Countdown to the Frankfurt Book Fair

One Week Until the Frankfurt Book Fair

Just under a week to go now until the grand opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair (19th-23rd October).  The “Frankfurter Buchmesse” is the world’s largest trade fair for books and publications, based on the number of print houses and publishing companies that exhibit in the vast and sprawling trade halls.   More than a quarter of a million visitors are expected to attend and for teaching professionals and for those responsible for book procurement for schools, this event provides a wonderful opportunity to catch up on the latest trends within educational publishing.

The Frankfurt Book Fair Opens Next Week

Frankfurther Buchmesse logo (2016).

Frankfurt Book Fair logo (2016).

Picture Credit: The Frankfurt Book Fair Press

Over the course of the five-day event, the city of Frankfurt’s population could swell by us much as 20% as visitors from all over the world flock to, for what is for many, the centre of the book publishing world.  After all, this part of southern central Germany can trace its roots in the printing industry back some five centuries or more.  The first three days are allocated to trade visitors, on the weekend, members of the public are able to attend and meet the many thousands of exhibitors, from over 100 different countries, many of who are specialists in the field of educational publishing.

Literacy and English National Curriculum

When the Department of Education outlined the new curriculum for schools, it placed a great emphasis on reading skills and the development of language.  Everything Dinosaur team members work mainly with Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 teaching teams and within the blueprints for the new curriculum’s roll out, the Dept. of Education stated that reading helps pupils to develop emotionally, culturally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.   Within our own workshops for schools, especially when working with Key Stage 1 classes, we try to build in extension exercises that involve the children exploring both non-fiction and fiction texts.

We may live in a society increasingly dominated by downloads, catch-ups and re-winds but it is through reading that children can acquire knowledge and build upon what they already know.  Young boys can become disillusioned about reading, however, when given the chance to read a book all about dinosaurs they relish the opportunity.

The Aim of Many Teachers to Develop a Lifelong Appreciation of Books

Browsing books.

Time for browsing at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Picture Credit: The Frankfurt Book Fair Press

The Frankfurt Book Fair is considered by many as being the most important event of its kind in terms of international deals and trading.  However, teachers and administrators responsible for the school library can also find much to inspire them and assist them with their work.  The school library is often a hub of learning within the school and provides a valuable focal point for developing a coordinated reading policy throughout the educational establishment.  Such a library represents the very first place where children encounter a multitude of books for the very first time.  It has been reported that the average UK household contains only around 150 books in total, so a well-stocked school library can appear like a magical “Aladdin’s Cave” to eager young readers.

The Reading Socio-economic Divide

In a survey carried out by the charity Booktrust and published in the early months of 2014, the socio-economic divide between readers and non-readers within the UK was highlighted.  Based on a survey of fifteen hundred adults, the researchers found that on average, the better-off the person the more likely they were to read regularly.  Key links were identified between a person’s propensity to read and their social background.  A high proportion of people from low income groups admitted that they never read.  Young people, especially men with a relatively poor education, were the least likely to read regularly.  The Dept. of Education concluded in its framework document for the future direction of the English national curriculum by stating that the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of our society.  People who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.

All praise to the Frankfurt Book Fair and to the many teachers, home educationalists and education professionals who are inspired by what they see (and read) there.

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