Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Our school reading environment

Reading for pleasure needs to be visibly promoted around the school and in the classroom and is a huge part of helping to create a reading culture. I've just had a (very objective) look around my classroom. It's not too bad, but the reading environment is definitely something I want to develop further.

On the outside of the classroom door there are this week's 'Book of the week', 'Reading Star of the week' and 'Mr Biddle is currently reading...' posters. There are also lists of previous books of the week and reading stars, as well as front covers from some of the chosen books.


In the classroom itself we have a featured author display (currently Paul Jennings- one of his short stories, The Busker, never fails to have the class in tears by the end).

Paul Jennings

There are also lots of book posters on display around the room. Our new 'Poetry Zone' display board is currently extremely popular. It contains a good mixture of the children's own poetry and poetry they have enjoyed reading. The poems are currently changed every week and more children are becoming involved in selecting the poems.

Poetry Zone

We also have the current 'Mystery Book' in a folder at the front of the classroom (see previous post). This still generates discussion regularly (every time the book is changed, the colour of the folder is also changed).

The books themselves are currently on shelves and bookcases in different areas of the room. The children have ownership of how they want them displayed and volunteer to come in at lunchtime to rearrange the books. They are often organised by genre, author, size, number of pages, even the colour of the front cover.

Due to the size of the classroom, our Reading Corner is practically non-existent. It currently consists of two chairs and a few cushions squashed at the back of the room. Thirty kids and fifteen tables doesn't make it easy to move things around, so really the whole room needs to be a giant Reading Corner.

The rest of the school

It's really heartening to see the profile of reading for pleasure rising across the school on an almost weekly basis. The school library is now a far more welcoming environment than it was a couple of years ago, far more comfortable and many more books.

The library

In the library we have several displays, including one about our Patron of Reading, John Dougherty, and one created by our book club.

 Some of our current library displays

In Year Six, where there is a lot more room, there is an absolutely fantastic Reading Corner. It contains book recommendations from the children and some posters of members of the book club with 'motivational' reading slogans (Readers Are Leaders is my own personal favourite).

 Year Six Reading Corner

Along the corridors there other displays dotted about which are dedicated to reading and authors. Overall, I think we can be proud of the progress that has been made across the school. It would be interesting to hear how other schools and teachers have developed their reading environment.

Enid Blyton

Philip Ardagh

Kes Gray
We love reading

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