DOWN A water slide, in a rugby scrum or on top of a police car – staff and pupils at Portsdown Primary certainly know how to take their reading to the limit.
An extreme reading competition has already attracted dozens of photographs of them reading away in the most unusual places.
Daphne Wright, deputy head of the Cosham school, said: ‘We want to show the children how much fun reading can be. It’s about moving away from just teaching them to read well technically and encouraging them to read for pleasure.’
The national curriculum’s focus on standards has for many years come under heavy criticism by children’s authors including Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson, for stifling children’s enjoyment of books.
Mrs Wright conducted a school survey recently and was pleased to find 95 per cent of pupils across all year groups said they read for pleasure.
She said: ‘The push for standards and attainment can leave children feeling “I’ve got to read this, and I’ve got to analyse the characters and say what the author is thinking”, rather than just reading the text for fun.
‘Children might be making the right noises but they’re not enjoying reading. But it is the enjoyment factor that will improve the quality of how they read.’
OUR Read All About It campaign marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens in Portsmouth by encouraging youngsters to love reading.
For us it’s about the three Ls - learning to read, loving reading and libraries.
We’re supporting a host of events throughout the year to spread the reading bug.
And we’ve asked schools to sign up to a pledge to boost literacy.
These include letting us know how the performance of pupils has improved over the course of the campaign and nominating ‘best readers’ in schools.
To find out more about how to take part, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (023) 9262 2131.