Building a Reading Community at Woodingdean Primary

On my way through the gates this morning, I passed a group of year 4 boys waiting to come into school. Delightfully, I overheard one of the boys say to his pals “did you know that my library card allows me to take out books from any library in Brighton and Hove?” Eureka! Here was a boy who not only saw books and reading as a pleasurable pass time, but felt the need to infect his friends with this enthusiasm.

wood4My name is Kathryn Coleman and I am the Every Child a Reader teacher at Woodingdean Primary School. I am a trained literacy specialist teacher with an overall remit to enable all our pupils to leave primary school as readers. At Woodingdean we appreciate the need to ensure all our children are not only able to read but, more importantly, develop a life-long love of reading. Research tells us that reading for pleasure is more likely to result in a child reaching academic success than their socio-economic background. Important then that in addition to teaching children the mechanics of reading, we foster the joy around books. This is why we have been committed to Building a Reading Community and looking to our neighbours in the local community to help us.

Library Visits wood2

We are really lucky at Woodingdean that we have a beautiful modern library on our doorstep. We work really closely with our friends at the library to ensure our children get to make the most of this wonderful facility.

Every class has a weekly 45 minute session using our Libraries Extra card. This enables us to use the facility alongside members of the public who are also card holders but when the library is closed. The children are able to browse independently through the fantastic selection of books. Due to the close working with our library colleagues, many of the books available to borrow are the ‘must-reads’ on our Literature Spine or books by the same world class authors which helps us to ensure that all children have access to the best reads around.

Reading Ambassadors- Library Volunteers

This term, we are piloting a new and exciting volunteer programme.

We appreciate the important role that significant adults play in fostering the idea wood3in children’s minds that reading can be entertaining. Many children have books at home, share books and book talk with adults and also see them  engrossed in a good book. However, this is not always the case for a number of different reasons. In order to try and give all children the same opportunity to become lovers of reading, we have invited local people to volunteer to help.

This week our lovely team of budding volunteer Reading Ambassadors will attend a training session at the school. The volunteers come from all walks of life with a wealth of skills and experiences. However, they all have a love of reading and some experience with children. We will be looking at how we can harness their own love of books and reading and try to instil that enthusiasm in our pupils. The idea is that they will meet up with the identified children during their library visits once a week for eight weeks. They will help and support them in choosing, reading and discussing books. By doing so, we hope they will encourage a life-long love of reading.

I was overwhelmed at our introductory meeting by the level of enthusiasm and expertise we have lurking in our community behind closed doors.  Let’s hope that we can put that to good use. Watch this space!

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Reading Ambassador please e-mail me on kathryncoleman@woodingdean.brighton-hove.sch.uk or call 01273 680811

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