Cramond staff and children have collectively shared their ideas about how we would like to promote reading for pleasure here in school. We did not want to complete the First Minister’s Reading Challenge in its entirety as we felt that the reading part was most important to us and may be spoiled somewhat by having to complete tasks about each piece of text we read. We used the opportunity of the First Minister’s Challenge to involve our children in the planning of how we would make reading for pleasure part of our focus.
The whole school approach is that ‘Reading For Pleasure’ will be our focus for a period of time whilst we encourage the children to take part in the challenge activities and class teachers will be sending home books chosen by the children to read for pleasure. We will of course continue to teach the skills of choosing books at an appropriate level and good reading habits etc.
The reading books taught to teach reading skills and practise reading in school will be used as normal but these will typically not be sent home as reading books in the usual way.
This was decided for two reasons; the first being that parents would be able to focus on reading chosen books with their children for enjoyment and not have to do double the reading using a class reading book as well, and the second being that teachers would focus on the reading skills and strategies during class time and the children would practise these in their chosen books.
The reason we decided this was best as a whole school approach also included the fact that many families have children in varied classes and we wanted to keep things the same for children within families as far as possible. That is why there is an agreement this session about home learning walls being issued by the whole school at the same time etc in our endeavour to make organising family life a little easier.
Further support for parents reading at home with their children can be found at The Edinburgh Libraries online service, all of the books are book banded in the same way as school books are and so this should make choosing texts easier. In addition you can access audio books from the Libraries Service. You can also use the reading section of Sumdog. After speaking to the children we realised that one set of login details was easier for them and so they can now access reading through their Sumdog accounts rather than having to use Bug Club as before. They have also reported to us that they prefer this format and enjoy the way Sumdog offers it’s online reading. You may remember the P4 year group doing a test of change for us last year. Sumdog automatically adjusts the text to suit your child’s ability, as it does with the maths section.
Of course, we understand that every rule has an exception, and we have left autonomy for class teachers to make decisions regarding individuals and groups in their class who will benefit from having their class reading book shared at home during this time also. We understand fully that for some children the continuity of repeating what has been covered in school, or reading ahead in order to prepare for text level work at school will be hugely important. Class teachers will communicate with parents to let them know arrangements for the children in their class.
As always, I really am happy to have a discussion with parents to help clarify and answer any queries or concerns.
Thank you as always for your support,
Cramond Primary School
4 Cramond Crescent
0131 312 6450