Launching a new school library against a backdrop of funding cuts

By |2011-12-15T11:36:00+00:00December 15th, 2011|Reading|

I read in my latest update from the National Literacy Trust about the Shout About campaign, which aims to raise the profile of school libraries and stop the pattern of school library closures. Coincidentally, the launch of this campaign came in the same week we launched our brand new school library at Priory (does this mean [...]

Writing for the real world

By |2011-09-30T20:08:45+00:00September 30th, 2011|Blogging|

Having returned to teaching after six years out in the 'real world' (as one school governor, who shall remain nameless, is wont to say) I was determined to bring a bit of the real world back into my teaching when I took the role as English Leader at a large primary just outside Slough.   [...]

The library (or no turning back now…)

By |2011-09-30T19:16:00+00:00September 30th, 2011|Reading|

So the builders moved in this week and ripped out all the old shelves so it seems the new school library is actually going to happen. This coincided with a visit from the marvellous Marylin Brocklehurst from the Norfolk Children's Book Centre, who has agreed to supply us with our new fiction collection after completely [...]

Kidnap in the Caribbean – Lauren St John

By |2011-08-23T16:25:00+00:00August 23rd, 2011|Book reviews|

The best children’s fiction (and similarly the best adult fiction, incidentally) often echoes the concerns of the age in which it is written. And children currently at primary school will be, without doubt, faced with the fallout of their parents’ generation’s increasingly conscious pillage of the natural world and with the challenges of a highly [...]

The children’s books that make our parents and teachers tick

By |2011-07-20T14:52:00+00:00July 20th, 2011|Reading|

Regular readers will know a while back I asked our children's parents and  teachers to donate a copy of their favourite childhood book to the school library. The idea wasn't to generate a source of free books for the library  so much as to get reading conversations going in and out of school, get  parents  [...]

You can’t make someone read…

By |2011-07-20T11:35:00+00:00July 20th, 2011|Reading|

So starts Daniel Pennac’s The Rights of the Reader, and so said - in the same words - the site manager at my school to me this morning. I was bugging him for some new shelves in my office to support the stacks on stacks of books building up in my somewhat (ahem) bijou office [...]

Restarting the heart of school reading

By |2011-07-15T10:15:00+00:00July 15th, 2011|Reading|

At the centre of our sprawling, labyrinthine school lies the Key Stage 2 library. It's central position means every child in Key Stage 2 passes it every day several times. However, while it's at the heart of the school in literal terms, it's not currently at the heart of the school ideologically and as you [...]

More reading histories (and making reading histories)

By |2011-07-02T21:44:00+00:00July 2nd, 2011|Reading|

So it seems once you start hearing people's reading autobiographies the trend spreads outwards until suddenly you're hearing them all over the place.   On Friday I was at a reading conference at The Guardian where Andy Stanton, author of the Mr Gum stories, talked about his reading history, from an early obsession with Mr [...]

A small experiment in book talk

By |2011-06-28T17:55:00+00:00June 28th, 2011|Reading|

I have a theory that everyone can remember at least one book that was special to them as a child, whether it's a one their parents read to them, stories they read at school or ones they shared with friends. And since starting my new role I've been posing that as a question a lot, [...]