Here at Hayfield we are committed to helping our whole school community develop enthusiasm for reading.
“Books enable children to discover new worlds, meet new people and learn about the past, but they also have the power to transform lives. By sparking growing imaginations, stimulating critical thinking and helping to develop empathy, reading gives children the very skills they need to succeed at school, at work and in life.”
The importance of developing children’s reading skills has long been recognised as vital for increasing vocabulary, broadening general knowledge and becoming aware of a world beyond their own experiences. However recent research has suggested children’s enjoyment of reading is lagging behind their reading skills. This creates a greater problem than simply having low motivation in the classroom. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure has a huge impact on academic success, mental health and later in life, economic success. However, it is important to note that these studies focus on reading for pleasure: simply being able to read does not provide the same benefits as actually enjoying it.
We prioritise early reading through daily phonics sessions – these sessions are active and play based, filled with games and enjoyment. Every child is provided with structured phonics based reading books to take home. Alongside these, each child chooses a book from the class library to read and share for pleasure. All classes aim to have a daily story time with high quality, age appropriate books. Children also have opportunity to read independently – in our E.R.I.C. (Everybody Reading in Class) sessions. Class books are chosen to introduce new and exciting authors. We have planned events throughout the year to raise the profile of reading for pleasure such as author visits, story teller visits, World Book Day activities, our “Big Book Swap”, whole school picture book mornings and inviting parents to stay and read in class once a term. To celebrate birthdays children are encouraged to buy a book for the class to share and enjoy.
We try to spread the love of sharing a story and reading for pleasure beyond our classrooms. We encourage parents to attend reading information evenings. We host a “Book Bus” visit and have links with local book shops to create easy access for buying good quality reading books. We have visits from the local library and encourage all children to complete the summer reading challenge. We plan home-school reading events and love sharing photos of these in school. Parents are encouraged to make use of online advice to discover new books to read at home.
For a great site that is regularly updated with books sorted by year group, please visit https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/