Last term six schools took part in Reading Hack to trial the programme in a school setting. The schools were from a wide geographical area and of mixed profiles. Those schools in a Reading Hack pilot library authority were encouraged to link with the public library.
Reading Hack activity
Activity was led by school librarians who drew inspiration from the Reading Hack packs and encouraged pupils to come up with their own ideas. Popular hacks included Bookface and Judge the Dystopia.
Some schools worked with small groups of four to ten pupils while others worked with classes of 30, involving other staff including student teachers, literacy coordinators and Heads of English. In some schools older Reading Hackers led hacks for younger pupils while other schools targeted particular groups, including disadvantaged pupils.
As an example of a whole school approach, Stockley Academy in Hillingdon set a Reading Hack competition for all pupils using Remixed Reads. The winners were awarded book tokens which could be redeemed at the school book fair run by the sixth-formers showing how whole school implementation can combine a hack activity with hack volunteering.
Several of the schools saw links to other subjects than English. They felt that the hacks could be a way of bringing the library, books and reading into other curriculum areas e.g. media studies, design technology, drama and even the hair and beauty course run in one school.
Hemel Hempstead School - showcase work
Year 9 students at Hemel Hempstead school took part in Reading Hack as a component of their school library sessions. They were tasked with creating their own hack idea, working in small groups.
Following a brainstorming session, they spent the next couple of sessions designing their hacks and creating a finished piece of work. These included a bus banner and a James Bond-themed dance, License to Read. You can see some examples of their work below.
This term they will be working on a project called 'Hack the Classics' in which they will be using Reading Hack to engage with the classics in new ways.
Bus Banner - created on photoshop
Quotes from schools taking part in Reading Hack
"Reading Hack channelled their thoughts around books and reading. They were enthusiastic and creative with their ideas to promote reading and very keen to keep taking part."
"It's been great for my Pupil Librarians - giving them ownership and creating the hacks."
"They enjoyed filming their Reading Hack idea for the competition. When the website is up and running, they will be very motivated to put their hack ideas up there."
Reading Hack in schools in 2016
We would like to thank all the schools who took part last term. We are working with eleven schools in the spring term to develop the learning gathered to date. We are aiming to invite wider sign up from schools in Autumn, and will be continuing to encourage links between schools and those public libraries who are running Reading Hack.
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Find out about running Reading Hack in your school.