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Reading retreat reaping rewards

Students enjoy spending time in Holy Spirit School’s newly established reading

HOLY Spirit School, Bray Park’s new “reading retreat” is a big hit with both students and parents.

Initiated by the school’s literacy team, parents and their children are being encouraged to drop into the newly established outdoor area every Thursday morning and grab a book to read on their own or to share with others.

The reading retreat has been filled with reading pods and colourful rugs and students can also play with puppets and share stories.

The aim - to promote reading for enjoyment.

The idea for the reading retreat came about when the school’s primary learning leader, Michaela Lewis, while on an educational tour to Blacktown in Sydney last year, witnessed a wonderful example of an outdoor reading space.

When she returned to Holy Spirit, Michaela pitched the idea to the school’s leadership team, who gave their full support to the implementation of a similar idea at the school.

With the help of literacy coach Marianna Foley and teacher librarian Kate Bennett, resources were purchased and book donations came flooding in and in a short time the reading retreat was up and running.

Michaela said the response to the reading retreat was very positive with both children and parents.

“It is a highlight of the week,” she said.

She said Year 5 students were asked to voluntarily sign on to help with the set-up and pack up each week.

“This personal sacrifice of play time reflects the concept of “paying it forward”, which the children are learning about in their Religious Education unit.”

Parent Carolyn Bell said she really enjoyed spending time in the reading retreat.

Carolyn, who has children in Year 3 and 5, said she thought it was a great idea.

“It's a nice way to start the day, calm and welcoming,” she said.

Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101