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Borrowing time to make books a joy

JAN Parker admits it is difficult to fit in reading The Borrowers to her Year 5 class with everything else they are expected to do.

But she wants her pupils at St Matthew's Church of England primary, Stretton, Warrington, to read because they want to, not just to pass a test.

She said: "The literacy lesson itself might be deemed 'work', but we try to find time to read for enjoyment. I do guided reading outside the literacy hour and they enjoy it because it is done in a small group and they get me to themselves. I loved reading as a child and I want children to have that love of books."

And the whole class views it as a treat when she reads them The Borrowers.

The village school where every child left with level 4 English last year, was praised by inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education who said: "Pupils by the age of 11 are confident readers who show good attitudes and value books as a source of enjoyment and information. It is a delight to listen to Year 6 pupils read."

The school has no pupils on free school meals and children arrive with above average skills in literacy.

Chris Stott, the head, said: "Our families are very supportive and make sure reading is something that is done for fun. We discourage the approach of going through reading schemes which a school with our background can get pressured into. We advocate children read around and beyond their interests.

"Children achieve reading skills at different times and at different rates.

"We do not have a gender issue here, we find boys and girls both enjoy reading. They are not reading to get better than the next person, but reading because they want to."

Letters, 26

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