Page Turners – Developing children as readers at Maidwell Primary in Northamptonshire
As we all know, there is a direct correlation between the amount a child reads, their attainment in reading and the quality of their writing. For quite a number of years we have been talking to the children about how and why the most avid readers make the most creative writers. Whilst the message has been received by a few, we felt we needed to change the mindset of all. Having introduced Pie’s suggested spine books as class novels a number of years ago we witnessed an increase in the interest of the authors of the books read, eg: SF Said, but this needed to go further. Current attainment at Maidwell shows a direct correlation between high attainment in reading being matched exactly to high attainment in writing and GPS.
Knowing this to be the case, and having spotted Pie’s Y3-6 ‘Page Turner’ sets of books, an idea began to take shape. It wasn’t rocket science: if we already had hard data to demonstrate high attainment in reading = high attainment in writing, the only challenge was to develop the children’s reading habits and establish a true reading culture in the school.
Our first step was to introduce the books:
The outcome of this was:
The children were given their choice of Page Turner and the outcome was:
Next we wanted to increase the discussion of reading and the sharing of ideas. To do this a model book review was written by the teacher on a book known by all – a Y5 spine book entitled Varjak Paw by SF Said:
The children then co-constructed a boxed-up plan for a book review by analysing the model text.
On completion of a Page Turner, the children were encouraged to complete their own book review using the boxed up plan.
The comments from the children have been overwhelmingly positive:
The principle or reading being the key which unlocks all learning has had a profound impact on the culture of our school. If children’s attitude to reading undergoes a significant change it is bound to have a significant impact on all areas of learning. It is quite simple – the more children read, the better their comprehension, vocabulary development, sentence structure, spelling, grammatical understanding etc etc …
Developing the school as a reading environment
The introduction of Page Turners has been the beginning of an exciting journey. Staff and children reading the books and sharing book reviews has changed the ethos of the school already and we feel there is more we can do. Some of these actions have already been undertaken, others will be the focus during the rest of the Summer Term. They will include:
• Development of Page Turners for Year 1 and 2 after consultation with staff, parents and children
• The creation of reading zones both in the inside and outside of the school
• Creation of Page Turner libraries by adding titles – many by original page turner authors
• Creation of age appropriate blogs:
Class 3 link: https://maidwellprimary.wordpress.com
Class 1 link: https://padlet.com/MrsGarley/b01pkoaxnar3
• Opportunities to read in the school week – 10 minutes before the start of every school day; lunchtime reading clubs; ‘golden’ reading time as a reward
• Displays around the school dedicated to reading
• Regular communication of developments with parents in order to encourage their full participation – the ultimate aim to have parents reading, reviewing and discussing the books with their children
Maidwell Primary School, Northamptonshire