Tips for Teachers: 30. Creating a Reading Culture

May 7, 2024 | Blogs

Tips for Teachers: 30. Creating a Reading Culture

May 7, 2024 | Blogs

Reading is fundamental to education. Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for pupils’ success. Through these, they develop communication skills for education and for working with others: in school, in training and at work. Pupils who find it difficult to learn to read are likely to struggle across the curriculum, since English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching.’ (DfE, 2023)

In July 2023 the DfE expanded The reading framework to assist schools in meeting expectations set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework and the national curriculum. The framework provides guidance on how reading should be taught in primary schools and outlines the challenges of teaching reading.

Developing a culture of reading across school helps pupils to improve their vocabulary, creative writing and assists learning across the range of subjects in the curriculum. Having access to a wide range of books and text types is also an important part of the cultural capital offer for pupils as it provides opportunities for pupils to gain a better understanding of the world.

‘Creating a reading culture in school is a fantastic way to improve the learning development of your pupils and build a positive community that shares an enthusiasm and love for this core skill. Reading is an essential aspect of the curriculum and transcends all subjects to support learning development in our pupils.’ (Emma Mudge, 2024)

When developing a reading culture, it is important to explore the current situation, identify clear foci and create a plan involving all stakeholders. To be implemented well, with the best chance of the culture becoming embedded and sustained the process should not be rushed – you may want to spend some time looking at the Education Endowment Foundation Implementation Guidance Report which outlines treating implementation as a process, not an event; plan and execute it in stages.

Ideas for develop a reading culture – this is of course not a definitive list, nor in any particular order – but ideas to spark discussion with colleagues:

  • Create a book club – talk about books, characters, plots and make recommendations;
  • Provide regular opportunities for reading for pleasure;
  • Ensure reading is given a high profile across school and by everyone;
  • Be a reading role model, it is important pupils see adults read and share their likes and dislikes around books;
  • Embed reading across the curriculum and full range of subjects – provides books or book lists relevant to subjects and topics;
  • Use technology – this can particularly help in making reading more accessible for everyone;
  • Commit to involving parents – offer events, workshops, drop-in sessions and book clubs which include parents and don’t forget to utilise parental help within the school day;
  • Provide access to a range and variety of reading materials, including magazines, newspapers, and online materials;
  • Engage with authors by inviting them into school or finding blogs, online materials or webinars to access;
  • Regularly review and update the class / school / library book collections to ensure they reflect the diverse interests, backgrounds and experiences of pupils;

‘Reading for pleasure pedagogy needs careful planning, and, as with any area of the curriculum, it needs to be properly monitored and evaluated, not just at the year’s end with a quick survey. If a school’s reading curriculum is not impacting on the recreational reading practices of disadvantaged and disengaged readers, then clearly the planned provision needs adjusting.’ (Teresa Cremin, 2023)

    This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer. 

    Have you read our other blogs in this series?

    Click here to read them.

    Getting help – get in touch

    If you have any questions or would like to speak to us, we’d love to hear from you – click to book a free online session.

    Learn More About Our Product

    Schoolaspect is designed to make your life easier. With our intuitive interface, you can save time and effort. Find out more about how our software can help you get the job done faster, better, and smarter!