Part of the school’s Get into Reading project for 2021-22
All Key Stage 3 classes, their teachers and support staff celebrated the joy of reading by participating in the school’s first Pick up a Book day on Thursday 21st October. Members of the administrative and care- taking staff also participated.
Everyone read in silence for 15 minutes at the start of each of their five lessons as well as during form time. From Music to Maths, Science to Spanish, Drama to Design, PE to Catering, silence fell across the school site as the page turning began. This added up to an impressive 90 minutes of reading and saw more than 200 pupils exchange the book they had been able to finish for a fresh title from the school’s library.
Over the past 24 months many children have lost the habit of reading for pleasure and, on returning to full time ‘normal’ school, have found it a challenge to engage with this very worthwhile and enjoyable hobby.
Mrs Amanda Edwards, (whole school literacy coordinator) felt that some positive action was needed to redress the balance and so Pick up a Book day was born. There are plans for this to be a regular feature of the school calendar and Mrs Edwards hopes that seeing adults reading for pleasure will encourage engagement with reading and discussion about books. It is important that reading is not solely associated with morning form time, Cymraeg and English lessons which customarily begin with silent reading whenever possible.
Staff commented on how lovely it was to have a calm start to the lessons and also how diverse the pupils’ reading books are: something to suit everyone is available in the library. Pupils said they had really enjoyed having the time to ‘get into’ a plot and follow the characters more readily than they could with only sporadic reading time. Many commented on how relaxing the experience was.
It takes time to change habits but the school hopes that this small measure will encourage more children to read in the evenings and at weekends and, you never know, they may even encourage their parents!