I am a primary teacher, English Lead and Deputy Headteacher. I have been teaching at an Outstanding primary school in Central London for 14 years. I am a mother to 3 girls.
“Even as a child I had a passion for reading. Despite struggling with dyslexia, I was able to conquer this challenge and develop a love of the written word. I was lucky enough to have a family who recognised the importance of reading and who were able to find me books to inspire and engage me; books I couldn’t put down, even when the going got tough.
As a teacher, my primary aim has been to give the children I teach the same enthusiasm for reading that I have. It gives me great pleasure to see children excited about what they have read, learning new things and taking a lead on their own reading journey.
I read extensively myself and am passionate about recommending books to the children I work with. At my school, we have a range of different methods for enabling this and the reading culture has grown and developed to the extent that engagement in reading is seen as one of the most important things we do. Our “School Library” is in the Headteachers office because it is so important. Children come daily to choose new books and discuss what they have read with myself and the headteacher. Our ‘Pupil Voice’ surveys are packed with positive comments about how much our children love reading.
While good SATS levels are not our overarching aim, I do believe it is testament to the children’s engagement in reading that our assessment results have risen and soared. In July 2018, 100% of our Year 6 achieved the expected level in reading and 69% of them were exceeding.
While teachers, parents and librarians can have an immense impact on a child’s engagement in reading, as many friends and parents at school have said to me, it is often easier said than done. There are a wealth of new, high quality and engaging books written and published every year and it can be hard for parents, schools and the children themselves to keep up with what will engage them. Trawling through the wide range of recommended books on search engines can leave children bored, disinterested and not finding what they need.
Parents and educators who strive to encourage their children to read often find it hard because the books they know and enjoyed as a child are often not relevant to their own children, nor do they know what will appropriately challenge their children. Many adults do not have the time to read and engage in the wonderful children’s literature that has been and is being published currently.
It seems to me that many adults, even if they want to, find it difficult to discover books that will really engage their children. That is why I have set up bookschildrenlove.co.uk. I wanted to provide a simple, informative guide to some of the very best, engaging and current fiction on offer today. Through my own experience and expertise as well as from input from children I work with, I hope we can bring together a unique, targeted, constantly updating compilation of high quality books to engage all children and help them along the road to reading, not just to learn but for pleasure.”