Worth a nook!
The primary focus for our Reception class at Cardinal Road Nursery and Infant School has been to encourage the children to visit the reading area, promote their love of reading and enjoy having a look for books. We wanted it to be a calming space for the children in what can be a very busy classroom.
Tackling the book corner
When asking the children how they viewed books and themselves as readers, most were positive. However, a few children did not believe in reading and their ability to read. To change this, we curated and reduced the number of books in the reading corner. This gave the children the chance to have a proper look at the books on offer. We changed the books every half term to include books the children enjoyed, ones based on their interests and ones related to the current topic.
How the Book Nook got its name
We put in a new unit with labelled sections for our books to make them feel really special and unique. Our favourite books, including ones we have with the children are kept here. We introduced them to Little Rabbit Foo Foo by Michael Rosen and Arthur Robins (Walker Books), which the children loved immediately. They enjoyed the patter and rhythm and wanted to read the book themselves. We explained how the book was special and would need to be returned to its nook, to which one of the children replied, ‘Yeah, in the Book Nook!’. The name stuck!
Friendly Flowers and Cosy Carpets
Reception visit the library each week with class helpers called ‘Friendly Flowers’. This is an opportunity to choose and share a range of books including new titles like Do Not Open This book by Joy Cowley and David Lund (McGraw Hill) and The Boy Who Switched Off the Sun by Paul Brown (Fourth Wall Publishing). We have added our favourites to our unit for children to take home and share with parents. We regularly read books in front of a cosy fire with the lights turned off and listen to rain and thunderstorm sounds.
By the end of the year, all the children said they enjoyed reading and felt like they could read. They love going to the Book Nook to enjoy a text of their choice. The teachers have also increased their knowledge base of a range of books.
Reflections and next steps
Reading for Pleasure is fun. The children have read a wider range of books that they can also relate to. We will continue our Reading for Pleasure practice and introduce reading friends from another class.
Author bio: Jade Fernandes, Reception Teacher, Cardinal Road Nursery and Infant School, Feltham