Primary School News

Reading Parent Workshop

“BSM aims to be:

be a learning community where all members have a desire to be life-long learners and strive for excellence”
– BSM Vision and Mission

On Wednesday the Primary English Team presented their first parent workshops of the year with a continued focus on reading and the ways in which parents can inspire their children to become passionate readers. This session concentrated on the ‘Power of Picture Books’ and the importance that they can play in the learning process. They also sought to debunk many of the myths surrounding the role of an adult when a child is able to read – particularly the idea that it is important to continue to read aloud to children regardless of their age and reading ability.

The journey for a student to become a confident reader occurs over many years from the early stages of role playing with a book, learning how to decode words and continues as they learn a wider vocabulary and a range of different contexts.

One of the key elements within this journey is establishing the motivation and enjoyment within a child. As teachers and parents, it is our role to ensure that the texts we provide students are ones in which engage with their interests and evoke passion, imagination and enjoyment during this process. Picture books certainly support with this as they allow students to use their own imagination to articulate their own ideas without the restrictions of written words. For many students, this is the key to developing this love for reading from childhood to adulthood.

Picture books have predominantly been used as a tool to engage early readers, through vibrant pictures and illustrations. However, the workshop sought to demonstrate the many different activities which can help to develop key reading skills which are required to become more confident readers. Wordless picture books are able to foster a love of reading through the pure enjoyment through shared talk and engagement of the ideas behind the illustrations.

Young readers can use wordless picture books to learn:

  • How the illustrations support and often drive a story.
  • How to retell a story in their own words, which encourages creativity, imagination, language play, and vocabulary development.
  • Provide an easy entry for young readers to be the authors and illustrators of their very own stories.

Older readers (fluent and transitional readers) can use them to learn:

  • How to think more deeply and critically about plot elements, the interaction among characters, cause and effect, the tone of the story, and the intended theme.
  • To add words to support the illustrations and author their own version of the story.

All of this learning happens without any textual support from the book.

When reading wordless or picture books at home with your child, encourage them to:

  1. Ask questions
  2. Make predictions
  3. Retell the story in their own words
  4. Describe the images and find new vocabulary
  5. Think about emotions and form conclusions

The BSM LRC has a wide range of picture books suitable for all ages from Early Years up to Year 6 so please drop in and ask Mr Jay for some help in finding books which you can share with your children.

Thank you to our English Co-ordinators Andy King and Cheryl Meredith for running this session.

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