Encouraging reading

One of the greatest pleasures in my role is to visit the classrooms of the Junior School and see the boys at work.

Last week we celebrated Book Week and the joy of reading books. A successful event that was planned and implemented was DEAR – Drop Everything and Read. Staff and students put lessons on hold and simultaneously embraced some precious time to read a book of their choice. My selection was The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. I joined the Year 1 boys and together we found a comfortable space to read purely for enjoyment.

However, motivating children to read for pleasure can be challenging. Research shows that to become an expert reader depends on the willingness to read independently. It also enhances oral language comprehension. Thus, we have a responsibility as teachers and parents to provide opportunities to engage in independent reading experiences.

Time for reading aloud to children sends a powerful message that it is valued and can be a shared enjoyable experience. I have many fond memories of my father reading to my sisters, brother and me. Together we would go to the local library, select a rich book, and then huddle together each night whilst we delved into a world of imagination as Dad brought the words to life with his soothing tones.

Making time to read, whether this is independent or aloud, can only be beneficial. Both teachers and parents can join their children, modelling their love for books, and nurture a positive reading environment. Recommend books that will expand their knowledge; mix it up with exposure to fiction and nonfiction and prioritise reading over any other form of homework.

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” ―Maya Angelou

Joanne Davies
JS Teaching and Learning Coordinator