Year 6 book club for parents and pupils at St James’s CE Primary School in Dudley

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This case study is taken from the reading events and groups section of Reading Connects. Read more case studies in this section

Family book club

Kate Gregory, from St James’s CE Primary School in Dudley explains their book club for Year 6 children and their parents.

I set up a book club at St James’s which meets once a term. This is how it works:

I send out a letter to all of Year 6 inviting them and their parents, relatives or grown up friends to join us. I also invite school governors and the local town librarian.

St James' book club.
I decide on a book beforehand and we order 20 copies from the local Schools Library Service. So far this year we have read The Fib by George Layton and Cliffhanger by Jacqueline Wilson. Everyone in Year 6 reads the book, and then returns it to the library as soon as they have finished so that someone else can read it. On the day of the book club, everyone arrives at the library at lunchtime with some food and we discuss the book in groups.

Librarians from Year 6 are in charge of the groups, and I prepare a list of questions and discussion points to help them keep the conversation going. It has been so successful that I have now extended the book club into Year 5.

Dinosaur focus week.
To encourage children, especially boys, to come to the library, I also hold 'focus weeks'. For example, we held a dinosaur week which the boys absolutely loved. They brought in their models of dinosaurs, and found out their names and facts about them from books in the library. They then listened to a story about dinosaurs and made models using pictures from books, as well as loads of other things. We had every year group in the library and loads of older boys too! The success of that focus week led to another one on sharks and then a Doctor Who week.

I open the library every lunch time and have a range of activities going on each day, including borrowing and browsing, story time, chess and games which help the children find their way around the library. All year groups, including our pre school, visit the library regularly.

Last year, we began an after school session for parents and children to borrow books and it has been very successful. Reception and Year 1 parents collect their children from the classroom at 3pm and bring them to the library. All other year groups come at the end of the school day.

(February 2008)

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