Gold Disc Top Tips from the MHS Library
Here at MHS Library we celebrate reading in ALL its forms.
Our stock collection of over 6000 resources varies enormously from fun non-fiction to browse through, leisure magazines on anything from minecraft to football, several younger and older collections of graphic novels, plus a comic corner devoted entirely to Marvel and DC style content. We have a 'choose your own ending' section where you decide how the story develops; short stories and true history stories collections; dedicated Star Wars, Harry Potter and Doctor Who sections with fiction, graphics and non-fiction books on these popular series; and carefully curated Barrington Stoke style collections for older and younger boys with their renowned clear font and page styling. Classic novels are widely supported by abridged and graphic novel versions and a wide range of study guides are available for revision support. Our main younger and older fiction collections are packed with all the most popular series from Wimpy Kid and Walliams to Skulduggery Pleasant and Cherub.
Our online Sora collections have taken our library resources to a new level with a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, in both ebook and audiobook format, with suggested reading lists for every group. The readalong collection on Sora combines both ebook and audiobook in one where the text is highlighted as you hear it - a fantastic literacy support.
Whatever type of book you want to try, in whatever format, we aim to provide it.
Audiobooks are a fantastic addition to the MHS Library.
Our online audio collections on Sora provide access to fiction and non-fiction resources that pupils may find difficult or just not want to read independently but would still enjoy listening to. They can access more challenging text through audiobooks, expand their listening skills and increase vocabulary. Listening to an audiobook is also a great way to while away a long car journey to school or to have a mindful break from screen time.
There is a recent campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of 'turning on the subtitles' when watching TV.
You can read more about it at the following website Turn On The Subtitles where extensive research outlines the benefits to literacy and learning, for struggling readers as well as good ones:
'Subtitles cause automatic behaviour among children and adults. A key finding of eye-tracking research on subtitling, which studies the automatic reading behaviour of children and adults, is that viewers who have some decoding ability - even partial letter to sound correspondence - just cannot ignore the subtitles and will exhibit automatic reading responses.'
'The key to reading fluency is practice. When we experience something, neurons fire. Repeated firings lead to physical changes (in the brain) that, over time and with repetition, become more permanent.'
'The key to reading practice is high-interest content. Audio-visual content that is interesting to children fires a steady stream of consistent grapheme-phoneme associations in the brain that already knows that language and letter-sound correspondent. In the case of popular songs, nursery rhymes and repeatedly watched cartoons there is the additional advantage of predictable text. The visual and auditory pathways involved in reading are strengthened gradually, subconsciously and incidentally, as a by-product of watching content that the child has an inherent motivation to watch.'
This is an easy, simply and free way to turn TV time into reading time.
Graphic novels are BY FAR the most popular resource in the library and for good reason.
The bubble writing, comic strip format with variety of type faces makes the text 'pop out' of the page in bite size easier to digest chunks. Students will work harder to access more complex information in this format than from a page of plain text. In addition to this, the illustrations can advance the plot with information not found in the text, taking the place of long paragraphs of description. It can be easy to dismiss graphic novels due to levels of violence, a lack of continuous text or being particularly crude or non PC. However, carefully curated collections provide a wealth of benefits to all readers. Even more 'slapstick comedy' plot lines can have a moral message and students can relate them to real life and make value judgements. Inference skills can be developed by studying the illustrations and the gap between them and the written word, and understanding the thoughts and feelings of others can be illustrated in comic strip format.
Our graphic collections are popular with all our readers both reluctant and keen, but finishing a graphic novel right to the end can give a great sense of achievement to those students who may rarely get to the end of a traditional paperback. Achievement in this way can also be a stepping stone for other formats of reading.
Our graphic collections include large series of popular Japanese manga, classic fiction including GCSE and A-level set texts (wherever possible) in graphic format, and classics such as Tin Tin and Asterix alongside popular new series such as Dog Man or The Bad Guys.
Our online Sora collection includes various accessibility functions for ebooks.
These include an 'Open dyslexic font, different page colour backgrounds and contrasts, as well as being able to change the font size.
All these can be accessed once the ebook is on loan and open from the icons top right.
Our Sora collection has an amazing section called 'Audiobook Readalongs'.
These resources are a combination of both ebook and audiobook where the text is highlighted as you hear the audio. Different resources have different audio speeds, so some are suitable for slower readers, others for more advanced.
In addition to these, we also recommend taking out the hard copy of a book at the same time as loaning the audio online so you can 'readalong' to it that way.
Our LDC literacy tutors advocate the benefits of reading together.
Not only is reading to your child a good way to expose them to more advanced vocabulary, but it provides opportunities to pause regularly and discuss the book. Use question words like who, what, when, where and why to ensure comprehension; often the burden of decoding words can make this difficult. You can share this by taking alternate lines or pages. Help your child to read complicated words by breaking them into sounds and syllables or start off a longer word and leave them to work out the rest from the context.
if your child is reluctant you can still encourage reading in different ways; alternatives could include online resources, playing games, reading instructions, following recipes, signs, menus, game cards like Pokemon or Top Trumps etc. It all makes a different, as does letting your child see you read. Parents modelling good reading habits be it newspapers, magazines, fiction or non-fiction books is invaluable. A father sharing one of his favourite comics from his own childhood can be a nostalgic moment together. You can add to the fun by making up voices and sound effects.
Above all, keep it relaxed and enjoyable.
The library at More House School is so much more than a library.
It is a welcoming comfortable space with soft seating and boasts an elevated position on site with views over the Surrey Hills. It is a quiet calm place to spend some downtime, a chance to hang out with a friend for a quiet game of cards or to catch up on some group revision for the older boys.
You certainly don't have to be a keen reader to want to spend time in the library.
The library also promotes the benefits of reading for well-being.
Reading can transport us to another world, providing an escape from the everyday stresses of real life. Assuming that students are accessing the right kind of content in an accessibly appropriate format for their reading level, regular reading for pleasure can significantly reduce stress.
Reading can improve sleep. Smartphones have become our regular bedtime buddy, and what's the harm in checking social media before lights out? For some people, it can affect sleep. Swapping your phone for a book as part of your bedtime ritual may help support your transition from wakefulness to drowsiness.
Whilst reading for pleasure can be an escape from the real world, it can also improve social skills. Reading fiction can support developing empathy, understanding the world around us and other people's different thoughts, beliefs and desires.
For those who enjoy reading for pleasure, it can provide a wealth of health and well-being benefits.
MHS librarians always welcome all pupils, parents and staff to get in touch.
We can provide advice on suitable reading formats to try, make suggestions on interesting content, troubleshoot logging in and loaning issues, as well as liaise with literacy tutors and form tutors on how best to support your child's reading, either for curriculum or reading for pleasure.
Furthermore, MHS Library now has its own Twitter account where you can follow posts relating to supporting SEN readers, popular SEN school library stock and related reading for pleasure suggestions.
Follow us @MHSLibrary6