Well done to all the children and parents who have helped to make Operation Bookworm a great success. The number of home-reads being completed by the children at St John's has increased dramatically. In Lark class alone, the number of total reads in a week has increased from 53 to 120! More than double.
Many of our 'bookworms' have been presented with their special Reading Champion badges by Mr Priestley and this term we are launching the Reading Snail! Again, each child will need to read 25 times in the half-term to win their Reading Champion badge and those who have already earned theirs will receive 50 house points from Mr Priestley and be celebrated in the Friday assembly.
Dandelion class have increased their weekly home-reads by 50% but are still lagging behind so please make a big effort this half-term to hear your child read at least 4 times a week.
Now they are settled in school, our new pupils in EYFS - Bramble and Bluebell Classes - will also be joining our Reading Grand Prix. Good luck to them.
Just to remind you of the survey results from last summer:
The biggest barriers to them opening a book were:
Needless to say, this does not apply to every household but these are common problems that the children have identified themselves and we need to help them overcome these barriers.
Before I suggest some small changes that you can make at home, let me tell about some strategies that are currently in place at school to support your child’s progress in reading:
But what are the consequences of not hearing a child read regularly at home? Well, take a look:
And for those of you who like bar charts:
Helping with those barriers to reading:
Routine is everything. If a quiet routine after school is established with the school-age children, the younger children will start to see this as normal. No TV in the background, just a quiet environment in which to read and think. Have a routine that cannot be challenged, eg. change out of school clothes, squash and a biscuit, 20 minutes reading together.
The school reading scheme books can be a bit dull at times but they are necessary to target certain sounds and vocabulary. So, it makes sense to read the school book when they get home and perhaps a fun book to share when they go to bed. Books can be borrowed from the library and, if our arrangement with the charity shops works out well, we will be able to send fun books home for the children to read too. Don’t forget that magazines are reading too and comic books are a great way to motivate young children.
Computers are great in many ways and could be used as a reward after the reading is done. The best advice is, however, to limit any child’s use of these devices. Not only can some games be incredibly addictive, but they can cause children stress and stop them from communicating with others. This, in turn, prevents the development of vocabulary and social skills.
As a working single parent, I know what it feels like to be rushed for time but I do know that sharing a book with a child on a daily basis brings benefits beyond learning to read. My best advice again, is a routine time, no excuses allowed. Give it time and you will find that the closeness, calm and curiosity that comes out of dedicated reading time will bring you, personally, rewards as well as progress in your child’s reading.
Many of you may have favourite books you have been reading with your children, or even ones you remember reading when you were young. If so, why not have a chat with your child’s class teacher about coming in to share a story. You would be made to feel most welcome.
We all want the best for the children at St John’s so let’s join together to make a difference to all of their futures as readers and as fulfilled members of our community.
Many thanks and……. Keep reading!
English Subject Lead
Otter Class Teacher – Year 3
1. De Bellis, M.D., Keshaven, M.S., Clark,D.B., Caseey, B.J., Giedd, J.B., Boring,A.M., Frustaci, K., & Ryan, N.D. (1999).Developmental traumatology.Part 2: Brain development. BiologicalPsychiatry, 45, 1271-1284
3.. Shannon Trust London – Guardian website