Scott’s passion is English and reading. He was recently made English Lead and wanted to promote a love for reading in his school. He discusses things he’s experienced already including World Book Day preparation and the effect Covid has had on promoting reading.
Since taking over the English lead role at my school, I have been given free reign to push reading as a pillar of the learning experience.
This free-reign has not come without its challenges, namely COVID and the consequential lockdowns, but the passion to ensure each child within the school sees reading as something to enjoy, relish and independently access, has driven my approach.
World Book Day should not be a stand-alone event that is a bells and whistles grandstanding venture, but instead, it should be a knot in the thread that secures all the approaches across the school and begins a yearly evolution. This year’s event will be my first in school as English lead, and we have a subtle but effective day planned, where teachers will carefully choose a text or extract to read to a different class than their own. Although the Masked Reader idea is tempting, I don’t buy into the fad and would prefer that the children see the joy emitting from the faces of their guest reader as they paint the tapestry of the words within.
Building into this, the focus will be to construct a strong canon of literature across the school which will also evolve year upon year. A focus derived from the studies of Doug Lemov, Colleen Driggs and Erica Woolway in their insightful book, Reading Reconsidered. One of the most powerful passages in this book is the story of an American inner-city school, where the children scored above-expected grades in reading for their demographic thanks to a strong headteacher who pushed literature beyond the pupils’ lived experience, opening up new worlds and removing elitism. In our school, where deprivation is high, why would we not follow this same example?
The next year is exciting and I cannot wait to share the results in a future blog. However, it’s not always about grades or data; it’s about the blossoming love of reading and the environment that nourishes it.