The Reading for Pleasure community

“Reading-for-Pleasure is a necessity, not a luxury”

When children are given the opportunity to engage with words and pictures in books from an early age, it gives them a greater to chance to fly for the rest of their lives... 

Reading is a skill, which we need on a day-to-day level, but Reading should be much, much more than that: Reading allows you to jump into a world which you may never experience yourself. Reading is a way to see life from a new perspective and different point of view. Reading is a way of bringing communities together, child-to-child, parent-to-child and teacher-to-child - forever providing opportunities for discussion and debate about themes, ideas, characters and their intentions. And Reading is a life-long hobby which is absolutely free!  

Reading-for-Pleasure is highly promoted at The Grove through various class-based, whole-school and community-based activities, including challenges, displays, events, daily whole-class novel-reading and assemblies.  

Please ask your child’s class teacher if there are any events or activities coming up which you’d like to get involved with. We look forward to hearing all about what you and your family read together!

Teachers are readers too! 

Through this academic year, teachers and staff have been reading and recommending books to one another. Once a staff member has read a book which they recommend, they write their recommendation up and pin it in the staff room, so that other teachers can magpie ideas on what to read next. Also, if you take a look at all of the classroom doors around the school, teachers have displayed what they’re currently reading because we LOVE TO READ AS WELL! Here are a few of our current reads and recommendations so far... 

 ‘My Family Reads’ reading challenge

Reading is a way to bring families together. The ‘My Family Reads’ challenge was our first Reading-for-Pleasure home event of the academic year. Parents/carers and children were asked to send in a picture of a family member reading their favourite text; from Pokemon cards, to the Nando’s menu, gardening magazines, to ‘The Lion Witch and The Wardrobe’ (ironically reading in the wardrobe by Jamie in Year 5!), it has been an absolute delight for the staff to see the different reading habits of The Grove’s families. Well done to all those super star families who challenged themselves and entered. Watch this space for the next Reading-for-Pleasure competition and school event coming up in the Spring Term!

Reading-for-pleasure research at the Faculty of Education

by Miss Lee-Fox

I was really proud to be asked to present my research and work on Reading-for-Pleasure at the Cambridge University Faculty of Education, at a workshop for other teachers across the UK last month. I shared my involvement in the family reading picnics, the child and teacher reading challenges (the 100 million minutes Reading Challenge and #ExtremeReading Challenge) and other school based events such as Drop-Everything-and-Read and the buddy-up publishing parties.

My workshop focussed on leading initiatives to build a community of readers. Using reading as a tool to bring families together, encouraging parents/carers, children and staff to work together to share and celebrate reading. I am proud that I could use examples from our school, to show that reading contributes to bringing communities together. I demonstrated a number of easy, whole-school, research based strategies, activities and events, which have motivated and inspired our children and parent/carers to take pleasure in reading, inside and outside the classroom.

My input was well received by teachers from other schools who will use the ideas and strategies in their own settings. Thank you to all the parents, children and staff at The Grove who made all these events a huge success, allowing me to share good practice across the country. I look forward in my role as leader of RfP to further promote reading for children of all ages across the school.

Science Park donates new books to The Grove’s library

The Grove have been incredibly lucky that the Cambridge Science Park have donated over 100 wonderful, brand new children's books to The Grove library. They have donated a range of different books including beautifully illustrated non-fiction, newly published novels and picture books and a range of poetry books which we are sure our children will greatly enjoy. All of us at The Grove would like to say a huge thank you to all of the kind people at The Science Park who have helped to restock and improve the choice of books in our library. Now let’s get reading!

Reading-for-Pleasure Reading Cafes

The staff and children at The Grove were absolutely over the moon to see so many keen and enthusiastic parents and carers popping into classrooms to spend 15 minutes reading time with the children for our first Reading Cafe. As we continue to promote Reading-for-Pleasure throughout our school, this was a new and fun opportunity for parents and carers to take part in our reading community by having a few minutes to engage with their children’s favourite books or read some new materials from the classroom’s reading corner. The Reading Cafes were really well received by all, as seen by the beaming faces and a general buzz around books for the rest of the day,

Following the Reading workshop which took place after the Reading Cafes: Thank you to everyone who attended with their questions and feedback. We continue to develop the Reading and Phonics curriculum provision at The Grove ensuring lots of rich texts, linking in various enriching in-house events, activities and trips. We had lots and lots of really helpful and insightful feedback from a parent-carer’s point of view, so thank you for continuing to support and work alongside us to provide the best learning opportunities for our children. We look forward to Reading and Writing week in March, so listen out for any whole-school or class-based projects and fun Reading opportunities to get involved with then!

Book-blether & Reading recommendations

The Reading Cafes have been a joy to host and we would like to thank everyone who has attended. It means the world to the children to see their parents interested in their school reading community and take part in their reading journey. The reading cafes have been a fantastic (and simple) way to support your child’s reading development and we look forward to hosting more Reading events next term for example, the reintroduction of the Reading Picnics. 

At our last Reading Picnic, we really loved seeing you there; it was great to see some adults bringing in their own reading materials, which was a perfect an opportunity for our Grove adults to share what they’ve been reading with like-minded adults and have their own book-blether! 

Reading recommendations and book-blether is celebrated regularly through the school day, one way is through our reading recommendation leaflet, ‘The Grove Reads’, which is accessible to all children as part of an interactive display in our school library. The children and teachers write their book recommendations, but if you would like to make a reading recommendation (of a child’s book) you may have read, please contact Miss Lee-Fox via the school office, and we could include you in our leaflet in April’s issue. 

The Grove’s Reading Picnics

The Grove have been hosting Reading Picnics for coming up to 2 years now and each one is never the same. The picnics have evolved through the years and as reading-for-pleasure becomes more and more distinguished at The Grove, the picnics have become more and more silent. Yes! It sounds strange; having two classes (making up on average 50 children), of differing age groups, walk into an echoey hall, having the chance to lay down on mats and take their shoes off, but still, after all those opportunities for a good chin-wag about how the day has been and what they had for lunch, instead the children at The Grove choose to sit silently, beside their peers and siblings and read - notably, not at the request of the staff and adults, more so because the children are completely immersed in what they are reading. It’s an extraordinary feeling as a staff member, to have given the children ownership of what they do in those ‘relaxed, unstructured’ 20 minutes, and they choose to read for pleasure. This is what we strive for at The Grove; children who are life-long avid readers, building up their repertoire of reading materials and vocabulary as well as the intrinsic motivation to sit mindfully, develop their compassion and empathise with a range of characters. Reading is magic, and we are so glad that we are passing this wonderful habit on to our children.

Staff Book-Blethers
As the children are very aware, The Grove staff LOVE TO READ!!
At our staff meeting, we each shared a few chapter books and picture books, which we have read over the last term. Staff celebrate our Reading-for-Pleasure habits and staying updated with recently published books!
A few books which we recommend are:
'The Girl who Speaks Bear' by Sophie Anderson,
'Evie and the Animals' by Matt Haig,
'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle,
'The Way Past Winter' by Kiran Millwood-Hargrave,
'The Umbrella Mouse' by Anna Fargher.