Why I love Bookbuzz, by a school librarian

Published on: 30 April 2018

Eileen Armstrong, Librarian of Cramlington Learning Village, explains how Bookbuzz - a BookTrust reading for pleasure programme - has boosted the reading culture for her school's Year 7 and 8 students.

Eileen Armstrong

How was Bookbuzz introduced to your school, and how has it been used?

Bookbuzz launches early in the autumn term in a special reading assembly. It's fantastic to be able to offer students a gift at the start of their secondary school journey. Having sets of the shortlisted books available in advance allows key staff to read and champion different titles. The Bookbuzz author film is shown in registration to help students make good book choices, and the fantastic ready-to-use resources from the website keep excitement high while waiting for the books to arrive.

What difference has Bookbuzz made in your school?

Bookbuzz always proves to be a brilliant way of starting that conversation about books which is essential to building a reading community. New students value their Bookbuzz book highly, carrying it around in their bag and reading it regularly during English lessons and dedicated reading time.

Bookbuzz has expanded and enriched our library offer too as students often request subsequent titles in the series when they've enjoyed their Bookbuzz book!

How does Bookbuzz promote independent reading choice in students?

The Bookbuzz selection gets better each year and offers something for all interests and abilities. The sample book sets are displayed in the library, highlighted by the free posters and bookmarks, and circulated round classrooms so that students can try different titles for themselves before making their choice.

With titles available in accessible formats too, Bookbuzz really does offer something for everyone. More reluctant readers often feel a real sense of achievement in being first in the class to finish their book.


How does Bookbuzz support the transition to secondary school?

English teachers use Bookbuzz as an opportunity to engage with new Year 7 classes. You can discuss new and familiar authors or favourite genres, and spark class discussions and shared enjoyment of reading. Promoting Bookbuzz at the very start of the year helps to avoid the dip in reading enjoyment which can sometimes occur on moving to a bigger school where lots of new curriculum subjects compete for attention.

How does Bookbuzz help to engage pupil premium students?

Bookbuzz titles are chosen with both Year 7 and Year 8 in mind, so we've used Pupil Premium funding to keep Year 8 Pupil Premium students reading. We were blown away by their enthusiastic response! Although book ownership is not high for this group, they are genuinely excited about getting to choose and read their own books. Many chose the same title as others in their English class and formed mini reading circles.

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