BEP Blog – Issue 4: Reading Reconsidered

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As many of you know I have been helping to support schools with improving reading. Apart from creating reading partnerships I’ve also established a “book club”. Run along typical lines i.e. one of us to choose a book for us all to read and then we get together to discuss our thoughts. Our first is “Reading Reconsidered” by Doug Lemov. Seven English leaders plus me are currently reading this mighty tome!  These are four core ideas that the book focuses on:

a) read harder texts
b) ‘closely read’ texts rigorously and intentionally
c) read nonfiction more effectively
d) write more effectively in direct response to texts

One of the ideas earlier on in the book discusses how to select texts and that this deserves more attention than we are perhaps used to giving it.  It discusses how difficult it can be for young readers to comprehend non-linear time in sequences, when stories subtly switch back and forth in time.  Not just flashbacks or flash-forwards but unclear timing of events and changes in rate of timing, so we need to ensure children gain experience of stories which manipulate time.  They suggest Farm Boy by Michael Morpurgo as well as Big Mama’s by Donald Crew.  We are thinking of creating a suggested text list which you could contribute to… What do you think? 


In the following areas: West Heath/Northfield, Hall Green , Moseley, Kings Heath, and Sutton Coldfield
Beanstalk (formerly Volunteer Reading Help) recruits, trains and supports reading helpers to provide cost effective one to one support for children across Birmingham. At just £214 per child, per year, it is an excellent use of PP money. Each reading helper supports 3 children, twice a week, offering bespoke support to help improve reading, confidence and self-esteem.
For more information call/email Alison Horton 07912392272 or

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