Tag Archives: Teaching

Bookchat at Warden Park Primary

I had a fantastic visit to Warden Park Primary to run bookchat workshops with Year 5 & 6. The children were brilliant and enjoyed sharing their thoughts about reading, as well as participating in the various activities. The aim was to share the joy of reading and enable them to discover the magic of books, with guidance on how to go about choosing the right book, using their own interests as a guide. We looked at the concept of genre and played genre based games, which they loved.  They also loved the travelling bookcase and the fantastic books it contained!

It’s such a joy to talk about books with children and see their excitement and appreciation. Bookchat is such a great opportunity to develop reading skills and empower children to become more confident in their reading choices.   I’m delighted to say the feedback was great; thank you Warden Park Primary!

“The children loved the workshops, they are now so much more motivated to read and explore books – children that used to say that they didn’t like reading are now asking to go to the library so that is great! Also, when I ask them to find book to do some quiet reading I am now met with smiling faces! The activities that you led were engaging and really encouraged the children to think about reading and what it means to them without being too intense! The workshops had an extremely positive impact.”

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Bookchat at Waterstones, Haywards Heath.

When the Manager of Waterstones in Haywards Heath got in touch to ask if I’d like to get involved with a primary school visit to the shop, I jumped at the opportunity.

Lindfield Primary School brought a group of children ranging from Reception to Year 5, to find out about their local bookshop and choose a book for themselves. After an insightful talk about the bookshop from James, one of the fantastic booksellers, I set about delivering a bookchat workshop.  Being in a bookshop was a little different to the usual classroom setting, but was definitely a very appropriate place to be chatting about books! I was able to encourage the children in choosing the right book for themselves, giving them hints & tips along the way.  Being able to share my love of reading, as well as some favourite children’s books was a thoroughly enjoyable task!

The children were brilliant and clearly very excited to have the opportunity to buy a brand new book. It was great to see them put the ideas they came up with during the bookchat straight into action and choose their books.  With so much wonderful choice, there was lots of animated discussion! Finally, decisions made and with the school bus beckoning, there were 25 very happy souls who went back to their classrooms, each clutching a brand new book!

I’m very grateful to Waterstones for inviting me to participate and to the children & teachers from Lindfield Primary for their wonderful response. Thank you!

It’s not about the money. It’s about reading.

“But have you actually made any money yet?” someone said to me. 

It’s a question that certainly makes me think about my motivation for what I’m trying to do. And I know that it’s not about the money. So what is my motivation?

I’ve never been a money-oriented person. Yes of course it’s very useful, and the bills need paying, but money has never been my goal for doing anything – I surely wouldn’t have been a school librarian if it was!  My motivation is simple: I want to share my passion for reading with as many children as possible. The idea started with bookchat. When I was working in schools, I noticed lots of children who wanted to read, but didn’t know how. Not ‘how’ as in the mechanics of reading, but ‘how’ as in, how to choose a book. Have you ever seen very young children play football for the first time? They’re like bees round a honey pot; they all follow the ball not knowing what to do. It was like that in the library; a child would pull a book of the shelf and a whole group of children would follow that child holding the book, nervously laughing and not knowing what to do or where to look.  They simply didn’t know how to choose books and were so uncomfortable with them, it was somewhat heartbreaking.  It became absolutely clear: we need to teach our children how to choose a book.

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Raising Literacy Standards, Policy UK 2016

Raising Literacy Standards, Policy UK Event, London 08/03/2016

Organised by Policy UK (www.policy-uk.com), whose remit is to bring together government representatives, organisations, charities and businesses to discuss policy reform, this event was a fantastic opportunity to hear the views of those working for key reading and literacy organisations.

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