Dick was a primary school teacher for eight years before literary success allowed him to concentrate on being a full-time writer.
He knew how important books are to children; how stories help kids understand the world, demonstrate how personal problems might be solved, allow their imaginations to flourish, and entertain and amuse them. Who, child or adult, can ever be bored when engrossed in a gripping story?
Because of this, the King-Smith family decided that it was important for this website to offer something to teachers, which in its own small way will help more children to become readers for life. We employed literacy expert Prue Goodwin to create some teaching resources which you will find below. We hope to add to these in the near future.
The benefits of reading aloud to children:
The Hodgeheg in the key stage 2 classroom:
The Sophie stories in the key stage 1 classroom:
The Fox Busters in the key stage 2 classroom:
Prue Goodwin is a freelance lecturer in literacy and children’s books. She taught in primary and middle schools for over twenty years before leaving the classroom to work with, and for, teachers, parents, librarians, students and publishers. A great fan of the work of Dick King-Smith, she strongly believes in the value of reading such modern classics aloud to children. ‘Reading aloud to them is,’ she says, ‘arguably, one of the most effective means of motivating children to become confident readers.’
Prue fully agrees with the following statements in the current national guidelines for teaching reading, the English Programmes of Study (PoS): key stages 1 and 2, National curriculum in England (September 2013), which state that:
At key stage 1 children develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by listening to and discussing a wide range of stories at a level beyond that at which they can read independently (pages 11 & 18).
At key stage 2, even though pupils can now read independently, reading aloud to them should include whole books (pages 25, 35).
The PoS points out that: ‘Reading aloud increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.’ (page 4).