At Godmanchester Community Academy, we adamantly believe that being literate changes your life. Furthermore, if you are a literate child who reads for pleasure then this has more impact on your future life chances than any other factor.
We do not just recommend reading for pleasure, we have worked hard to create a reading culture which immerses all of our pupils in literature that they can’t help but enjoy.
Central to this culture are the core texts embedded within our curriculum. These high quality books help our pupils to engage with their learning and experiences at a deeper level by opening their minds to different characters, cultures and periods of history.
In addition to our core texts are our class reads. These books engage and inspire our pupils. They offer our pupils the opportunity to see themselves represented and importantly, they provide our pupils with a window into the lives and experiences of others. They are read to and by our pupils on a daily basis and allow all of our pupils to experience and enjoy stories they might not otherwise meet. Dedicated time is set aside for sharing class reads in every year group. We believe that by reading well-chosen books aloud, teachers help their classes to become communities of readers. Individuals who can share in experiences of a wide repertoire of books they enjoy.
Books and information about books are displayed attractively throughout our school so that whether a pupil be browsing, choosing or reading a book they feel well guided in their text selection and enthused by the future reads available to them.
To inspire reading in our pupils, we also:
- Invest heavily in reading resources that children want to read and re-read including books, poetry and comics.
- Have members of staff who are excellent reading role models. They lead by example, creating an environment that promotes reading as a socially engaging activity that is highly valued.
- Utilise our older pupils as reading role models to our youngest learners by having regular reading together slots.
- Promote books that we believe our pupils and their families will enjoy.
- Make use of displays, competitions and incentives including the ‘millionaires club’.
- Welcome reading volunteers to provide children with more opportunities to share a book with an adult.
- Encourage parents and carers to spend time reading with their child.
On days such as World Book Day we set aside the timetable and really celebrate books. We encourage our pupils and staff to dress up as their favourite characters. We share our favourite books and introduce our peers to our favourite authors. Most importantly, we spend time reading and discussing books with no interruptions!
Such events give our pupils a real reason for understanding characters, expressing preferences, talking about books they have enjoyed and hearing about books from their peers.
Our reading culture enables all of our pupils to see the power of a shared love of reading.