DEAR (drop everything and… recommend)

By |August 12th, 2013|

Of the secondary schools I’ve visited over the past few months, many have been talking about the (re)introduction of regular DEAR (drop everything and read) sessions with their students as part of developing their approaches to encouraging reading for pleasure. It’s certainly nothing new (it’s gone under a range of different acronyms over the years […]

The useful book review…

By |July 8th, 2013|

I remember being coerced into writing countless book reviews when I was in primary school; having to fill out the date, title, author, publisher, date published, a synopsis, my thoughts (and even worse, feelings) on the story, and some words I thought best described the book.
And I hated doing it (I loved reading, but hated […]

A reminder of why we do what we do.

By |June 8th, 2013|

Because getting the right book into the right child’s hands at the right time can be truly transformational.

Why does World Book Day matter?

By |March 7th, 2013|

Because collective action works – from within a school, it’s difficult to get a picture of what’s going on across the country on World Book Day, but even within the school walls, the message sent out by teachers, TAs, children and admin staff coming together to say books are important, is a hugely powerful one. […]

Like father like daughter

By |February 6th, 2013|

We pick up our reading habits from the behaviours of those around us – I’m always telling teachers this. So When I saw these snaps of my daughter from this afternoon, I laughed out loud. I’m not sure when she’s seen us reading like this, but curled into the corner of the sofa with my […]

Reading records (or showing we care…)

By |July 12th, 2012|

This year we’ve overhauled our home/school reading records across the school. So what? The children are only going to lose them/ damage them/ deface them/ never use them (I’ve heard all of these sentiments from various people in the process of developing these booklets). Well, the so what is value.

I’m convinced if we demonstrate value […]

Reading for pleasure – measuring the impact

By |July 10th, 2012|

Okay, it’s the end of the school year and time to put my money where my mouth is… A year ago, we started taking reading for pleasure seriously – we built a new library, overhauled the number and quality of books across the school and launched a range of initiatives to get children and staff […]

The reading garden in action (the shady one is children reading in the tipi)

By |June 25th, 2012|

Ten things I’ve learned about setting up a school library (in no particular order)

By |June 25th, 2012|

1. Involve parents, staff and children right from the start
There will be teachers (especially ones who may have been in the school for some considerable time) who say “there’s no point in giving these children books this beautiful, they’ll just ruin them/ lose them/ steal them/ damage them/ deface them”, those who say some children […]

Why it’s worth putting a lot of effort into building new libraries

By |May 17th, 2012|

Every now and then something happens to remind you why you push and push for better access to children’s book in schools. A few minutes ago a boy – one of the most troubled (and troublesome) I’ve met for a long time – turned up at my office door clutching one of our new library […]