How to build a lifelong love of reading…

Claire Gough, Deputy Head, Sinai Jewish Primary School


I once read, ‘reading is dreaming with your eyes open’ and it resonated with me. It is this dream world, full of imagination and wonder that we are so passionate about creating for all our pupils. 


We use reading to create memorable learning experiences by using the chosen book as a starting point and then building lessons around it to bring the story to life. For example, our Early Years classes read Julia Donaldson’s ‘The Gruffalo’ and will then have the opportunity to make Gruffalo Crumble whilst discussing ingredients, characters and plot lines. 


Our Year 4 children have read ‘Toro Toro’ the story of a young boy growing up in Spain, on a farm rearing bulls for the bull ring. As well as reading the book we held a Spanish themed day where the children dressed up, had Spanish language lessons and cooked Spanish omelettes in our multipurpose room.


Every class from Nursery to Year 6 has a class book that is read regularly - Nursery and Reception enjoy this daily - and children have reading books to take home. We know that reading sparks imagination and creativity. It teaches children how to cope with emotions; building empathy and social skills as they identify with and relate to the character’s emotions. It also develops the skill of questioning and a thirst for knowledge. 


In a world where libraries are closing and too much screen time is an increasing problem with young children we are delighted to be bringing our very own library bus to the school. The bus, which will be housed permanently in the playground, will put reading at the heart of the school. 


We know our passion for reading benefits our children. We are proud to be in the top 5% of the country for the Year 1 National Phonics Screening, with 98.6% of our children passing. 


So snuggle up with a book or enjoy being read to. Transport yourself into another world and learn to listen, evaluate, ask questions, infer, clarify and make connections.