Creating a reading culture — Windley School

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The Windley School library is pivotal to creating a reading culture and supporting reading engagement throughout the school.


Windley is a full primary decile 1 school in Porirua East Wellington.

The Windley School library is privotal to creating readers and developing literacy.

The library is integral to the classroom reading programme, and the collection is targeted to meet diverse reading needs and interests.

The library welcomes all of the school community and actively promotes preschool literacy.

Windley School teachers are readers and actively promote books and reading.

Windley school students visit the local Cannons Creek public library during school time and after school and often encourage their parents and other family to use the library with them.

The collaboration between school and public library is building a community of readers.

Vanessa Hendry: I guess when we had the library built we were getting a much larger space so it's almost in two sections.

So we've got the collection in one place and then a big space where we had this vision where it was a place where children could just relax and enjoy books and to read together or by themselves, so we've got a selection of seating and cushions and it opens out to a lovely deck so in summer it creates a nice space at lunchtime and after school for children to come and relax and enjoy books.

Kayne Leighton: I think first and foremost we're looking at the library as being
an integral part of the reading programme rather than just a seperate standalone place where you go to just change books and so forth.

The way that I do it is first of all is setting those expectations up early a year about the purpose of reading um.. in all its forms and what happens at that time.

On the first day I brought in all the reading I'd had in the holidays and just had a pile sitting next to me and just said this is what I read in the holidays and went through.

I mean the kids were just you know um really excited about the fact that that amount of reading can be done and so forth.

And I had boys from then who took books away and sat there and read about Tana Umanga and so forth.

Uh...and then secondly I guess the other main area is the teaching reading time, which I think is hugely important and throughout the age range. I mean every opportunity you're saying to the children in the class about the enjoyment of reading and so forth and modeling and showing that to the children. Some days it will be reading the newspaper.

Some days it may be reading a magazine within the class, or like the Guiness Book of World Records and Ripleys and Graphic Novels and so you can read a variety of them and also ensuring that you're reading a book that, you know a novel or something that's important to shift their mind into reading books that are more substantial in terms of having to read over a number of days and weeks.

Vanessa Hendry: I talked to, we've got a really good relationship with the local library up at Cannons Creek and Bee the librarian there, I talk with her and she gives me lots of tips on
very popular series or books that I might not know about and so we go with that as well.

Bee Trudgeon: And when I began working here I thought a really good way to build a customer base would be to ring my old friend and say why don't you bring a class up and we started doing that just Vanessa and I and it's sort of spread right through the junior and middle syndicate so that now I think we've got nine classes come up and do...lots of things going on in the background...

Vanessa Hendry: Well I guess one of the main things is that the children are aware that it's here and that they come in and they get involved as well in the holiday programmes that Bee sets up.

Bee Trudgeon: And uh they come in and do homework quite large groups of them now. Some of them bring their parents in and use the resources that are here to work interactively
with their parents as well which is just wonderful.

Vanessa Hendry: The inquiry for one of the areas of the school at the moment is around spiders

So we've got a huge display with some spiders around and uh links to within, on our intranet links to places on the internet that they can find information around spiders as well we've got, we use the National Library so we use National Library books to boost our collection because, you know obviously it's very difficult to have you know enough books on a particular topic when you have four or five classes studying that.

Roald Dahl, we had a focus on Roald Dahl and we had, alot of teachers were reading Roald Dahl when they were going into the library, we had a lot of Roald Dahl books out, made links again to websites and information and there were groups of children that um gathered information about Roald Dahl and where, you know and a bit of history around Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

And classes voted for their favourite Roald Dahl book so they had Roald Dahl work up at their local library, Roald Dahl work in our library Roald Dahl work in the classroom and, and then we had, it ended up in this huge assembly where Bee and Donny from the library came and joined us as well and it was all around Roald Dahl stories.

And we've done that before with Hairy Maclary when it was his birthday and and that was nice because Lynley Dodd visited the local shopping mall and the book shop there and we took alot of the work down for her, and we'd made a big cake, not a real cake, but a big cake and the candles were lists of the favourite stories books that the children had and that was nice because then she wrote to the school and the classes and thanked them and talked about it so we've got in pride of place the letter from Lynley Dodd.