Reading Rocks

'Outside a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read.' Groucho Marx


Reading could just be one thing less affected by the pandemic. Below is some information to keep children reading for pleasure whether they are reading after school, isolating at home, or in the event of class or school closure.


Click the down arrow to read Miss Maynes sharing one of the great joys of teaching (and being a parent too)

Books read to you in an adult's voice live with you all your life: I remember every book read out loud to me by a parent or a teacher. If a book makes your mum laugh or your dad cry, it shows that books and reading are important and powerful. Books can be part of a shared family language that lives on far beyond childhood.

Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate

If there is one thing I have missed over lockdown, it is the daily (or sometimes twice or thrice daily!) story sharing sessions with the children in my class. It’s a serious business in my classroom; we settle down, we quieten down, we get comfortable and we listen. We imagine, we empathise, we understand, we laugh, we think and we discuss. It’s a small moment carved out of a busy day to share something that we can all enjoy, children and adults alike. When schools closed suddenly and we hurriedly prepared to get children ready for home learning, a child in my class asked me if and when we were going to finish our class story book. It is part of the story of a child’s time at school and part of the rich tapestry of memories that they will carry with them forever.

It struck me that one of the few ways I felt I could meaningfully communicate with my class from home was through recording and sharing stories and lots of other teachers have felt the same. The Google classrooms were awash with grainy videos of teachers reading aloud, connecting with children in our favourite way… sharing a story.

Last month, it was Reading Together Day. We’ve celebrated World Book Day and World Reading Aloud day but I love the idea of a day all about the joys of reading together, how it can foster relationships, build shared memories and become part of the fabric of school and family life. It’s truly one of my favourite things about being a teacher. I’m sharing a link at the bottom of the blog post where Cressida Cowell (Waterstones Children’s Laureate) gives her top tips for sharing stories with your children. As she says ten minutes a day is all it takes to reap the rewards of a shared family language and a beloved routine that lives far beyond childhood. Happy reading and happy sharing, I for one can’t wait to get back to it!

P.S. Check out the ‘Reading Rocks’ section of the school website for loads of book recommendations for children of all ages.

Sophie Maynes

a virtual library for voracious readers

Reading - an entitlement and pleasure in every child's childhood

Growing lifelong readers at home will not only help children learn and achieve more in school, it is an important indicator of their future success.

Below are links to videos, audio recordings and PDFs of more recommended reads to share and enjoy for children of all ages.

It is important that children read aloud, to themselves and others and learn to decode words it is also important that they engage in meaning, story and ideas. This is where the pleasure of reading is found. This reading, reading for meaning, can be done by reading yourself or listening to a book read aloud. Listening to stories and hearing books read aloud at home with the adults they love best and in school too, is important. This more than anything will grow lifelong, happy readers.