At Tabor this term we are encouraging all of our students to read for pleasure. On a Thursday afternoon, all students are required to read for 15 minutes silently and we’d love for all of our students to get in to the habit of reading regularly. We would like to think that this ethos of reading for pleasure does continue when students leave school, however, some students need a bit of encouragement and support when it comes to reading. Each week, in this segment, we will be giving parents top tips, useful websites and a quote of the week for each key stage to help you encourage your child to read for joy.
Why should we read?
Children are individuals who necessarily progress, develop and grow in a myriad of ways. As they do, and whether consciously or otherwise, the wide-ranging life skills children gain from books of all types can never be underestimated. While reading independently, sharing a book or listening to someone read to them, children can:
- be transported to other places
- begin to form opinions (and gain an understanding of others’ opinions)
- develop a sense of humour
- become acquainted with people and characters (personified animals who talk and behave
- like humans) and their emotions
- develop empathy
- ‘visit’ parts of the world (and other worlds!) they had no idea existed
- develop their imagination
- learn facts
- make links between their own and others’ lives
- become discerning readers, make informed choices
Top tips for reading with your child
- Read yourself! It doesn’t matter what it is – pick up a newspaper or magazine, take a look at a cookery book, read a computer manual, enjoy some poetry or dive into a romance or detective novel. And get your children to join in – if you’re cooking, could they read the recipe? If you’re watching TV, can they read out the listings?
- Give books as presents. And encourage your children and their friends to swap books with each other – it’ll give them a chance to read new stories, and get them all talking about what they’re reading.
- Visit the local library together. It’s always fun choosing new books to read, and keep an eye out for special author events at the library or local bookshops – children love meeting their favourite authors. Jacqueline Wilson and Anthony Horowitz always have signing queues that are miles long!
- Create a reading area at home. A cosy reading corner could be somewhere with bean bags, fun accessories, a variety of books or just somewhere they like to sit in the house.
- Encourage children to carry a book at all times. That way, they’ll never be bored (this is something you can do, too!)
- Have a family bookshelf. If you can, have bookshelves in your children’s bedrooms, too.
- Keep reading together. Just because your children are older, it doesn’t mean you have to stop sharing stories – perhaps you could try the Harry Potter series or A Series of Unfortunate Events.
- Don’t panic if your child reads the same book over and over again. Let’s be honest – we’ve all done it!
KS3 Extract of the Week
This weeks extract is from Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman – Part of the Loxford Express reading scheme. Your child can get a copy of this book from Tabor’s library.
Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening Hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. The three great tables that ran the length of the Hall were laid already, the silver and the glass catching what little light there was, and the long benches were pulled out ready for the guests. Portraits of former Masters hung high up in the gloom along the walls. Lyra reached the dais and looked back at the open kitchen door and, seeing no one, stepped up beside the high table. The places here were laid with gold, not silver, and the fourteen seats were not oak benches but mahogany chairs with velvet cushions. Lyra stopped beside the Master’s chair and flicked the biggest glass gently with a fingernail. The sound rang clearly through the Hall. “You’re not taking this seriously,’’ whispered her dæmon. “Behave yourself.’’
KS4 Extract of the Week
This weeks KS4 extract is another from our Loxford Express reading scheme. It is from George Owell’s 1984, a controversial dystopic novel that should encourage discussion.
“In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen. The little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish. Even O’Brien’s heavy face was flushed. He was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a wave. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out ‘Swine! Swine! Swine!’ and suddenly she picked up a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the screen. It struck Goldstein’s nose and bounced off; the voice continued inexorably. In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair. The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”
KS5 Extract of the Week
This weeks Extract for KS5 is a poem is Not Waving, But Drowning by Stevie Smith.
Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.