Author Archives: Mrs Scott

Raising the Profile of Reading at School

Sometimes I feel that the pupils here at Braidhurst High School only associate the act of reading with the English department and the library, if not just the library.  And of course this flies in the face of one of ‘Curriculum for Excellence’s’ main tenets – literacy to be embedded across the curriculum.

Therefore, in an effort to ensure that pupils are literally “surrounded” by the idea of reading and books, I have asked all staff to recommend a children’s novel.

Once all recommendations are received posters will be made displaying their book of choice which will be displayed on their classroom door and used as a talking point at school assemblies and during class.

By doing this pupils will hopefully catch on the the fact that reading is everywhere, that everyone reads, not just their English teacher or librarian.  But rather from the Head Teacher all the way to the office staff and everyone in between – EVERYONE READS.

There will also be a ‘Book Treasure Hunt’ competition at Christmas to officially launch the initiative.

A possible extension of this would be to photograph each of the staff with a copy of their recommended book in different situations i.e.: doing their supermarket shop, at the park, on holiday etc and then making this into a school calendar.

But one step at a time!

Kirsten

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A World of Reading

Despite there being roughly 8,000 books to choose from in the school library here at Braidhurst High School, the most common phrase uttered by the classes that visit is: “I can’t find a book!”

At times, over the past four years, when hearing the above statement being uttered, I have guffawed, shrugged, frowned, been exasperated all whilst trying my best to find a book that a pupil will read and enjoy.  

However, whilst contemplating this great dichotomy during one of my rare quiet moments in the library I had a light bulb moment of clarity. “Yes, of course, it’s not that there is not enough choice, but rather too much choice.  And to complicate matters more pupils are practically clueless when it comes to identifying which types of books they like and which they don’t like.”  Ahhhhhhh.  A huge sigh of relief.  

But then I had a greater problem……what to do about it?  How could I help 30 pupils at a time choose a book that they would enjoy? Not only that, but how could I inform them of what choices lay on the shelves for them to discover?  And most importantly, how could I make this FUN?  Was there a solution………?

And so in 2010 the ‘World of Reading’ scheme was born.

At it’s heart the scheme is very simple – it’s an inter house reading competition for all S1 and S2 pupils.  Each week each house group in S1 and S2 visits the library for one period .  One of these periods is spent picking a book.  The next period is spent delivering pupils a ‘lesson’ on a particular genre – informing them of what exactly an……adventure, fantasy, horror…….story is and charging them to discuss and reflect on whether or not this genre is their cup of tea or not i.e.: introducing them to the ‘World of Reading’.  And so this should help them the next week when they visit the library to pick a book.

Not only do I endeavour to make the ‘lessons’ fun and interactive but each pupil also earns points for their house group with each book they read, therefore, encouraging them to get competitive.

Furthermore, to encourage them to read widely and to be open minded to new genres they are awarded more points when they borrow a new genre they have not tried before.  However, to ensure fairness they earn one point regardless of the genre.

The ‘World of Reading’ is not a recipe for perfect, whole sale success but it does give the pupils a framework to work through when picking a book to read plus it’s a way for pupils to gain house points which could make a difference, come June, to who wins the inter house shield and more importantly who wins the ‘World of Reading’ trophy, and by participating in the lessons they are becoming better informed, more confident readers.

Well, that’s the grand hope anyhow………

Kirsten

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