But take a look at the picture of one of the students featured in the Evening Standard Movie in this article, and you will see that nothing of the sort was going on at all. The children weren’t reading books, they were shuffling a few photocopied pages around.
This perfectly explains the appalling reading standards ushered in by the National curriculum, and the Literacy Strategy in particular. Children don’t read books any more – they analyse texts.
There is no time or need to read books in school. Education is arranged for the sake of accountants, who need boxes to be ticked so they can analyse progress and massage figures more easily. Reading books doesn’t fit into that structure. Books take too long to read and – heaven forbid! – the children might make up their own minds about the message and meaning in the book. There may not be an appropriate box for them to tick!
The sooner the Literacy strategy is abandoned, the sooner British children can get back to the very difficult job of learning to read – that requires real books with a beginning a middle and an end, with a great story filled with life’s funny, sad and awkward truths.