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Reading for Pleasure

Welcome to the August newsletter

Whilst this may not be the summer break we were expecting, I hope you are all managing to get some rest and relaxation, enjoying the good weather and catching up on some RfP. This month, alongside our usual news, updates, ‘Author in the Spotlight’ and ‘Top Texts’, we have details of the fabulous first OU and RA ‘Teachers’ Reading Challenge’ - see below!

Lucy Rodriguez Leon

Do join in, stay safe and stay in touch @OpenUni_RfP.

Lucy Rodriguez-Leon

Teachers Reading Challenge

Teachers’ Reading Challenge

We’re so excited to announce the launch of the Teachers’ Reading Challenge! This initiative is designed to support educators at all stages of their career, to enrich their knowledge of texts for young people (and have some fun along the way).

Inspired by OU research into reading for pleasure and the RA’s children’s Summer Reading Challenge, the partnership has created a bespoke experience for teachers and others interested in promoting the reading habit in the young. Teachers are invited to sign up to the Challenge and choose their goal. You’ll be able to access a downloadable reading diary, keep track of your reading online, find book recommendations, save books onto your own wish list, take part in discussions and more! Do join in!

Professor Teresa Cremin said: I’m delighted that our proposal to the Reading Agency to co-create a Teachers’ Reading Challenge was so enthusiastically welcomed. OU research has revealed that teachers’ repertoires are rather reliant on books from their childhoods or celebrity authors, it has also shown that such professional knowledge is critical to motivate and support young readers. So, the partnership Challenge offers a practical and engaging way forward to widen repertoires, rekindle pleasure and enrich practice.

We know many of you will be looking for new books to enjoy and share with your pupils in the autumn or thinking about supporting a new cohort of student teachers to develop rich reading repertoires. So, join the Challenge - it’ll be fun! Do share what you’re reading #TRC2020

Summer Reading Adventure

Summer Reading Adventure

Do use this with your families or send on to homes to promote RfP. Designed and illustrated by Sadie Philips, a TRG leader, it illustrates that reading involves far more than books: comics, take away menus, instructions on video games, cards, magazines and much more! By working through the map children and parents will discover there are many things to read and places to read them in. Matt Courtney, another TRG Leader, added to the appeal by giving out the Summer Reading Adventure Maps as scrolls!


Join a webinar for Nicola Davies’ new book Last

Last is the first book that Nicola’s written and illustrated. The tale is inspired by the story of Sudan, the last known male northern white rhino, who died in 2018. On World Rhino Day Nicola is inviting teachers and children to join the online launch which includes a reading of the book and a Q&A session with Nicola and Simon James, CEO from Helping Rhinos. It’s on 22nd September at 2.00pm BST! If you are interested email rhino@helpingrhinos.org.

Creating Readers

Creating Readers: Parents’ reading course

This new online course by Coram Beanstalk, is both rich and relevant. Creating Readers is a series of five fun, practical and inter-active online sessions designed to help parents offer even more effective support to children as readers. Do check it out – the OU run several Reading Groups with Coram Beanstalk volunteers and as you probably know they are a committed and talented bunch.

Featured Examples of Practice

This month we’re featuring two examples of research-informed practice uploaded by members of the TRG community. Congratulations Sanam and Corinne.

Reading in Quarantine
Reading in a Time of quarantine by Sanam Borgozi

Sanam, the head Librarian at Arcadia School in Dubai documents the many ways in which the school’s commitment to building a Community of Readers was continued during quarantine. Sanam discusses how she created a virtual school library and made use of ‘Bookflix’, ‘Bitmoji’ and offered daily online read-alouds whilst in 24-hour lockdown.

Corrinne Is Reading
Me as a reader by Corrinne Greenslade

Corinne’s example, ‘Me as a Reader’ describes how, after engaging with the TaRs research, she and her colleagues became more aware of their own reader identities and explored ways to share their enthusiasm for reading with children.

OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Groups

Mentor meetings with TRG leaders were held in July and we were delighted to hear of the rich offers on Zoom, Whatsapp and so forth that had been made over the last months. Groups are re-convening Sept-Dec. and will close by celebrating their Examples of Practice, albeit these may be lighter touch, and  completing evaluations. New Groups and any existing renewed groups will run Jan-June 2021.

London TRG
United Learning TRG Update by Karen Tulloch

This new group involved 12 English leads participating in five sessions across the summer term. Participants are powering ahead developing their own knowledge and planning projects and strategies which will positively impact on RfP in school. This dynamic, passionate group have decided to continue into the autumn term to support each other to implement actions!

Chitra Soundar
Author in the Spotlight

This month we hear from Chitra Soundar, an internationally published, award-winning author of over 40 books for children. She writes trade fiction, non-fiction, poetry and theatre and is also an oral storyteller with a strong voice.

Karl Duke
Top Texts

Great read aloud choices here for older readers, our top texts for August have been chosen by Fiona Evans, who is Director of Programmes at the National Literacy Trust.


Research into reading during lockdown

This NLT report outlines findings from their tenth Annual Literacy Survey about children and young people’s reading in 2020 and is combined with findings from their survey during the COVID-19 lockdown. Worth reading and considering in your context.

Get More Involved

Follow us on Twitter @OpenUni_RfP
and share your own experiences using #OURfP

Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

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