Reading for Pleasure

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Curriculum Drivers

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Our vision for learning (Quoted from Teaching and Learning policy)

The vision for our school is to provide our children with the best possible start in life through the provision of a vibrant, engaging and relevant curriculum where children are challenged and inspired to excel. We strive to develop a community of life-long learners who are ready to succeed in the 21st century.


Reading for pleasure The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) said as recently as 2021 that ‘PISA data consistently shows that engagement in reading is strongly correlated with reading performance and is a mediator of gender or socio-economic status’.17 For example, when in 2000 the OECD analysed its data on the 15-year-olds who had taken part in that year’s assessment, the literacy scores for students who were ‘highly engaged in reading’ were significantly above the international average; those who were ‘poorly engaged’ scored below it. This was the case whatever their family’s occupational status. The OECD emphasised: ‘Reading practices can play an important role in reducing the gap between the reading proficiency scores of students from different socio-economic backgrounds’.18 But children cannot be ‘highly engaged’ if reading words is a struggle. It is vital, therefore, that phonics is a priority in teaching reading. In the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) assessment, the data for the UK showed that the year 5 pupils in the survey who liked reading the most scored, on average, 45 points more than those who said they did not like reading.19 Making sure that children become engaged with reading from the beginning is therefore one of the most important ways to make a difference to their life chances, whatever their socio-economic background. For this to happen, however, children need to learn to read as fluently as possible and be motivated to continue reading.

The reading framework Teaching the foundations of literacy January 2022


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What is Reading for Pleasure?

Reading can improve a child’s life chances in terms of their social and emotional development. The cognitive benefits show that reading in childhood results in progress in adulthood.

Developing a Reading for Pleasure culture is at the heart of our reading curriculum and a driver for building a pupil’s social and emotional character.

Peer groups who love reading help to build a reading community within the class and then across school- friends who read encourage others to read and enjoy it because they’ve been recommended high quality texts.

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The school’s curriculum will cover the aims of the National Curriculum, encouraging children to read for pleasure in and out of school. Children will learn to naturally ‘chat’ about what they are reading and make informed recommendations to their peers and teachers.


Activities to support children’s love of reading:

  • Teachers will read aloud to their class, either a class novel, picture books, poetry and non- fiction, modelling prosody and fluency.
  • Teachers to allow allotted time each day for children to read for pleasure.
  • The school library will be visited by each class, offering children the opportunity to choose their own books to read at home as well as in school.
  • Paired reading will take place once a week where two classes will pair up to share their books. Children will be encouraged by the teachers to chat about their book choice and to take turns to read aloud to their partner.
  • Teachers will choose high quality texts for their classrooms that:
  1. elicits a response- curiosity, anger, excitement, enjoyment…
  2. has a strong narrative structure
  3. extends vocabulary
  4. connects with something they know
  5. has intriguing illustrations (picture books)
  • Teachers to create a Reading for Pleasure ‘tab’ on their class page of the school website to share recommended books.
  • KS2 teachers to create a scrapbook of celebrated books. Teachers to model the first pages and share with their class. Children to borrow the scrapbook to create their own pages.

Activities to support teacher’s knowledge of children’s literature:

  • Have considerable knowledge of children’s literature and other texts by researching current award winning and shortlisted authors.
  • Have knowledge of children’s reading practices. What are their pupil’s interests in reading? How do they like to read? Where do they like to read? When do they like to read?
  • Have a Reading for Pleasure pedagogy, encompassing social reading environments, reading aloud to the class, informal book talk and recommendations, independent reading time.

To be Reading Teachers: teachers who read and readers who teach.

To develop reciprocal and independent reading communities. Teachers are to share recommended texts and with colleagues during CPD time.

Activities to develop Book Talk:

CPD time to share ideas offered by professors and Reading for Pleasure schools:

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                              • Book blankets                                                                                                       
                              • Book boxes/ treasured books
                              • Shadow Book awards
                              • Book blethers
                              • Poetry papering
                              • 24 hour reads
                              • Reading river
                              • Weekly book votes

Agreed principles set for Informal Book Talk:

  • This can be done during Reading Aloud sessions and Independent reading time.
  • This is planned for.
  • Focus on children’s emotional responses/ likes/ dislikes. Make sure children know it’s safe to say ‘I don’t like it because.’ It’s Okay to have personal opinions about texts.
  • Ask questions- What are you reading at the moment? What do you think about it?
  • Use opportunistic moments to ask questions- gaps between classes, lining up etc.
  • Hold a ‘Book Blether’ each week/ fortnight to share recommendations to the whole class.
  • 3 word book reviews/ 5 star ratings/ Top three read in the past month.
  • Consider having Reading Ambassadors in class to promote reading and sharing of high quality texts (someone who is already a frequent reader and loves books
  • Make it LIST Learner led, Informal, Social, Texts that tempt

                                          (Cremin, T., 2014)


Further development

Striking the right balance between pleasure and instruction is a challenge. There is an aspiration to sustain the fantastic start we have made into Reading for Pleasure at Wales Primary but there is also an understanding that it will take time and perseverance to create a culture change in reading across school

We will continue with our two aims of the project developed. Strategies that have been the most successful will be shared and classroom observations will take place to learn from the best practice. Some strategies will be retained and embedded across school where we see the greatest impact in the forthcoming year. The school may decide to change the Reading for Pleasure aims in a few years’ time depending on the data collected.


Enrichment activities

During the week the children at Wales Primary School have the opportunity to attend the school library. They each have a library card so they can borrow books on a weekly basis. Texts range from fiction, poetry and non-fiction to joke books, comics and magazines. Children are encouraged to make their own choices but share their interests and thoughts on particular books, authors and poets to help their peers make informed choices.  

Children have access to the ‘Reading shed’ on the playground at break times. They are able to practice their reading skills as well as develop their ‘Book Talk’, making recommendations to their peers and sharing their opinions about what they are reading with children from all ages.

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Throughout the school year children are given opportunities to develop reading for pleasure by entering whole school competitions. The last competition was ‘Story in a Jar’ where children were asked to create a story inside a jar linked to their reading. Winners of the competition each received a voucher to spend at the school travelling book fair the following week.

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Resources to support Reading for Pleasure

‘Reading can change your life, it can inform, motivate, inspire and elevate; but it must be reading you do for yourself, at your own pace, in your own way, and that has a bearing on your background, interests, values, beliefs and aspirations. Reading that is forced on you in a mechanistic way and formally assessed may have the reverse effect, the major purpose becoming pleasing the teacher and passing tests, and a preoccupation with form rather than substance.’

 (Wood, 2001)

This is a list of resources that teachers have been sign posted to to support their knowledge of children’s literature and ideas for classroom actrivities to support reading for pleasure:

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Reading for Pleasure at home

Want to continue READING FOR PLEASURE at home?

Have a look at some of these ideas:

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Build a reading Den  

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