Understanding the importance
The Reading Schools framework highlights the importance of forming a Reading Leadership Group: a collective of key players tasked with driving the school’s reading culture. Having a Reading Leadership Group is a requirement for accreditation, and it is of key importance that this group includes learners.
West Lothian’s Knightsridge Primary School provides a great example establishing and maximising a reading leadership group – while ensuring learners’ voices are heard loud and clear.
Assembling the group
Knightsridge recognised the importance of representation when assembling the group leading their Reading Schools submission. Junior librarians from the upper primary classes represented learners from across the school, while adults from the senior leadership team, including the head teacher, ensured Reading Schools remained at the top of the school’s agenda. The leadership group also saw parents, public librarians, community councillors, bookshop managers and the neighbouring college principal become committed members, showing a breadth of involvement and the school’s ambition.
Meeting regularly prove a challenge, but every month the group gathered to plan and develop meaningful reading activities. Even when restrictions suspended in-person meetings, the group met virtually, using online platforms to keep momentum and enthusiasm alive.
Including partners from across the local community brought different perspectives, expertise and approaches. This helped the group find innovative solutions to problems and enabled them to explore different directions for their Reading Schools journey.
Enshrined in practice
A Reading Leadership Group might risk losing momentum or appearing tokenistic, but not at Knightsridge. Instead, the group cemented its importance throughout its Reading Schools journey, from planning strategy to role modelling reading behaviours and designing activities to benefit the school and broader community.
Learners and adults were established as equal stakeholders in promoting reading for pleasure. This shared responsibility resulted in rich experiences for learners and their families. Learners at Knightsridge can rely on staff to hear their opinions and suggestions, nurturing and supporting them to become a reality. Equally, staff rely on the views and guidance of their learners to develop lessons and seek out exciting resources to support activities.
Knightsridge Primary School achieved a much-deserved Gold accreditation in November 2020, a status they will hold for three years, but there’s no sign of them slowing down.
Despite weaving in and out of various levels of restriction, the school has gone from strength to strength, forging lifelong partnerships within the local community and placing reading for pleasure at the very centre of their literacy endeavours.
While gratefully receiving their accreditation, Knightsridge see their journey as ongoing, finding new and exciting ways to promote reading with their ever expanding Reading Leadership Group steady at the helm.
It’s been a pleasure supporting Knightsridge Primary School on their journey to become a Gold Reading School!
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