Best Selling Author Visits Caversham Pupils

Children’s author Giles Andreae visited The Heights Primary School in Caversham in order to officially open their new learning resource centre, and to talk about the joys of poetry, reading and writing with the children.

hqdefault (1)Inspiration for a Generation

Mr Andreae is most commonly known in the literary world for his Purple Ronnie and Edward Monkton poems, but has also enjoyed a number of successes in his children’s books, including Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean and Giraffes Can’t Dance.

The author spent some time reading in the new resource centre before he took poetry workshop classes for the older Key Stage 1 children in order to help inspire the children into trying out their own form of poetry.

The Importance of Creative Role Models

Visits such as Mr Andreae’s are so important to young minds as it gives them something to aspire to, whether they are creative or literary or scientifically inclined. By having genuine, successful professionals from all industries come in and speak to pupils, teachers can help encourage children to work hard and achieve their own dreams.

Get Your Kids to Read! Dangerous Literacy Levels

The National Literacy Trust has warned that low literacy levels could be incredibly dangerous for our children. It will come as no surprise to many teachers and teaching assistants across the UK that some parents and teachers are having difficulty getting their children involved in reading and reading on a regular basis. Low literacy levels and living in poverty combined can create a reinforcing cycle that will be difficult to break if left unaided in adulthood. So why should we be spending more time on getting our kids to read?

Higher Literacy = Better Communication


If you read on a regular basis, your vocabulary increases as does your understanding of certain terms, more complex words and common phrases.

By not reinforcing the importance of reading in our children, parents are starving their children of the opportunity to engage in worthwhile and intelligent conversation.


Reading Inspires and Encourages Children to Use their own Skills

As a generation, we often rely a little too much on all the technology available at our fingertips. If we don’t know something, we are likely to Google it. In short we have become a little lazy. Just because all this information is readily available, it doesn’t mean we no longer have the need for books and for absorbing information. There may be a time where we don’t have Google, and this is where encouraging children to read on a regular basis can help. They absorb the information presented to them in books and will learn to rely on their own knowledge and experience, instead of just what they can find on Google.

Teaching Children Empathy Through Reading

empathyWe all know that reading every once in a while gives children a chance to gain literacy and fluency skills, opening their imagination to various fantasy worlds and encouraging them to use more complicated words in different contexts. But did you know it may also help to teach children empathy?

A study conducted from Cambridge University by professor of education Maria Nikolajeva has concluded that reading fiction gives young children fictitious situations in which they can develop and practise empathy. It also gives them an understanding of how other people feel and think.

Finding the right story is essential, as it needs to be a situation in which the children can put their own thoughts and feelings. For this reason, Jacqueline Wilson’s books are incredibly useful due to the way she writes about real life situations and issues from the point of view of young children. Jacqueline Wilson is famous for her gutsy character ‘Tracy Beaker’ and such books as ‘The Suitcase Kid’, ‘Four Children and It’ and ‘The Worry Website’

Young readers connect with the main characters in their story books, following their failures and successes, their wins and losses. They feel the same things as these characters, leading to an understanding of empathy. Empathy can be learned from a very young age in its most basic concept, but in order to gain a deeper understanding of empathy, you need to be able to get into the mind of another, and what better way to do this than with a good book?