Reading for Pleasure
A School that Loves Reading
Reading is the gateway to your future!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Dr Seuss
At GEMS, reading is an expectation because it is a fundamental life skill; it paves the way to success.
How we encourage reading for pleasure and a passion for reading
We encourage reading for pleasure and help children to foster a passion for reading using various approaches.
Our fabulous school library is well stocked with a vast collection of fiction and non-fiction books. We provide a range of genres and texts; pupils have the exceptional opportunity to experience a range of themes and issues in order to broaden their world.
The library is run by our Reading Champion, Miss McFall. Assisting Miss McFall are our Library Helpers, who are fantastic reading role-models! Our year 8 Library Helpers are keen readers and, alongside Miss McFall, help with the general running of the library, recommendations and finding ‘next books’.
Cherished by the children (and staff!), the library is always in use – whether for library lessons or during social times. The books on our shelves are certainly never dusty! Supporting the well-being of children at GEMS, the library is a peaceful, comfortable and safe space for all to learn and grow.
Children attend regular library lessons to become independent users of the library and enjoy quiet reading time.
KS2 visit the library for library lessons weekly and KS3 visit fortnightly. During library lessons, children browse our diverse range of books, receive recommendations from friends, teachers, support staff and the Reading Champion. Children have quiet reading time, where they delve into the pages of their selected books. We love to share our chosen books during this time; pupils read with a staff member or partake in paired reading with a peer.
Paired reading is a research-based strategy that we are using during library sessions: in pairs, pupils take turns to read aloud to each other while staff move around the room and listen in to the pupils reading. Paired reading helps children to build confidence when reading out loud with intonation.
Library lessons are a valuable time to discover new titles, share and unwind. Library lessons are instrumental in reminding our pupils that reading is not just a classroom activity; there is a space just for them to discover personal preferences and exercise choice. As they learn to navigate the library with support from staff and peers, children become independent users of the space.
Time to Read
Reading is an Expectation
As part of the reading expectation at GEMS, we encourage pupils to read as frequently as possible! Reading frequency has a huge impact on enjoyment, language and literacy skills, concentration and therefore educational success. Our reading expectation helps children to develop and maintain the healthy habit of regular reading which will consequently help them to achieve academically and become a life-long reader!
Children are expected to read 15 minutes a day, four times a week. Children can read anything from novels, non-fiction books, graphic novels, newspapers and magazines; as long as they are reading! Parents and carers are crucial to children developing a love of reading. If reading is valued at home, children are more likely to seek enjoyment from books. As it is important for parents and carers to be involved, we ask them to communicate their child’s reading frequency with teachers by signing planners.
The reading expectation is made accessible to everyone; SEND children who have difficulty focussing for 15 minutes can read for a shorter amount of time to achieve a star.
Through the reading expectation, children at GEMS are building healthy reading habits supported by staff in school and parents or carers at home. They enjoy using library and registration time to catch up on their reading. Last year, every child at GEMS completed the reading expectation and were able to enjoy a reward as a reading community!
Form Class Reading
It is well known that hearing stories read aloud has an enormous impact on academic success. Form class reading at GEMS provides children with the opportunity to listen to their form teacher read a book, article, play or poem to the class.
Chosen by children or recommended by our Reading Champion, many form class texts often promote and build empathy.
Form class reading promotes positive attitudes towards reading, stimulates thought-provoking discussions, demonstrates expression and pace, develops empathy and enriches an understanding of a range of social and cultural issues. During this calm start to the day, children share the experience of reading for pleasure together with a teacher who models a love of reading!
Everyone can thrive
At GEMS, we use diagnostic assessments to present a clear and detailed picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual reader. GL Reading and Spelling assessments are taken by children every term. Using this data, pupils are selected to attend tailored booster groups to challenge and further enhance their reading ability.
A Reading Community
At GEMS, we recognise the importance of community and talking about the books we are reading. We expect conversations about books to be standard in our daily lives! Conversations around reading help us to develop comprehension, language and communication skills.
To create a community around reading, we celebrate World Book Week, National Poetry Day, and National Story-telling Week, hold regular book fairs, host author visits, attend webinars and online workshops and much more! This year we are taking part in the Spark! Book Awards to allow children to be the judges of what makes an award winning book.
Furthermore, it is important our children understand that reading does not just ‘stop’ when you leave school! Staff are readers too and love to communicate to children what they are reading for pleasure! ‘Currently Reading’ posters are visible around school and are updated every time a member of staff starts a new book.
Our reading community at GEMS strengthens reading for pleasure; children are exposed to positive attitudes, conversations and behaviours around reading.
At GEMS we have a range of reading clubs to further encourage communication around reading.
Cosy Club is led by Miss McFall. Cosy Club is a quiet and relaxing shared reading experience which nurtures a love of reading, inspires book talk and encourages the use of the library. Together, children celebrate a mutual interest and adopt and maintain healthy reading for pleasure habits.
ScrapBOOKing Club is led by Miss McFall to improve communication and reading comprehension. A love of reading is enriched through creativity. Children scrapbook about plot, character intentions, predictions, quotes that stand out to them and much more! ScrapBOOKing club stimulates critical thinking; it helps children to interpret and analyse the book in their own creative way.
Book Club is led by Mrs Leahy. This club offers children the chance to explore plot, characters, theme, writer’s craft and issues raised. For each session the children read a section of the novel that has been chosen and we discuss a series of questions that have been previously emailed out to them. Book Club promotes a love of reading which will be fostered and fed. Children are able to form and express an opinion and share their thoughts and ideas. Issues and situations can also be explored and so children can meet things through fiction before in life.
At GEMS, it is clear that everyone is a reader!
Click below for our Summer Reading update
Click below for our Spring Reading update
Click below for our Autumn reading updates
We Love our Library!
Why we love our library
“It’s a nice quiet place to relax.” Ayesha 5ER
“I like the library because it makes me feel really calm and relaxed. It makes me feel like I have the option of reading so many books.” Pearl 5CF
“It’s fun looking for ‘Where's Wally’ on the wall. It’s generally good all round.” Harry 5SC
“I think people should visit the library because it is a nice calm place just to come and sit down and read.” Hollie F 8KS Reading Champion Library helper
“People should visit the library as it is quiet and calm.” Olivia 8MB Reading Champion Library helper
Book of the Week
Every week, a book is shared for each year group! The books are displayed and discussed during registration and assembly.
* Book of the week is posted on Twitter page, @GosEastMiddle *
Staff love reading too!
Have you spotted our currently reading posters around school?
See how many you can spot!
Book Recommendations from ‘A New Chapter Books’
Follow our Twitter page for weekly updates about our wonderful reading for pleasure community! Look for the hashtag #GEMSreads