After finding the research about reading for pleasure being THE key indicator in raising attainment, I attended a conference at the Guardian - quite simply the best day's CPD I've ever taken part in. I came away bursting with ideas; some were quick, easy wins (write a poem on the window with a whiteboard pen), others longer term goals (improve uptake of reading at home). Over the next two terms I fell in love with teaching again - all by inspiring a love of reading. We talked about books all the time, I encouraged children to read at playtime, at home and in my class & I read my own books in front of my class. The first time I did I felt guilty ('what if the Head sees me?!') & yet two weeks later I overheard Holly in the playground telling her friend, 'I know Mrs Millar likes reading because she smiles when she reads.'
Over those two terms, 100% of my class made expected progress for the year.
80% of the children made better than expected progress for the year.
In all subjects. And I hadn't changed how I'd taught Maths or Science.
All we'd done was have fun with books.
I've since gone on to help other schools motivate their pupils to read and seen similar transformations in their reading culture, attitudes to learning and outcomes for pupils. I've spoken at local conferences in the North East and nationally at the Guardian Education Centre.
I'm a member of the Children's Laureate Advisory Steering Panel and during the Covid pandemic launched Lockdown Children's Litfest, a series of long-form interviews with inspirational children's authors and experts in the children's book industry.
I'm passionate about helping teachers, school staff and parents motivate children to read. I'd love to come and support your school!
Come & join my library where you will find a wealth of resources to help promote a love of reading in your school.