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New Year’s Reading Resolutions

I don’t know about you, but at the end of a year, I usually think to myself ‘I wish I’d read more children’s books’. The reason being that, when I do spend time reading children’s literature, it opens up so many opportunities for me to make connections with children about books, and this, I have found, is the key!

I first started learning about the power of Reading for Pleasure with guidance and inspiration from Teresa Cremin and her colleagues at the Open University back in 2020. My passion for building a reading for pleasure culture in our school was instantly ignited. I highly recommend checking out the website for a wealth of research, examples of good practice and school improvement support.

I have found that one of the most effective ways to help foster reading for pleasure is to expand teacher’s knowledge of children’s literature. We feel confident to recommend books that we have read. I do confess that I have tried recommending books to children that I have not read, and let me tell you it’s a flop. They see straight through you. We need to give genuine recommendations and to do this we need to read more!

I know what you’re thinking… and where will I find the time to do all this extra reading? Yes our time as teachers is precious and limited, but the impact of reading more can be invaluable. Here are just some examples of incidental chats I’ve heard around school:

This is what can happen when you make genuine recommendations to children, and create a common ground of authors and books shared.

It’s so powerful.

It’s so worth it.

So this year why not make a New Year’s Reading Resolution as motivation to read more children’s books! The world of children’s literature is huge and can feel overwhelming. Your resolution needs to be manageable for you. Here are some easy to achieve Reading Resolutions which will have a big impact.

Explore a particular genre

Why not choose a genre of children’s literature that you think your class or the children you work with will love, and focus on reading more within this genre. It could be non-fiction, graphic novels, biographies, poetry or of course any other genre…

In our school we have genre champions. These are members of staff (teachers and TAs) who are dedicated to reading and recommending books from their chosen genre. Our Graphic Novel and Comic genre champion is Mr Fowler, and he is inundated with children desperate to chat to him about this genre. He has built strong reader to reader relationships with some of our most reluctant readers which is just incredible.


Read a new picture book or author each week

This is manageable, and if you are savvy, it won’t cost much at all. Each week source a book from your school library, another classroom/member of staff or maybe treat yourself on pay day and buy yourself a new title! Read it over the weekend then you are ready to authentically recommend. Get in the habit of sharing and recommending books throughout your school.


Create your own mini library

In your classroom, office or space, create your own mini library of books and texts that you have read and know well. You could use a book shelf, a basket or a table space. Be creative! You will feel confident in recommending these books to children and other staff members. Children will love coming to your mini library for a recommendation as you will give genuine and meaningful recommendations.


Have two books on the go at home

When it comes to reading children’s chapter books you do have to invest some time. I have found that it works for me when I have two books on the go – one adult and one children’s chapter book. I have to say, I find myself drawn more to the children’s book each night, and I think it’s down to two main factors. I am exhausted and often the children’s book is less taxing. Plus the reward that I get when I have another title to recommend to the children at school is just wonderful. Sometimes, all it takes is one meaningful recommendation to ignite that love of reading in a child and change their reading habits for life.

Please share your Reading Resolutions with us @StWEnglishHub we’d love to hear from you!

Which reading resolution will you choose?

  • Explore a genre.

  • Read a new picture every week.

  • Create your own mini library.

  • Have two books on the go.


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