As teachers, learning support assistants and school librarians, it is our responsibility to ensure we are surrounding the children we work alongside with the very best in current children’s literature; there is certainly a wealth to choose from. It is essential for us to be able to guide a child to their next great read, to be able to talk with them about our thoughts on the books and authors they are reading and to be able to broaden their reading experiences wherever possible. Showing children we have a love of reading, an appreciation of the books they themselves choose andchampion children’s literature is the best way to enthuse them with a love of reading too.
Having revamped their library space with art work, new shelving and displays, one of our member schools, High Down Juniors, has now turned their attention to keeping the library stocked with new publications and putting staff and children in charge of sharing these across the school: a joint task force of ‘Reading Champions.’
Over the last week of term, children applied for the role of ‘Reading Champion.’ They filled in application forms which would allow them to be the first to read one of the new books purchased each month.
The application forms were a joy to read and share.
“Ever since I read J. K. Rowling’s books, I wanted to be a writer… the more books I read the more I will learn about what makes a good book.” Jamie (year 3)
“Everybody should read every day as it is so enjoyable.” Immy (Year 3)
“I can always be found curled up somewhere with my head in a good book.” Hannah (Year 4)
“I love going to Portishead Library and taking my time to choose interesting books… I never have enough new books to read.” Joe (Year 5)
“My favourite book is ‘Space Jackers’ by Huw Powell. The book is adventurous and has a gripping story… I wanted to read on but save it at the same time.” Casey (Year 5)
“I like François Place who illustrated ‘War Horse’… one illustration looked like rain was coming out of the page and the puddles had the exact reflection of a person with a bike. It was almost real.” Stephanie (Year 6)
What a pleasure to see such an enthusiasm for reading, authors, illustrators and inspirational books.
Once they have read their book, they will review it and their review will be displayed in the library alongside their book for a couple of weeks before being released onto the library shelves. Each month, the titles and reviews will be shared with parents too. High Down benefits from having an incredibly supportive Friends Association who are funding the monthly purchasing of books for the Champions to read and review and making it possible for the school to maintain the quality of the books they can offer to their pupils.
In total, the school has now appointed 12 Reading Champions aged 7 to 11 and 6 Reading Champions who are ‘slightly older’ (teachers from the English Team, LSAs and the amazing ‘magic’ school librarian). This half term they have started their first assignment: reading one of the amazing books from their first book haul.
Book Haul number 2 is already on order!