West Sussex TRG – An update from Polly Atkinson

The West Sussex TRG aim was to support each other in raising the profile of RfP in our settings. We’ve been using web-site as a starting point and the projects currently being developed include: Introducing poetry boxes in classrooms and reading a poem a day ;Researching and purchasing literature to stock a school library; Ensuring read aloud sessions are happening DAILY in classrooms; Inspirational author visits; and Encouraging ‘booktalk’ between staff and children through the whole school. This is resulting in pupils recommending books to teachers as well as peers, book assemblies (reading the opening page of a book to entice children to borrow from the library), guided reading sessions beginning with ‘At the moment I am reading..’  and more besides.

It has been evident in our meetings that we are ‘preaching to the converted’ (we all share the view that RfP is vital for our pupils and we love sharing, swapping and recommending books etc.).
I have increasingly been asked to hold our meetings in the schools of our members, so they can ‘spread the word’ to colleagues. This has been welcomed by headteachers and has enabled more teachers to become involved.

In West Sussex we have the consistent support (and attendance) from the SLS, local English Advisors and independent children’s bookshop owners (all of whom are glad to keep up with current needs of teachers). This has broadened our ‘booktalk’ hugely and helped to create contacts locally