It’s fantastic to see children back in school after so long a break, and we know how hard staff have had to work to implement all the new (and changing) procedures to get to this stage.
Here at Badger Learning we have been working on updating our products to make sure we have what you need to ensure children are supported in their reading journey and with their wellbeing. We know that the pandemic has put a huge strain on some children’s mental health and wellbeing and as much as we hope that will all be eased now they are back at school, some will need additional resources. Primary teachers may want to take a look at our PSHE Through Stories Collection. For secondary schools, our Minding Your Mental Health and Supporting Your Mental Health collections address a number of mental health topics through fiction and non-fiction respectively, helping teenagers realise they are not alone and opening up conversations in a relatable way.
In these first few weeks back teachers will also have been assessing where children are at academically and looking at ways to address gaps in learning. Reading is crucial here and with the limited access to books over lockdown, a lot of children will have been reading significantly less than they would in more normal times. Supporting struggling and reluctant readers with appealing books, written by authors who specialise in accessible literature has always been a big part of what we do. Our books are all carefully assessed for Accelerated Reader™ Level, Catch-Up Level, reading age and interest age. This ensures you can place the right book in a pupil’s hand, one which will both appeal to their maturity as well as improving their fluency and comprehension and so build their reading confidence. Our reading books are all also available on eBook PDF if you prefer a digital version that can be shared with staff or pupils across the school. Primary school books can be found here and secondary school books here. Do also take a look at Penguin’s Graded Readers, perfect for students learning English as a foreign language or used with struggling readers to improve their literacy skills. This year we’ve also added Exam Set Texts at discounted prices to help fulfil your English Literature requirements, we’ve included both the original texts and high-quality abridged versions to unlock great classics for students who may be put off by length and language.
We have seen a huge increase in demand for phonics books this year, following on from the changes in the Ofsted Reading Deep Dive. One of the most popular schemes has been Collins’ Big Cat for Letters and Sounds and so we have expanded our range to offer a really extensive variety of books so that children have access to a breadth of reading material that really supports the sounds they are learning in class in a systematic, structured way. Set 1 is ideal for smaller schools, and Collins now offer teacher books to accompany this set. Sets 2 and Set 3 are great to add more depth and larger schools can buy all 3 sets together (Complete Set). These books are also available to purchase as individual book band coloured sets, ideal for schools following a book band system. All the books include useful notes and tips for adults to get the most out of this valuable reading time. You’ll also be reassured to know that all our reading scheme books are supplied fitted with protective jackets, both to make them last longer and for ease of cleaning.
For schools looking to supplement their physical books with a digital option that can be used both in school and at home we are really pleased to be able to offer Engage Literacy Online and will have digital phonics reading schemes available very soon. A one-off subscription will keep pupils reading wherever they are and allow access to 136 interactive eBooks, which are precisely levelled from book bands pink to lime and reading recovery levels 1-25.
And finally, our No Planet B and Generation Hope collections continue to be really popular with secondary schools. No Planet B is a collection of dystopian tales that may, in fact become a harsh reality, and the issues they examine, from rising sea levels to the extinction of species are all too real. Generation Hope has been designed to inspire students to engage with societal issues through activism and politics, as Greta Thunberg says ‘No-one is too small to make a difference’.