Get Children Reading

Get Children Reading

superstock_1099r-5223b.mediumReading is valuable and important for success in school and in life, it cannot be ignored. There is overwhelming evidence that literacy has a significant relationship to people’s life chances.

Children who have books in the home and read succeed.  They do better at school and the more books they have read, the better they do. When the whole family is involved, it helps raise reading attainment too as children who see the adults in their life reading, read more.

Children who read for pleasure perform significantly better at school than those who read less, reading frequency has a direct link to attainment

Let us help inspire a generation of readers, by asking parents and teachers to get involved in helping our children learn to read and love to read.

Running a Book Club at your school; children sharing stories at bedtime with siblings or parents, all encourage the love of reading

Things to get children reading:

Read Aloud

Read every day with children. Children read to from a young age become better readers.

Parents as Reading Role Models

Parents are their children’s first teacher. If children see parents reading, they’ll want to read, too.

Books at Home

If children have books at the home that they read, they do better at school. Give books as gifts; talk about books over dinner; share-a-Story.

Getting the whole family involved raises reading achievement.

Picture books DO boost literacy


High numbers of children have no books of their own, with worrying implications for their future prospects

Children who do not own books are more likely to read below their expected level than children who have books to read and children who don’t own books are less likely to have positive experiences of reading, less likely to do well at school and less likely to be engaged in reading in any form, they are also significantly less likely to read above their expected level than book reading children.

This is not a case of books being irrelevant now technology has superseded printed matter, children with no books of their own are less likely to be sending emails, reading websites or engaging with their peers through the written word on social networking sites. Children who grow up without books and without positive associations around reading are at a disadvantage in today’s world.

Fresh approaches are urgently needed to encourage young people to read more…….BOOK CLUBS….. LIBRARIES……READING CORNERS IN SCHOOLS…MORE BOOKS AT HOME…… WELL STOCKED BOOK STORES….value for money too!!!

Text messages are the most popular thing for children to read outside of class.

Children who read text messages but not fiction books are twice as likely to be below average readers compared to those who also read fiction

It is NOT up to the school to get a child reading. Everyone the child has contact with – parent, uncle, aunt, grandparents – has an active role to play in terms of supporting literacy.

Sch-oolmastersbecause every child matters!!!

May 2014


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Classroom Furniture

Classroom Furniture

superstock_1099r-5219b.mediumThe layout of the classroom affects the behaviour of all those in it, so a classroom must be as exciting and stimulating as it is functional. The whole environment should be dedicated to promoting feelings of well-being and therefore motivation to learn and focus.

Tables and chairs are an essential part to every classroom, and need to be practical and comfortable to maximise space and minimise fidgeting. These should help support learning and safeguard children’s health in schools

In order to motivate pupils to concentrate, keep learning and be more creative, this behaviour needs to be matched with a classroom design that includes strategically chosen classroom furniture. Simple and incredibly impactful considerations must be made when it comes to colour and comfort.

Brighter colours – red, yellow and orange have been known to encourage attention to detail, improve concentration and evoke enthusiasm and excitement. If used too heavily, they can increase energy levels too much and cause tempers to flair, something that’s best avoided in environments where subjects like Maths and English are taught!

They’re best used in moderation on things like stools or storage boxes, or in classrooms for creative subjects like art where they can boost creativity by adding a vibrant new dimension to the room.

At the other end of the spectrum blues, greens and violets are said to lower the blood pressure and heart rate, creating a tranquil learning environment suited to more academic subjects like Maths, English and Science. Blue in particular is seen as a creativity booster and can be used in a much wider manner. However, overuse of darker shades should be avoided for fear of creating a gloomy atmosphere.


Consider these key features when arranging classrooms –

Rationalising space

Do not go overboard on classroom displays and materials, in an attempt to be “stimulating” –   this can be over stimulating and confusing to the child. Create an inviting area where children will want to sit and read with easy access book storage

Space for identity
A designated drawer for work materials and a designated space for their personal belongings, should be available for every child and adult

Space to move

Flexible use of space, and ease of movement are vital; children should not feel squashed and uncomfortable. There should be enough space to cross and be beside one another without banging into each other; sufficient space for every child to sit comfortably during story time and ideally sit in a circle with 2/3 inches between each child for circle time activities.

Right size furniture for the individual

Selected furniture should be the right size for the age group of children and have flexibly of function

Each child should have enough room to work so that their arms do not bang into one another. Left-handers should be sat at the left hand corner of the table with their left arm having room to move. Left-handers may also need to sit at a different angle to their work and they need space to do this.

Children with motor co-ordination difficulty may need the provision of a sloping work surface and a footrest.

Displays should be at child level and be very clear in their message and purpose according to the appropriate developmental stage of the child.

The young child needs experiential displays while the older child needs clearly labelled displays that highlight key points.

Access to drinking water should be considered and allowed whenever children choose. This has great benefits for their present and future health.

Teachers should be drinking water too!

Lastly, an uncluttered space, well placed furniture, organised materials, simple and clear displays, and carefully considered seating arrangements will all assist in keeping the classroom clean and healthy. And most importantly they will all enhance teaching and learning.

Sch-oolmastersbecause every child matters!!!

May 2014

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Learning Through Play

Learning Through Play


Learning through play greatly encourages independence and exploration in early years learning. 

160097_whfguvfylzvxkhzn6tprwbuq9rsg7q.mediumPlay is one of the characteristics of effective early learning.

Children involved in play, fully use their bodies, minds and emotions; they learn to be in control and are confident about themselves while interacting with others.

Popular activities that stimulate, get children exploring, encourage independence and help build a child’s confidence through play are –

Taking play outside, linking to understanding the world

Outdoor environments allow for different types of play with wide spaces for movement, den building, climbing, running, and messy play.

A box of den building materials such as old sheets and blankets, bamboo canes and ropes, bendy sticks and pipes will be very useful

Enabling expressive arts and design through messy play

This can take different forms  of blocks building, from empty food packets and boxes, to big wooden crates, and traditional wooden building blocks.

Add small world, people, animals and vehicles to different types of blocks to help children create situations and stories

Dressing up

Children love dressing up and pretending to be other people, animals and superheroes in different settings.

A dedicated role play area with curtains to make it more theatrical, and provide for all the senses with special lighting and sound effects is advisable for this.

Role Play

Encourage role play to develop communication skills in children

Display boards can be used to track learning journeys for each child’s progress


Suggested resources –
Puppets Personal, social and emotional development
Threading, peg boards, finger paints and drawing in sand Handwriting skills
Climbing and balancing equipment, bats, balls, hoops and wheeled toys Physical development
Magnifying glasses; digging and planting, exploring in the sand, pouring water through funnels and guttering, reading maps, and making dens Understanding of the world
Bricks, blocks, constructions toys, train tracks, sand and water, playdough Development in mathematics
Playdough, clay, sand, and water; practise cutting, sticking, and threading, Lego, jigsaw puzzles Fine motor control


Sch-oolmasters…because every child matters!!!
May 2014


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Practical School Readiness

1 am 2, are you ready for me? – Practical School Readiness

School readiness is a familiar term in Early Years.  It is one of the aims of early learning for preschool children.  Early years practitioners and managers; and other childcare practitioners should aim to ensure that as children join an early years setting at age two or three, they are equipped for their transition into school and adulthood.

Children should be supported to develop key skills in communication, speaking, listening and questioning, social and emotional well-being, and physical development.

It is NOT about producing learning robots trained to comply with a rigid and inflexible education system.

Childcare provisions should remember “children require high quality provision and individualised support”.

School Readiness is a Partnership, and not just the ‘job’ of the early years sector, it is best achieved by parents, providers and schools all working together.  Schools need to have readiness for working with young children and their families. It’s a two-way thing.

Let’s work together to build principles that include children, parents and practitioners, and encompasses school readiness, into our everyday practice in early years. 

Sch-oolmasters…because every child matters!!!

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