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Top tips for reading for pleasure

Educational experts all agree that giving children the skills they need to read, and then encouraging them to read more widely and for pleasure is crucial to improving standards of literacy in our young people and their overall educational achievement.

But the fact remains that too few children are reading widely enough for pleasure within the taught curriculum and at home, so how do you inspire all of the pupils in your school to fall in love with reading?

Here are five top tips from the experts!

1. Michael Rosen says "If we don't learn to love books' we don't read. And if we don't read widely, we don't think deeply.”

His 20-point plan for reading is packed with ideas for turning every school into a book-loving place, including designating Reading Buddies for the younger or more reluctant readers to spread their enthusiasm for reading across the whole school and starting book clubs with the aim of including every teacher and every child in every class. You can read more about Michael's 20-point plan for reading in our free Practical Guide to Reading for Pleasure.

2. Read every day, talk every day. Pauline Woods, Headteacher at Brookfield Infant School in Kent has introduced a fantastic initiative to encourage pupils at her school to start reading for pleasure.

RED TED, the 'Read Every Day, Talk Every Day' bear is just the motivation her little learners needed to start reading more widely. Having a hook that will appeal to all the pupils in your school is a great way to launch your reading for pleasure initiative. You can read more about RED TED in our free Practical Guide to Reading for Pleasure.

3. Keep up-to-date with children's literature publishing.

There are some great books out there that children love to read. OFSTED recommends that teachers appoint a children's literature specialist in each school to advise on reading within school, help introduce children to a wider range of poets and writers' works and to recommend children's literature for pupils to read at home.

4. Engage families with reading at home.

Kate Ruttle, SENCO at Great Heath Primary School in Suffolk recommends talking to parents to find out what kind of support they would appreciate to be able to encourage their children to read at home and creating opportunities for parents to come into school to share books with their children too. You can read more about Kate's ten big ideas in our free Practical Guide to Reading for Pleasure.

5. Give children time to read a book in school every day.

Don't give them excerpts that can be fitted into 15 minutes, but instead give them 15 minutes to read a whole book and get Reading Buddies to support the reluctant readers, says Michael Rosen. Spending time on books and reading in school will show chilren how important books are, why not use assembly once a week to promote your book club or latest reading achievements?

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