Damers Big Reading Project 2013

ks1_book_coverAt Damers we are always striving to find out how our children learn best. At the end of every Big Project we do at Damers we evaluate the impact and learning that has taken place so that we can feed these key principles for learning into our next Big Project.

We ask children, staff and parents for their opinions and reflections on the learning that has taken place. We then analyse evaluations to determine key principles which have led to successful learning.

Key Principles

  • Professionals – we enabled children to work with real professionals in this field eg authors and illustrators. The use of male authors was particularly influential for our boys.
  • Environment – changing the environment in which our children read had a large impact on the frequency and use of book corners. We invested in new furniture, fantastic new books and resources to create welcoming, comfortable and inviting areas. We tracked the number of children using the book corner out of choice and there was a steep slope upwards.
  • Literacy – planning whole learning projects based on books.
  • Engagement and motivation – comments from children, staff and parents are evidence that children were motivated and enthusiastic about reading as a pleasure pursuit. One parent commented that their child had even swapped their DS for a book.
  • Collaboration – the whole school working towards the same outcome of creating and publishing a real book. Year groups felt they had worked as a team to create, write, illustrate and publish their book. They felt strongly about building up to the final outcome together.
  • Storytelling – the children saw themselves as storytellers.
  • Focus – in depth learning and focus around specific authors.
  • Purpose/real life experience – the project had real outcomes and a purpose that the children and parents could relate to and understand.
  • Choice – the project was genuinely directed by child led choices down to the books, methods, environment and final book launch.
  • Roles – children took on real roles and jobs within the project and were inspired by having professional role models.
  • Celebration – having a real focus and purpose for their work. What do authors do? They publish and launch their books. Being able to organise and direct an event that would share and showcase their efforts to the public.