Our school library is a warm, welcoming place. It holds a vast array of books organised into subject areas. Teachers and pupils can take books from the library to serve their needs. It is also a central storage for all of the colour banded books. Lots of reading, interventions are held in the library such as toe-by-toe, phonics and benchmarking. The main display shows what our staff’s favourite books are, acting as reading role models for our children and sharing our love for reading.
How Books are chosen
We chose books that we believe are worth reading and re-reading – stories that children will love. We began with old favourites and then moved on to more recent literature. We also searched for stories that reflect different realities, so that our books are mirrors and windows for our children. Mirrors are books that contain story lines, characters, and experiences our children can see themselves in. They can make personal connections and feel seen and heard after reading a book. A book that is a window helps children to see into the life or experience of someone else.
All of our books are recommended by CLPE or have won literature awards. The books are age appropriate but can also be read at different emotional levels.
Why are they so important?
Reading stories broadens children’s vocabulary and supports their wider understanding of language. Voracious readers can overcome inauspicious beginnings and drive their own learning. They increase their vocabulary and their knowledge. They understand the books they choose to read independently, because their good vocabulary supports. Such children have a significant advantage- we want all of the children at our school to have this advantage!
Our Library system
Class Librarians will show the children how to borrow books. Classroom library books have a sticker on the back of the book. This helps school keep the books in order. Children can borrow a book for as long as they wish. One of our school rules is ‘Be Responsible,’ so we do expect books to be returned to school in good condition. If a book is not returned to school then there is a £5 charge.
The books are not decodable and children in foundation and key stage 1 are not expected to read these books independently. RWINC. scheme books support our children to learn how to read. Once children have completed the RWINC. scheme and can read fluently, they should be able to read the library books independently.
We challenge our children to listen to, or read all of the books in their classroom libraries. Inside their reading journal is a list of books. Every time a child reads one of their class books, librarians will sign their book. If in a year, a child reads every book in their classroom library, then they will receive a special certificate to mark this achievement. At our school, we want to know for sure that all of our children have experienced quality literature – nothing will be left to chance!
Throughout the year, each class will take several trips to the school library. We feel libraries are often a forgotten resource in modern Britain and we intend to instill their importance in our children. Going to the library encourages children to become part of the wider community. It builds skills and routines that are needed once they leave our school.
As children mature and grow towards secondary school, their interests begin to diverge greatly. We do a fantastic job of meeting those needs. However, we have found that the vast range of books our local library has to offer can engage even the most reticent of older readers. We believe that the perfect book is out there for every child.