Reading crushed by 'relentless testing'

9th April 2010 at 01:00

Teachers need to be rebellious and "steal back" time in the school day to read to their classes and allow children to read to themselves, a conference has heard.

Delegates at the NUT conference heard that the tradition of teachers reading whole books to their classes was being squeezed out by Sats cramming classes, with disadvantaged pupils suffering the most.

Kieran Baker, a teacher in east London, told the conference: "Being read to does have an impact on children's attainment.

"They learn ambitious vocabulary and punctuation markings much more than they would from a worksheet. It's essential that high-quality shared reading has a place in our classrooms."

"We have to steal back that time to read. If we don't have reading in school, who will suffer most? If pupils don't have books at home they need their schools to encourage reading for pleasure."

Jane Walton, from Wakefield, who donned a pair of yellow, fluffy bunny ears to get her point across, added: "I love my interactive whiteboard, when it's working, but it would never replace the book."

Delegates also condemned the growing number of school and public library closures and the loss of trained librarians in schools.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now