Developing the Reading Environment
'Understanding the role the physical environment can play in helping children to become lifelong readers.'
This strategy includes developing libraries, book areas, and displays about books and reading so they appeal to children of all ages and abilities, and to both boys and girls.
As well as being attractive, at outstanding reading schools, these areas are welcoming, working spaces, where children, staff and parents visit to read, choose and talk about books. Reading spaces around the school are utilised as well as they can be, including outside spaces to encourage reading.
This all starts in the EYFS with role-play areas giving children the opportunity for imaginative play in the world of the books they’ve read.
It then extends right through the school, with classrooms and communal areas that celebrate reading.
A bit of Inspiration:
One School's Story- Peel Park Primary School, Lancashire
Peel Park is a large primary school in Accrington, Lancashire. The school uses every spare inch to encourage reading. Inside every classroom there is an inviting themed reading corner, and the theme changes every month. In the hall, there are ‘wandering book boxes’, where children can put a favourite book from home when they have finished it, and choose another. Outside in the playground, there’s a ‘reading chair’ and a shelter where pupils take books at break and lunchtimes all year round. There’s also what the school calls ‘The Willow Classroom’, a dome of living willow branches, where a whole class can sit and read together. “In the summer, it’s like a beautiful green igloo,” says Deputy Head Alison Padgett
One School's Story- Dunkirk Primary School, Nottingham
Dunkirk Primary School is an urban primary in the centre of Nottingham with a high proportion of pupils in receipt of the pupil premium and high EAL. The school also has a highly mobile population.The geography of the local area means that pupils’ access to books is a key issue. The school pays for library bus visits, but also focuses on making its own library appealing and extensive.
When the school needed to move their library into a new space, Literacy Coordinator Alice Elsmore nominated the Year 3 class to undertake this job. They became experts in library systems, learnt the Dewey Decimal System, re-organised and re-labelled the books and then explained the new set-up to the other classes in school.