Children absorb much from the environment around them, so making this environment reading-friendly is our aim. Books should be freely available and children should be able to choose which books to read. Reading should be a talkative, social experience, as well as a quiet, reflective, personal one. Different types of books should be within their grasp, so they can learn to follow and develop interests, as well as encounter something that is novel. Children need to share books with adults who model good reading behaviours: such as how to handle books with care; how to make choices; how to hold the book and turn the pages; how to bring the content alive through the way they use their voice and gesture, and how they draw the child into the experience through thoughtful prompts and questions.
From the very start we are preparing our children to be readers through their acquisition of spoken language. If the language used in the home is rich and varied, this will be beneficial. Therefore at school we use work, play, songs, rhymes, pictures and music to introduce new vocabulary and language structures that will expand the children’s minds. Indeed learning the patterns of familiar rhymes off by heart will help them to recognise other patterns in songs, and later in spelling.
Our Reading Spine is a collection of contemporary and classic children’s books selected for the quality of their writing, illustration and ability to represent the lives and experiences of all of our children at Burrough Green Primary School regardless of their gender, ethnicity or social class. The spine books have been written by a diverse group of authors in a wide range of genres and contexts, and have been chosen to promote diversity and broaden the horizons of Burrough Green children to the world outside Cambridgeshire.
The books in our reading spine offer children (and teachers) the opportunity to read, share and talk about books which support a holistic approach to reading. They help children understand the world around them, to process emotions and experiences.
Pie Corbett says:
“Great books build the imagination. The more we read aloud expressively, and the more children are able to savour, discuss and reinterpret literature through the arts, the more memorable the characters, places and events become, building an inner world. A child who is read to will have an inner kingdom of unicorns, talking spiders and a knife that cuts into other worlds. The mind is like a ‘tardis’; it may seem small but inside there are many mansions. Each great book develops the imagination and equips the reader with language.”
Please see below for a list of spine books that will be read this year in each class.