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 by taking our time and resources to create well-made, well-written and well-designed reading records, our children are more likely to value them/ look after them/ want to use them/ make good use of them. Similarly with the parents – if we show the parents clearly how much we value their children’s reading, if we give them well-written, clear hints and tips on reading with their child and let them know just how important it is to read with their children, maybe some of them will start valuing their children’s reading too. And hopefully, in seeing how much we value reading by the quality of the new records, they will value their own reading too.
This morning, I looked at the tatty paper copies they have at the moment as we come to the end of the year – yes, they do the job, but they don’t scream out thatreading mattersor that we’ve put time and care into producing beautiful as well as functional home/school records. The easy option would have been to buy new ones off the shelf – after all there are plenty of companies out there who sell reading records. But after looking at a huge range of these, it seemed none of them did quite the job we wanted them to do. So we decided to go it alone, design our own reading records (or rather, write the content ourselves and work with a rather excellent young designer to create.
As it is, we’ve got fantastic new record booklets for the new school year, differentiated across the school based on what we know about children’s reading at different ages. These booklets contain advice for children and their parents on how to improve their reading (one of the main reasons for differentiating the booklets was the advice we give to a Reception child’s parents should be hugely different to that we give to children in Year 6. We’ve scoured all our networks for the best advice to give to our parents in each booklet, included reading certificates, reading walls and pages for children to record new words as they read them.
These reading records aren’t really about reading records. They are about valuing reading and giving children a record of their reading they can be proud of and perhaps even want to keep.
Currently reading: The house with the mezzanine, by Chekhov.
Currently listening to: Fink