READING FOR PLEASURE
World Book Day
As an academy, we like to celebrate world book day, and 2023 was no exception. This year we wanted children to understand the role of an Author. All children met the local author Kathy Tallentire to gain an insight into the process authors follow when writing a book. This experience also raised children’s aspirations showing that people from their community can become an author. Each cohort explored a focus author throughout the day and children then took on the role of an author and wrote their own chapter of The Smeds and The Smoos to innovate a whole academy version.
As an academy we have also been lucky enough to have an author visit from Nick Sharratt. This was achieved due to one of our pupils winning a national creative writing competition. During this exciting day, Nick Sharratt did some live writing and illustrating before visiting each year group who were exploring one of his books.
Teachers Love for Reading
As an academy, we think that it is important for teachers to model and promote their own love for reading to inspire the children.
We have demonstrated this by teachers regularly recording and sharing book recommendations; including reviews of recent reads and their childhood favourites.
Teachers also show their love and knowledge of reading during weekly library book talk slots where they hold class discussions about books in the library and make further recommendations inspired by their children’s reading habits and interests.
Class reading slots are another time when teachers share their love of reading as staff are encouraged to use their knowledge of children’s literature to expand on the core reads identified for each cohort.
Assemblies are another opportunity for us to use books as a stimulus for contextualising key messages and supporting our pupil’s personal development and emotional literacy.
Library, Library Bus & Reading Hut
At Sandon, we are extremely lucky to have a library, library bus and reading hut bursting with a wide variety of up to date, stimulating books. These areas are continually reviewed to provide books that enhance our curriculum and reflect the diversity of our modern world. The book selection available offers all genres and supports all reading abilities. There is also audio books and newspapers available to expand children’s reading experiences.
Each week, children have the opportunity to visit the academy library in their book talk session, where they are able to spend some time browsing, exploring and discussing texts before choosing a book which they take home to share with their parents. These fantastic resources are also available for the children to use during their own free time. It is a relaxing yet exciting environment in which children can enjoy reading independently or sharing favourite books with their peers.
All of the books in our library are carefully arranged into genres to help the children to locate books that appeal to them and further book match posters support children with their book selection.
We also have academy librarians who enjoy and respect their roles, helping to ensure our library areas are well maintained, whilst being on hand to help and advise children when browsing the collection.
Another favourite resource at Sandon that promotes our love for reading is our vending machines.
These are stocked full of wonderful books that children can purchase with tokens earned for their excellent reading practices both in school and at home.
This reward further progresses our children’s reading by expanding their personal book collections; increasing their reading opportunities.
At Sandon, we have recently elected some reading ambassadors.
These pupils read aloud to or alongside children during break times. As well as providing our children with a further opportunity to read and listen to stories for pleasure, this also enables reading with fluency and expression to be modelled to children by their more experienced peers.
As an academy we host an annual book fair.
This event not only provides our children and their parents with the opportunity to expand their personal collection of books but also helps the academy to raise money to refresh our collection. Keeping our shelves current and appealing.
Within all of our classrooms across the academy, you will see reading areas or trolleys.
These areas contain a smaller, refined collections of books which have been handpicked by the class teachers and are regularly reviewed. The books selected cover a range of genres whilst also supporting cohort curriculums and reflecting class reading habits.
These areas enable children to further enhance and review their curriculum knowledge through their love of reading.
As an academy, we have created partnerships within our local community to further develop our children’s love for reading. One of our key partnerships is with parents. We have created information sheets and videos, held reading workshops and invited parents into reading sessions to facilitate the most effective home reading.
Each year, we work closely with Blythe Bridge Rotary Club. This club support our children to develop their reading practices with weekly 1:1 reading sessions as well as providing regular book drops where children can browse a selection of books before choosing one to take home and keep in their own collection.
We also support our local libraries summer reading challenge by promoting the challenge in school, encouraging the children to sign up and continue their reading adventures over the summer break.
Our local partnership with the Stoke Ogden Trust Group means that the academy received a collection of Science literature to lend each year. This collection helps to develop and embed our children’s knowledge whilst also deepening their interest in this subject through their love of reading.
A group of KS2 children also worked with the Royal Society to read and review a selection of literature before entering their judgements to a panel. The children then attended the award ceremony to see which book had been voted as the national favourite to receive the Young Peoples Book Prize Award.