Five ways to get the whole school reading with your School Library Pack
Published on: 07 October 2019
With exciting new choices for this year, the School Library Pack has been carefully curated, with support from a panel of practitioners, to give schools a set of forty high-quality books for all reading interests and abilities.
Last year’s pack was used in lots of creative ways by teachers and librarians to get students reading. Here are five great ways the pack was used:
1. Make the books visible throughout the school
Charlotte Harrison, Literacy Coordinator at Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools, makes sure that as many students as possible have access to the books.
'We use the books in lots of different ways. We add some to the library, others to our lending libraries in the English classrooms and even use some for prizes. We also use these books in our displays in the English department, so they are as visible as possible.'
2. Get staff involved
Abbi McInnes, school librarian at St Mary’s Catholic High School, uses the pack to get staff and students talking about books and reading.
'Whenever we have staff and students discussing books together in an informal and relaxed environment, it is really powerful, so I encourage staff from across the school to read the School Library Pack books. It is particularly effective when staff read books connected to their subject and then suggest them to students in and out of their lessons.'
Many of this year’s titles have great cross-curricular links. Historians will love the true story of the first man to reach the North Pole told in Race to the Frozen North and scientists will be inspired by the Mary Anning’s ground-breaking discoveries, retold in Lightning Mary.
3. Get students talking
Sarah Day, LRC manager at The Ridgeway School, uses the pack each year to get students talking about books. She runs the Gr8 Book Debate, where students read the books throughout the term and then vote for their favourites.
'At the end of the project we had fifteen students who were enthused about these books and reading for pleasure more generally. They have been really effective as peer influencers and have helped to spread the enthusiasm generated in this project throughout Key Stage Three.'
4. Run a book tasting
Chelsea Simon, English teacher at Maltby Academy, used last year’s pack to give students access to a wide variety of different titles.
'When I first received the books, I used them for a book tasting. During a lunchtime, students received a book tasting table mat and a booklet to complete before sampling a selection of the fifteen titles. It’s a great way to introduce the pack before students can borrow them and they are used in reciprocal reading lessons.'
5. Reading in groups
The five sets of books are perfect for group reading activities. This could be an extra-curricular book club with your most able readers, in-lesson group reading or paired reading with readers that require some additional support.
Check out the books and find out more about School Library Pack
School Library Packs are funded by Arts Council England, as well as BookTrust’s partners and donors, so are free for schools in England with a year 7 (or equivalent) intake and will be delivered in January 2020.