We all know the importance of reading but in our hectic and busy lives many people do not read for pleasure. There are many reasons for this. Some may believe that reading takes too much time or effort. Others may never have enjoyed reading at school and can't imagine doing it for fun. Some may simply never have encountered an environment that fostered a love of reading.
Our children are so lucky to have an environment where reading is well resourced, valued, modelled and shared; both at home and at school. At Gateway, we have a dedicated library space and the children from preschool to year 4 have a timetabled library slot each week where they can lay back on the bean bags and enjoy a new story. In addition to this, each key stage has one lunchtime a week where they can choose to visit the library instead of playing outside. Our year 6 ‘Junior Librarians’ are dedicated and on hand to give advice or read to our younger children.
The themed days we hold for English always revolve around books and stories with the aim of fostering that love of reading. I love presenting assemblies to discuss them as the children are always so enthusiastic and really knowledgeable about different genres of literature. This week, during the ‘Witches and Wizards’ assemblies many of the staff commented on the breadth and depth demonstrated by even our youngest children- recognising so many book characters and describing whether or not they were good or bad.
How many of us at 8 could have named the Greek sorceress Circe or explained the difference between a witch and a warlock? Equally impressive was the reception children identifying traditional themes for witches and expressing how the ‘spooky’ music played by Mr Mitchener linked to our theme.
For those of you joining us next Friday for the MacMillan coffee morning, please stay to watch the junior fancy dress parade and listen to our junior choir perform their ‘Spooky Tunes’.
As George R.R. Martin said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only one.”
Laura Kemp -Head of English