Encouraging a love of reading
The library and the learning mentors in Year 7 to Year 11 support the half-termly Readathon challenges, where students receive reward points and prizes for their work. In addition to the vast number of books in the library, the school has a subscription to 'MyON', where students can access a host of fiction and non-fiction books remotely. It's an online library that all students have access to and they get logins from their English teachers.
Finham Park School's very own Key Stage 3 Reading site is a great resource for students to access for free:
The Day – a news website organised by curriculum area and reading level (currently under maintenance)
The English department runs fortnightly library lessons with Year 7 and Year 8, focusing on a whole class guided reading task followed by a chance for students to read independently and reflect on what they’ve read.
The paired reading that runs as literacy support in the PLC is followed in the library and students are able to use their teachers, the library staff and Sixth Form learning mentors to help guide their reading. All mentors are equipped with a copy of our Reading Bookmarks to help facilitate thoughtful and probing questions.
In addition to the weekly reading logs students complete as their home learning in Year 7 and Year 8, the school offers engaging author visits and a wide-ranging diet of fiction and non-fiction not just in English, but across the school.
The benefits of reading for pleasure and also academic purpose
- Reading for pleasure is more important for children's cognitive development than their parents' level of education and is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background.
- There is a difference in reading performance equivalent to just over a year's schooling between young people who never read for enjoyment and those who read for up to 30 minutes per day.
- The frequency of reading for pleasure at age 42 is linked to vocabulary skills: those who read every day at 42 have an advantage of 4 percentage points in their vocabulary over those who do not read as frequently
- We are blurring the lines between reading for pleasure and reading for an academic purpose. When students read for pleasure, they are supporting their academic development and we want them to be aware of this!
How do we encourage reading for pleasure?
- A well stocked and attractive library with dedicated staff
- Reading ages of all students are on PARS
- Reading support in the PLC for year 7 students who require literacy catch up
- Staff book group
- Suggested reading sessions in mentor time now linked to the ‘Readathon’ challenge
- Reading lists for different age groups, genders, interests and genres
- Fortnightly dedicated library lessons in KS3
- Reading ‘homework’ in year 7 and 8 (nothing else is set)
- High profile World Book Day events and assemblies including the amazing book swap organised by PE!
- Termly reading prizes
- World Class Essay Competition
- Supportive bookmarks to help parents with reading at home.
- Every college has a dedicated day for reading
'Pleasure reading builds reading comprehension, increases background knowledge (which is useful in all content areas), increases student vocabulary skills, and has been shown to increase our understanding of human behaviour and help us to empathize with others' (Murphy, 2013)
“I love reading and I don't think that I could enjoy it any more.” (Y8 student)
Following some student voice about reading, this is what some of our students thought...
97% of students see the value of reading
Adventure and romance are the most popular categories of books
Most students enjoy reading in their room and in a comfy chair
The library is a well-resourced, vital and thriving part of life at Finham Park and is guaranteed to be very busy during the school day, and also before and after school.
Our overriding aims are to:
- Support students and staff across the curriculum by providing up-to-date and relevant resources for information and research
- Provide a positive working atmosphere which encourages lifelong learning
- Promote the love of reading for pleasure and embrace students' curiosity about the world
|Monday||8:00am - 4:30pm|
|Tuesday||8:00am - 4:30pm|
|Wednesday||8:00am - 4:00pm|
|Thursday||8:00am - 4:00pm|
|Friday||8:00am - 3:00pm
(Not open after school)
All students can use the library during their free time. Breaks and lunchtimes will find them browsing and reading books, magazines or newspapers, playing chess, Scrabble and other word games. Before and after school is the ideal time for students to start or complete homework and the library staff are always on hand to help with research.
We also take a team to the regional heat of the Kids Lit Quiz, which has an international following with competing teams as far away as China, and which has been described by a guest author as "a really good pub quiz without the beer"!.
Sixth form students use the library regularly during their free periods for work and research and we have extra laptops available for them to use in the library. There are 16 single study carrels available in a silent work area as well as numerous work tables in the body of the library.
If you're a parent looking for that elusive book to get your child reading or a student wishing to widen your reading horizons try a title from these tailored, recommended booklists (all books available from the school library) or use one of the 'useful websites' links below:
Library Manager: Mr P. Bates
Library Assistant: Ms Z Hogg