Junior School

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Term 3 Week 6


Dear Parents and Carers,

A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in our Book Week festivities. Our Junior School parade was a real highlight of the week and a great reminder about the importance of reading.

Not every child is a bookworm, but research shows that developing a love of reading early in life can provide many benefits. From a positive impact on academic achievement, increased general knowledge, vocabulary growth, improved writing ability, and helping children to develop empathy, it is clear reading can play an important role in a child’s development.

It has also been argued that on top of providing pleasure, reading literature helps children to cultivate an imagination. An overview of several studies on reading for pleasure suggests that it may also be a way to combat social exclusion and raise educational standards.

Despite the huge benefits that reading offers, evidence suggests that young people are reading less and many children fall behind in reading from around the age of 10.

Many studies indicate successful literacy achievement is enhanced by the support from a parent or a teacher and highlight how both can help children to develop a love for reading.

Whilst it is important that parents and teachers become actively involved in helping children to read more, there are two things parents and teachers can do to encourage children to pick up the book instead of putting it down or closing it.

Let Them Choose Their Own Books
Recent research on children aged between nine and 12 years explored the extent to which they read for pleasure and the different factors that affected their reading engagement.

Parents or teachers selecting the book the child read in their leisure time and parents not allowing children to read their preferred book were shown to have a negative impact on a child’s reading engagement.

Some of the children in this study complained that their parents always selected the books they read in their leisure time and that the parents’ selections were not always books that they liked. One child described the books his father selected for him to read at home as ‘hard books’ and could only recall enjoying one book his father had selected for him to read.

There were also complaints by other children that their teachers selected the books they read during the reading period at school, and that usually, they did not like the books and often did not read them.

Don’t Force it
Parents insisting they read to the end of the book even if they had lost interest in the book or parents or teachers forcing them to read when they did not want to also lead to negative engagement.

Some children complained that their parents did not allow them to read the books they had an interest in with one child saying he liked Enid Blyton books, but his father did not allow him to read them. Another said her father stopped her from reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid books as he said “they don’t teach anything”.

So, as important as reading is for a child’s development, this research indicates why children must be allowed to exercise their right not to read or stop reading at anytime so that they are not disengaged from reading altogether.

When it comes to books, it is important to respect your child’s preferences even if they do not meet your expectations. Given this, both parents and teachers would do well to remember that sometimes children just want to curl up with a good book of their choice, and simply enjoy the process of reading for what it is. 

If you would like to read the full study click here.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Bill Garland
Head of Junior School

An insight into Year 4
Within this term’s writing sessions, students in Year 4 have been learning and developing their knowledge and skills on a range of different text types. One of the text types that students have been learning about recently is poetry. Poetry is a phenomenal way to see students’ creative literature. 

Students have learnt about 3-Line, Haiku and Clerihew poems. Haiku poems have a structure of using 3-lines, as well as a 5-7-5 syllable count. Whereas Clerihew poems allow students to use their creative and amusing side. 

Both the Haiku and Clerihew poems incorporated our THRASS approach through the counting of syllables, and recognising that we just need the same phoneme (not grapheme) at the end of our word for it to rhyme. 

Students in Year 4 have thoroughly enjoyed exploring poetry and becoming young poets themselves! See below for some example 3-Line poems from 4JMR.

Miss Riley
Junior School Year 4 Teacher