Creating a school reading community

What does it mean to create a school reading community? Find out about the some of the factors needed to support and encourage students to read for pleasure.

Transcript

Visual

Female teacher walking across school ground opening door for secondary students who file into class.

Teacher distributes book The Pōrangi Boy to students.

Teachers speaking in the classroom or library.

Audio

[Music]

Lerena Glucina, Teacher, Mount Albert Grammar: Hi good morning. Lockie, here's your book. Reading for pleasure in this instance with this class that's all there is.

Barbara Cavanagh, Principal Huntly College: It's got to be a whole school thing around reading and really making sure that every teacher feels that they're a reader as well.


Visual

Title: Creating a School Reading community, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa | National Library of New Zealand, Communities of Readers.

Young children and teachers/librarians in classroom and library looking at books.

Elizabeth Jones, Michaela Pinkerton, or Barbara Cavanagh, with books on shelving in the school library in the background. Clips also show book displays.

Audio

[Music]

Elizabeth Jones, Director Literacy and Learning, National Library of New Zealand | Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa: If we think about how do you create a reading community, in some ways access to books is obvious and thinking about choice and quality and relevance and responsiveness to needs and all of those things. That is necessary it is absolutely not sufficient. The other things that are critical are the developing of role models and champions within communities.

[Music]

Michaela Pinkerton, Deputy Principal, Huntly College: For me, the important factors of a reading community is a huge element of choice, excitement, fun, availability of text, range of text, that there is time made to do reading together, that young people are having kind of agency over what they're choosing to read and take part in. But it's also reading alongside.

Barbara Cavanagh If I was talking to another school about wanting to start a reading culture. I think it's from the leadership down that you start those conversations. We started a bit of a mantra that Huntly College is the school for leaders, as it absolutely is. But then we've always said this little bit and, by the way, leaders are readers. And it's just little things like that to start with and it's like ‘Oh what’ you know and then making a real commitment to having a library that looks like it's alive.

Elizabeth Jones: One of the things we're always interested in is if you go into a school and a school was really thriving as a reading community, what would you see and what would you hear, and what would you feel in that school? How would that underpinning of ‘we value reading and it's for everyone and that means from the principal to the teachers to every student here’, what kind of environment and practices and culture would we see?


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Lerena Glucina reading to students in the classroom, then speaking to the camera in the classroom.

Audio

Lerena Glucina: He nods his head at me. All good neph? My kuru…'
Every day, every class reads, whether or not there's an assessment looming or it doesn't matter, there's just reading done. So that's quite good. And they're used to it and they come and they settle. So that’s really nice to see that kind of shift in attitude. It's like it used to be, ‘Ugh are we reading today?'. And now it's like, ‘Are we reading today?’. And it's so cute, it's so cute, it's cool, it's really heartening to see.


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West Harbour School gate, teacher reading to children sitting on the mat, children listening, Heather Howe speaking to the camera in the school library.

Clips of Te Manawa library and children reading in the library.

Audio

Heather Howe, Associate Principal, West Harbour School: I think some of the factors that influence engagement of reading within the school, the teachers, I think, play a major part in that. Just how enthusiastic they are about reading within their own rooms. I think for things like using our library, whether the children are left to just pick a book or whether there's actually some talk about books from the teachers, maybe some reading to the children so they see that it's something that it's not just something they have to do to learn, it's actually something that they can do to get pleasure.

Male teacher reading to class: As he spoke, he waved his hands over his head like a boxer. 'So that's how you did it,' said Mum.

Heather Howe: So in school, for the students and teachers to access books, we do have the school library. We also have the National Library who provide us with books if we want those for the children. All children have library cards which, of course, then they can use to go up to Te Manawa and use the main library there as well.

[Music]


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Older students in the library, reading and working on the computer.

Mikaela Pinkerton or Kate-Rose Janmaat speaking to the camera in the school library.

Audio

Michaela Pinkerton: Another thing that we've been able to leverage hugely is the availability of resources to borrow through the National Library. So our librarian often is making requests for collections that we can bring in, students can have access to, and then we can return again. So that's ongoing and that's, again, hugely enhances the work that we have here and the resourcing that we have here. But it’s the people, it's people and relationship every time.

Kate-Rose Janmaat, student, Huntly: We also have reading largely incorporated in Puna Ako in the morning, which is basically like our form or whānau time. And that's where we can either read as a whole class or we get read to, which is something I think is really cool because I've noticed with other students that they're starting to enjoy reading or they're reading things that they didn't know about. And a lot of students have talked to me about things that they have actually gotten out of reading, which I think is another neat thing about that.


Visual

Heather Howe talking to the camera in the school library.

Crissi Blair talking to the camera at the National Library Auckland centre.

Kate-Rose Janmaat or Michaela Pinkerton speaking to the camera in the school library.

Clips of students hanging out in the school library.

Audio

Heather Howe: Beginning of each year, at about week five or six of the year, we have what we call Have a Go Harbour, and we have community providers come in. So we have the health sector come in and do blood tests for the parents and diabetes checks. We have, Te Manawa comes down and runs, has a display and offers library cards for the families that don't have them. And a lot of other community engagement. So we look at women's health and men's health and that's usually really well accepted by the families, we get a lot of families through.

Crissi Blair, Facilitator National Capability, Services to Schools, National Library of New Zealand | Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa: I love the idea that we can welcome the whānau of our children into the school library as well when we have events. My school used to have a picnic at the beginning of every year. And I always made sure that I was there for the picnic so we could have the library open. And a lot of the children would bring their families up to have a look at the library. The younger siblings would come in and they would be going ‘Oh I'm coming here one day and I'll be able to get books out of this library’ because it was a big, beautiful library and we were well resourced.

Kate-Rose Janmaat: The library also has become quite a large space for people to hang out, it's quite common to come in here at lunchtime and it's loud and buzzing and people are on the computers or reading books or talking and it's become quite a happy environment to be around. And Whaea Michaela has been really good at promoting it, we have reading competitions, writing competitions to try and get those fun aspects within the students around those types of things.

Michaela Pinkerton: You know, all of those things we value are enhanced by the opportunities that we can see through reading. So if reading is the one thing that makes a really huge difference despite all your contexts that might be quite hard, might be quite negative, then we absolutely need to be investing in that further.

[Music]


Visual

Repeat slide of video title: Creating a School Reading community, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa | National Library of New Zealand, Communities of Readers.

4 male students and Kate-Rose Janmaat speaking individually to the camera in the school library or classroom.

Audio

Younger male secondary school student 1: I used to enjoy reading a lot of, like, fantasy books or sort of just books about dragons and stuff. Now I kind of enjoy more like scientific books about really facts and learning new things.

Older male secondary school student: What do I like reading? What do I not like reading? I mean I like to have a taste of a little bit of everything eh. I like me a little romance. I'm a romantic sap I'll be honest.

Kate-Rose Janmaat: I'm currently reading a book at the moment called If I Stay. And I was actually introduced to that book through a class with Whaea Barbara in the morning where all the year 13s were required to take something out and read and I thought that was pretty neat because I saw people reading that don't usually have a book in their hand.

Younger male secondary school student 2: I like reading books about like stuff like magic and sci-fi but like living skeletons and stuff like that that you know’s not real but it's cool to immerse yourself in imagination like that.

Younger male secondary school student 1: You should read. It's good for you.


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Slide with Communities of Readers logo.

Slide with Te Puna Foundation logo and words'Supported by Te Puna Foundation'.

This transcription

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