One highlight of our recent Languages Week was the buzz surrounding the book fair. Our students were excited to visit the stalls and many purchases were made. So why did this please so many staff? In the words of Clark and Rumbold, “reading for pleasure serves both educational purposes as well as personal development.” The importance of reading is something we therefore cannot stress enough as a school.
The correlation between a student who reads for pleasure and their academic success has been proven in many studies. It is argued that students who are more literate can access the curriculum with ease, in comparison to those who struggle, having more opportunity to succeed academically. There are many ways we promote reading and celebrate our students’ reading accomplishments at Fry campus: the Repton Readers Cup; regular Accelerated Reader quizzes; certificates and book vouchers for our AR ‘Word Millionaires;’ Book Club ECA’s; and of course, through the novels, poems, plays, and non-fiction texts featured on our English curriculum and in other subjects.
The atrium at Fry campus features the slogan: “today a reader, tomorrow a leader” and every time our students walk under this, it should inspire them to read. As we promote reading for pleasure within school, you may wonder how you can encourage your child to read for pleasure outside of school – here are some top tips:
- Create a family book club – select a novel and read it at the same time. You can then discuss characters, plot, themes, and new words together. Discussion is key to the development of comprehension skills.
- Visit Abu Dhabi’s Children Library, where your child can “enter a world of imagination…explore books and engage in library activities that encourage your child’s creativity.” Entry is free, so why not try it?
- Set a challenge for your child to reach their ‘Word Millionaire’ milestone through Accelerated Reader. Ask them about their progress toward reaching this goal.
- If your child is not a fan of novels, instead encourage them to read a range of non-fiction texts, such as newspapers, magazines (e.g., National Geographic) and autobiographies. These would also enrich their global perspective, not just their vocabulary.
- Set a reading routine and ask questions. Schedule a daily 20-minute reading slot, where the household drops everything to read. This should then be followed by questions and discussion e.g., “what happened in your chapter?” “what do you think about the character’s reaction?’’ “what do you think might happen next?” Acting as a reading role model might inspire your child to read more. It is also a wonderful way to reduce their screen time and help them relax.
- Need recommendations? Visit the ‘School Reading List’ website, where books are recommended based on Key Stage, academic year group and age: The School Reading List website