I guess when we had the library built we were getting a much larger space
So its almost in two sections, we’ve got the collection in one place and then a big space where we had this vision where of a place where the children just to relax and and enjoy books to read together or by themselves. So we’ve got a selection of seating, cushions and it opens out to a lovely deck so in summer it creates a nice space at lunchtimes and after school for children to come and relax and enjoy books.
Sure, I think first and foremost we looked at the library as being an integral part of the reading programme, rather than just a separate stand alone place where you go just to change books and so forth. The way that I do it is first of all its setting those expectations up early in the year about the purpose of reading in all its forms and what happens at that time.
On the first day I brought in all the reading I’d had in the holidays and just had a pile just sitting next to me and just said, “this is what I read in the holidays” and then, the kids were just really excited about the fact that that amount of reading can be done and so forth and I’ve had boys from there, took those books away and went and sat there and read about Tana Umanga and so forth. And then secondly, I guess the other main area the teacher reading time which I think is hugely important throughout the age range. I mean, every opportunity you get to say to the children in the class about the enjoyment of reading and modelling that and showing it to the children. Some days we’ll be reading the newspaper, some days it may be reading a magazine or something within class, like the Guinness book of world records, Ripley’s, graphic novels. So you can read a variety of them but always also ensuring that you’re reading a book that, a novel or something that’s important to shift their mind into reading books that are more substantial, in terms of having to read over a number of days and weeks.
I talked to… We’ve got a really good relationship with our local library up at Cannon’s Creek, and Bea the librarian there, I talk with her and she gives me lots of tips on very popular series or books that I might not have known about and so we go with that as well.
…And when I began working here, I thought a really good way to build a customer base would be to ring my old friend and say – “ why don’t you bring a class up? And we started doing that just for Lisa and I and its sort of spread right through the junior and middle syndicates, so that now I think we have nine classes that come up and do the kind of thing that’s going on in the background at the moment, a fortnight.
Well, I guess one of the main things is that the children are aware that its here and that come in and that they get involved as well in the holiday programmes that Bee sets up.
They come and do homework, quite large groups of them now. Some of them bring their parents in and use the resources that are here to work interactively with their parents as well, which is wonderful.
The inquiry for one of the areas of the school at the moment is around spiders, so we’ve got a huge display with some spiders around and links within our intranet with links to places on the internet that they can find information around spiders as well. We use the national library, so we use national library books to boost our collection because obviously as you know it’s very difficult to have enough books on a particular topic when there’s four or five classes studying that.
Roald Dahl. We had a focus on Roald Dahl and we had a lot of teachers were reading Roald Dahl when they were going into the library. We had a lot of Roald Dahl books out. We made links again, to websites and information and there are groups of children that gathered information about Roald Dahl and a bit of history around Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and classes voted for their favourite Roald Dahl book. So they had Roald Dahl work at their local library, Roald Dahl work in our library, Roald Dahl work in the classrooms. Then it ended up in this huge assembly, where Bea and Donny from the library came and joined us as well and it was all around Roald Dahl’s stories.
And we’ve done that before with Hairy McLairy when it was his birthday, and that was nice because Lynley Dodd visited the local shopping mall, a book shop there and we took a lot of the work down for her and we made a big cake, not a real cake, but a big cake and the candles were lists of the favourite stories /books that the children had. That was nice because then she wrote to the school through the classes and thanked them and talked about it. We’ve got in pride of place the letter from Lynley Dodd.
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