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Story time gets the thumbs down;Resarch update

Large numbers of Year 6 children hate reading aloud and more than a quarter of boys can't bear having their teacher read to the class.

The findings by Sharron Close, from a survey of nearly 160 Year 5 and 6 children at three primary schools in Lincoln during her final BEd year, suggest a need to rethink literacy for older juniors. Offering the children a five point scale ranging from "great" and "happy" to "bored," "unhappy" and "screaming", she asked them how they felt about being read to by a teacher, how they felt when someone gave them a book as a present, how they viewed reading for pleasure at home and what their response was to being asked to read aloud to their group and to the teacher.

While, predictably, boys were over-represented in the "screaming" categories, girls, too, had problems. More girls than boys could not bear reading to the teacher and the same numbers of Year 6 girls and boys (39%) hated reading to the group; nearly half of Year 5 boys fell into the latter group.

Among Close's recommendations is widening the range of books, including non-fiction, and monitoring pupils' enthusiasm for reading throughout the year, with staff discussion of current pratice and its usefulness.

How can we motivate upper key stage 2 children to read? A survey of attitudes and choices in Year 56 children in three primary schools by Sharron Close, 2 Monsal Sale, North Hykeham, Lincoln LN6 8PH

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