From time to time, SLG is asked to send representatives to different events around the country to speak or to set up a stand. This involved us getting involved with a stand in the ATL Conference earlier in the year, being represented and giving a talk to a Headteachers’ Teachmeet in the summer, and the Reading Rocks event this autumn. Lucy Chambers from the committee attended this event, and wrote her report for us. Every meeting we attend is a chance for us to interact with people we wouldn’t normally reach, and to spread the word about the great things school libraries are doing.
Lucy writes: ‘I attended the first one day Reading Rocks 2016 conference, established to ‘discuss ways to make reading rock for every pupil.’ near Warrington, to deliver a workshop on behalf of SLG. This was an opportunity to speak at an event aimed at teachers rather than just librarians and is something the committee has been discussing for some time: how to cross the invisible barrier and promote the impact librarians can have on a school to educationalists.
The District CE Primary School in Newton-le-Willows has won awards for its approach to reading and has many inspirational reading areas, from several small libraries within the school to a Story Shack, a book-themed playground and a Little Library of books for parents. They promote reading with stylish and interactive displays and regular reading events throughout the year.
My role was to advocate the value of school librarians, in this case in primary schools, and to promote SLG. I also spoke about how I use regular Reading Year events to get children reading in my four schools in Tower Hamlets. The day was devoted to literacy sessions of interest to primary school teachers, with several authors and promoters of reading schemes. Keynote speakers included James Clements, the founder of Shakespeare and More, who works with schools to develop the teaching of reading, and Mat Tobin, Senior Lecturer in English and Children’s Literature at Oxford Brookes’ School of Education, talking about the hidden messages in picture books , including a thought-provoking interpretation of ‘Not Now Bernard’, elicited with discussion from Year 1 to Year 6 pupils.
Workshops ranged from sessions promoting First News, Phoenix and other magazines to a project using rhythm and music to improve reading comprehension in low ability children. Other workshops included storyteller Dan Worsely, Into Film, Mat Tobin, Jonny Duddle and Nikki Heath.
Altogether, it was a very impressive event with some excellent speakers, a great range of exhibitors and an ambitious programme. If you are a primary school librarian or teacher, look out for Reading Rocks 2017 and sign up!’
See the school’s website www.district.st-helens.sch.uk/ for further information