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Learning to love books

Children at Whiston Worrygoose junior and infant school, Rotherham rarely read during the literacy hour.

Instead, teachers at the south Yorkshire school use a range of activities to focus on books and expand children's knowledge and interest in reading.

Some days they read in groups, following particular stories and discussing them, while on others children get one-to-one support from a teacher or assistant. At least once a week they use computers to tackle comprehension.

The aim, says headteacher, John Henderson, is to persuade children that reading is an enjoyable pastime.

A colour-coded library indicates reading ability and interest level. Pupils choose their books from within a band to give them a breadth of material.

This lets them experience a variety of texts so they can discover the sort of books they like to read.

The approach is working well: this year half of pupils at key stage 2 achieved level 5 in reading tests, compared with just 11.1 per cent in 1999. Almost 90 per cent achieved the expected level 4 in 2004, compared with 67 per cent six years ago.

Mr Henderson said: "As a school we try to acknowledge that an important factor in encouraging a child to become a reader, is how reading, literature, its value and meaning are presented by the teacher."

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