Love of Reading

At Birley Primary Academy, reading is at the heart of everything we do. In addition to the regular reading lesson in which children practise fluency and develop the skills of reading, we strive to incorporate reading into our wider curriculum offer. At the academy, our teachers share a story with their class at least once a day and the children are expected to practise reading at home, daily, with an adult. In addition to the inviting reading areas found in each classroom, Birley Primary Academy also has its own library allowing children to access a wide selection of books. However, as an academy, we have recognised that sometimes as a reader we need support, encouragement and guidance to direct us to books to choose; books that will interest and motivate a love towards reading. Please find below a list of strategies utilised at Birley Primary Academy to help develop a love of reading.

Reading Subject Ambassador
At Birley Primary Academy, we have subject ambassadors who support subject leaders with their role. Isaac is our Reading Subject Ambassador and he supports Mrs Taylor with a range of different jobs, including:

  • Coming up with ideas for promoting and improving the subject
  • Updating display boards
  • Carrying out questionnaires to find out what children like and dislike
  • Research possible subject trips and out of school competitions

Class Reading Corners
Across the academy, each classroom has their own reading area. They are inviting, comfy areas with a huge range of different books, including recommended reads from adults in the room. Our children love picking up a story from the shelf and having time to simply read for pleasure in the classroom.   

‘Your Story Corner’ Project
Here at Birley, our Christmas came early as we were lucky to receive a generous donation of a diverse range of high quality texts all thanks to The Bookmark Charity and their ‘Your Story Corner’ project. The books have really brightened up our shared reading spaces and the children have enjoyed having access to a range of books. We have also enjoyed sharing them as a whole class during our story time and the conversations that follow.

The children at Birley are able to visit the newly refurbished, well stocked library. These books are categorised into different sections of both fiction and non-fiction books. The children can enjoy reading these books both in the library during break and lunch times and at home if they wish to take a book home to read for pleasure.

World Book Day
Every year, we celebrate World Book Day as an academy. Last year, as part of the celebrations, the children took part in a ‘Book in a Jar’ competition. The children created a jar that represented a book of their choice at home and then brought it into the academy to share on World Book Day. We also welcomed children and staff to dress up as their favourite characters and our parents and carers were invited into the academy so that they could share a book with their child.

Book Fair
Each year, we get a visit from the Scholastic Book Fair.  When it arrives, children are able browse over 200 books from award-winners and new releases to beloved favourites and bestsellers – all at amazing prices. Plus, for every book bought, parents help to earn free books for our school.

National Poetry Day
National Poetry Day is the annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages everyone to make, experience and share poetry with family and friends. Each year we come together because voices, words and stories help to bridge understanding in our community.
This year, National Poetry Day took place on Thursday 5 October 2023. The theme was Refuge.

The Big Read
School Council were invited to the Lord Mayor’s Chamber as part of her ‘Big Read’. She shared her favourite story with the children ‘The Day The Crayons Quit’ and then allowed the children to choose a book of their own to keep and enjoy. The children enjoyed chatting to the Mayor over a treat of cake and juice and they also all enjoyed listening to the Lord Mayor talk about her role and why reading is so important. 

Reading Patron
At Birley Primary Academy, we have our very own Patron of Reading called Gareth Baker. Our Patron of Reading is a children’s author who the academy have formed a personal attachment with through projects completed together in the past. The idea of having a Patron of Reading is to bring another exciting dimension to the academy’s quest to create a buzz about books and reading. Everything that Gareth does is related to helping encourage and develop a reading for pleasure in the school and these may include quizzes, book recommendations, discussions, drama, book trailers and poetry bashes. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Reading Olympics in Key Stage 2
Children throughout Key Stage 2 earn points by reading for pleasure. The more books they read, the more points they earn. The books are labelled with bronze, silver and gold stickers.

– Bronze books are worth 5 points

– Silver books are worth 10 points

– Gold books are worth 15 points

– 12 by 12 books are worth 20 points

The more difficult/challenging the book, the more points they are worth. Children will work towards achieving their bronze, silver and gold awards during the school year. 100 points to get a bronze award, 200 points = silver award, 300 points = gold award

12 by 12 challenge
Can KS2 children complete the challenge of reading 12 of these 20 classic books (some older and some more modern) before they are 12 years old?

Reading in Key Stage One
In KS1, if children read at home 5 times, they receive a book token which goes into a draw to win a new book to keep. Further to this, every week, a child in KS1 has the opportunity to win the reading basket to take home and share with their grown-ups.  Each basket has a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books along with a reading buddy and a drawing pad to illustrate their favourite part of a book. 

Information for Parents
Finally, the academy hold parent workshops throughout the year and these include workshops about the teaching of Phonics and Reading throughout school. Information from these sessions can be found on our Parent Workshop page.