Carly Peart, Leader of Learning and Curriculum (Year 3)
Working in an international school, it can sometimes be tricky to stay abreast of new developments coming out of the UK. However, new teachers starting each year bring with them expertise from their previous setting. It was through this avenue several years ago that we came to hear about CLPE and the Power of Reading approach.
A silver lining of the Covid-19 pandemic was the move to online learning, which suddenly opened up courses that had previously been unavailable to us in South-East Asia and it is this that allowed teachers to undergo training around the PoR approach, as well as taking part in a number of CLPE stand-alone webinars.
At this point, should you walk into any classroom in the Primary School, you are likely to see evidence of the latest book the children are focusing on. We are hugely lucky to have access to amazing resources and large spaces, and most year groups will have some sort of interactive display/area linked to that text set up. For example, you may see the Endurance ship brought to life from William Grill’s Shackleton’s Journey, or a boat, complete with sails and a mast for A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton.
The PoR units have brought stories to life and apart from improving children’s reading and writing skills, they have created lasting memories for the children and developed a life-long love of reading for so many. I still have Year 10 students who come and reminisce about the time when we eagerly read through Francesca Sanna’s The Journey, looking at the plight of refugee migration, desperate to know what happened next.
Online training has provided many teachers with the expertise to plan and resource a unit and have the confidence to lead it out across their year group. The previous option would have been to fly to the UK to attend the in-house courses, which financially and timewise, just wasn’t a viable option. Alongside the content knowledge, the training has also broadened teachers’ knowledge of quality children’s texts covering all genres and introduced them to many new authors. Whilst we are exceptionally lucky to have a very well- stocked library (including a wide range of books in other languages), every class library now has a well- considered range of books, often curated by the children, that are updated and refreshed regularly.
Independent reading is sacrosanct in all classrooms, as well as regular times where adults read and share quality texts with children. You will often hear children squealing with excitement when a new book is unveiled to them, and it is wonderful to see their faces light up in anticipation at the adventure that is about to begin.