reading
I can always remember my mother reading to me as a child, until long after primary school age. My dad worked abroad and it was just something she did with my big brother and I every night. Often, she would end up so gripped by the story she would go away and read some of it by herself – and she passed on that passion for reading and books to us. Meanwhile, I would hide books under my pillows so I could carry on reading when she’d gone. I knew if I kept them on the bookshelf she’d hear me tiptoeing across the room to get a new book!

At Clock House, we see the impact regular reading has on our children every day. We have our own ‘reading buddies’ scheme, whereby the oldest and youngest pupils will share books and reading. But it’s not just about words on a page. We’ve seen books have the power to build bonds. The older ones often form friendships with the younger pupils they are reading to so that there’s a connection when they’re out in the playground too. You can see the older children get a sense of responsibility from it and if the older pupils aren’t confident readers, it helps them improve their reading too. Pupils of all ages gain so much confidence from it and it’s good for their imaginations and for creating empathy.

We know it’s not easy to encourage reluctant readers to find joy in reading, but as the How to Train your Dragon author, Cressida Cowell, wrote in the Independent newspaper recently, reading with your kids way beyond the age they can read for themselves will go a long way towards encouraging them to read for pleasure when they’re older.

“It can be really hard to carve out time in our busy lives, so rest assured that it doesn’t need to be all at once. A couple of minutes here and there is better than not at all,” she wrote.

I agree. Reading is good for bringing families closer together and creating wonderful memories. My mum was always busy but she made sure that she always found the time to read to us and she’s still really passionate about books. I’ll often call her and we’ll have a good chat about what we’re reading and recommend books each of us should read.

In keeping with World Book Day on March 7, we’ll be doing lots of activities in school to celebrate and I look forward to hearing from the children what their favourite book is and what they’re reading. Mine, after all these years, is still George Orwell’s 1984. What’s yours?

“Reading is good for bringing families closer together and creating wonderful memories. My mum was always busy but she made sure that she always found the time to read to us and she’s still really passionate about books. I’ll often call her and we’ll have a good chat about what we’re reading and recommend books each of us should read.”

Felicity Robertshaw-Hughes, Deputy Head Pastoral

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