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Developing Reading for Pleasure: engaging young readers
Developing Reading for Pleasure: engaging young readers

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Session 6: Building reading communities in school

Introduction

To create rich reading cultures and communities of engaged readers, the involvement of all children, staff and parents is crucial. Developing a school reading ethos and community is not an instructional package that can be delivered overnight, it is always a journey, one that, if carefully planned and evaluated, will constantly shift in response to new members, new texts and new interactions.

A cartoon in a school. A teacher is putting up an ‘Our favourite books’ display on the classroom wall.

Although reading is literally undertaken by individual readers, it is a highly social practice. Families, friends and teachers, past and present, shape our reading lives and impact on the kind of readers we are, might have become and are still becoming. Reader relationships and networks both motivate and sustain children as readers and if you can build communities of engaged readers in your classroom and school this supports the habit of reading in childhood, making a difference to children’s lives.

By the end of this session, you will have:

  • considered the key characteristics of reading communities
  • reflected on what it means to be a Reading Teacher
  • explored why reader-to-reader relationships matter and how to build them
  • examined the significance of the school reading environment and library
  • been introduced to ways of involving others beyond the school community.