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Ashfield Public School

Ashfield Public School

Every child, every opportunity

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"The more that you read, the more things you will know." Dr Seuss

Parents often ask what can be done at home to help their child learn. There is an answer has been consistent: turn off the television, switch off the games on the computer or device and have your child read narratives such as picture books and novels.

Reading narratives is fundamental in facilitating academic growth. Narratives give a child a greater command of the English language; they expand vocabulary, knowledge of sentence structure and of how words work. Also, a child engaged in periods of sustained reading develops concentration.

Reading narratives is also a powerful way for a child to develop knowledge and experience about the world. By identifying with characters and storylines, a child develops understanding about a range of situations. For example, in the

novel Onion Tears, the reader empathises with the main character, a Vietnamese refugee trying to come to terms with her new life in Australia.

Reading narratives is an essential element of 21st Century learning as it teaches children to be imaginative thinkers. This description from the novel ‘Anne of Green Gables":

Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place;

requires the reader to translate into pictures in the mind what is read on the page. It requires visualising a description of a setting with plenty of room for creative interpretation, inference and imagination.

Ashfield Public School has an excellent reading program supported by a well-stocked library of novels, picture books and readers. The school uses the PM Benchmark Reading Assessment Resource to track students until they reach a reading age of 12. Students then progress through two levels of reading, Super Reader and Advanced Reader. Student progress is acknowledged with home reading awards. Also the school has launched a Book Exchange to give children increased access to books.

Parents are encouraged to create and/or maintain a culture of reading in their homes. A bookshelf in a bedroom, a quiet time to read before sleeping, regular visits to Ashfield library, reading aloud to children, or adults picking up a novel and showing their child how it's done; these are all ways to encourage our children to read.

Ashfield Public School celebrate books and the absolute importance of developing in children a passion and commitment to lifelong reading.