How Pyjamarama helped this school get children reading

Published on: 15 May 2023

Mr Pocknell from Our Lady Queen Of Peace Catholic Primary School, spoke to us about why the children at his school love getting involved in Pyjamarama, and how it has helped his school better engage children in reading.

A primary school class joining in PyjamaramaPhotograph: Our Lady Queen Of Peace Catholic Primary School

“Pyjamarama is the perfect piece of the reading puzzle to pull everything together.”

You can join Mr Pocknell and other schools, libraries, nurseries and individuals all over the UK, for an amazing story-filled day on Friday 16 June, by registering for Pyjamarama 2023.

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Mr Pocknell says: “We’ve been taking part in Pyjamarama for a few years now. As a school, we wanted to build and nurture a culture of reading for pleasure. Pyjamarama was the perfect piece of the reading puzzle to pull everything together.

“We have about 210 children in our school, and we use Pyjamarama as a celebration of reading across the whole school – every class from Reception up to Year 6 take part.

Mr Pocknell told us how, on Pyjamarama Day, his school uses a buddy system so that older children read to younger children. Furthermore, teachers from all year groups rotate round to read to different year groups, and this is something that they’ve continued to do on a weekly basis throughout the year.

“Essentially, we have developed ongoing strategies and approaches to support reading in our school as a result of Pyjamarama.”

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A teacher reading to a class for PyjamaramaPhotograph: Our Lady Queen Of Peace Catholic Primary School

Why is Pyjamarama great for the children and the school?

Mr Pocknell says: “The children really look forward to Pyjamarama not only because they get to dress up in their PJs, but because it is an opportunity for them to share their own stories that they love, and to read with their peers, as well as listen to other teachers read. It’s a lovely way of encouraging and promoting an essential life skill – reading.

“As the Reading Lead in the school, it gives me a really good insight into what kind of books the children love to read. I can then go away and look at additional texts that might also be suitable or similar, so we can build on that interest and love of reading as they continue through school. 

Pyjamarama is an opportunity to tick a lot of boxes – but in a way that doesn’t feel artificial or just shoehorned in.

It fits naturally within a school. Pyjamarama is so well organised and we always use the resources provided by BookTrust. It is easy to run and takes a lot of pressure off schools and teachers, but has a big impact on the children, as well as helping to raise money and awareness about the cause. With times being so expensive right now for families, it is really nice that parents get behind the cause and recognise the importance of BookTrust’s work to provide bedtime stories to all children.

“Pyjamarama is a really welcomed opportunity and something that we as teachers and the children look forward to every year.”

Do you want to join us for Pyjamarama 2023? Click below to register or find out more.

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Register your interest for Pyjamarama 2024

Want a fun way to get children excited about reading? Join Pyjamarama in 2024, when children can spend the day in their pyjamas, reading and sharing stories and raising money for BookTrust.

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