.
We now hold reading assemblies every month. These assemblies are an interactive and fun way to engage children in reading and encourage positive attitudes to reading. These assemblies include: teachers reading to children, game show style quizzes and activities to promote various authors and genres.
Every week, a group of year 6 children meet to read with year 3 children. The year 6 Reading Buddies have been trained by Miss Jones and Mrs Beeley runs this club each week. It is lovely to see the children sharing their love of books!
Termly Book Exchange
Each term, we hold a book exchange within our year groups. This is an exciting opportunity for children to get their hands on some new reading material. We ask the children to donate any books, in good condition, which they are finished with. The children attach a label to the book to tell the new owner who has donated it and why they would recommend it. For every book a child brings in, they receive a token to exchange for a new book. This event has proved very popular in all year groups and it has been lovely to see the children sit and enjoy their new books together during each event.
Reading events so far...
· End of year school play – ‘Open a Book’
· Book exchange
· Book fair
· Year 5 Roald Dahl Day
· Year 4 Wizard of Oz week
· Year 3 Alice in Wonderland week
· How to help your child in reading
· The Little Princess theatre group performance
· Dick Wittington theatre group performance
· Local library visits
Reading events to follow...
· Year 6 David Walliams day
· Opening of newly re-furbished library
· Opening of outside reading areas
· Author visit – talk and workshop