Finding out about your new class is one of the most exciting times of the school year – and what better way than through getting to know them as readers.
1) What do they enjoy/not enjoy reading?
2) What books would they like to read this year?
3) What books would they choose for you to read to them?
Time spent reading and talking about books is never time wasted and will tell you so much about the personalities of your students, their wants and desires, their understanding of the world and how they communicate with others.
The National Literacy Trust have a few ideas to get you started with effective book talk and engendering an interest in, and desire to read, for children aged 5-14. You need to be a member to download these resources but with so many other great materials at your finger tips, signing-up to the National Literacy trust website is a great idea (and a fantastic charity to support).
For other transition RfP activities, there is also Teresa Cremin and the Open Universities Reading for Pleasure Website which is also packed with ideas that would be perfect for the first week back to school. Here is a link to their book talk page which has many examples of good practice from their partner schools, which will inspire you to plan effective book talk in your own classroom.
Finally, hopefully you have had a chance to read (and enjoy) the DfEs NEW Reading Framework (including a revision of the Early Years Reading Framework – 2021). This is an important and comprehensive document that is a blue print for a successful reading curriculum. You may not agree with it all but it will be a reference point for organisations such as the DfE and Ofsted moving forward. If you have read it then pass on the information to other leaders in your school and if you want an insight into the implications of the document, Ruth is holding a Leadership Briefing on 29th September at Becketts Farm in Whythall with English experts Abigail Steel and Rebecca Kennedy. This is not a Gateway event but all are welcome.
Ruth Baker-Leask leads the English Network at Gateway Alliance and is an experienced consultant, leading successful English CPD for 20 years, and former primary Head Teacher. Ruth is the chair of the National Association of Advisers in English (NAAE) and as such works regularly with the country’s leading researchers and experts in the field of Primary English.
Ruth is an associate teacher for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) and an associate consultant with the National Literacy Trust. Ruth is a member of the United Kingdom Literacy Association Awards and Members Panel.
Ruth also regularly leads CPD on behalf of the Little Sutton English Hub as well as developing resources alongside the hub team.