We’re delighted to share our newsletter with over 44,000 subscribers! Please do forward onto colleagues who may be interested or direct them to sign up here
Reading for Pleasure News – September
We hope you are feeling refreshed after the summer break, and that renewed energy for RfP is evident across your setting. If you want to capitalise on the momentum then keep reading, our newsletter is packed with information and opportunities.
We are excited to share new of our book Reading Teachers: Nurturing Reading for Pleasure. It’s received wonderful feedback so far and involved 24 teachers as well as 12 academics! Lots to guide and support you across the academic year!
Book your tickets for the next OU/ UKLA RfP conference, ‘Reading Teachers: More Than Teachers Who Read’, on Saturday 1 October 9.30am – 4.00pm at The Open University in Milton Keynes (£35-40). We’ll focus on the impact of Reading Teachers and how to develop your practice, with workshops, bookshops and keynotes, including one from award-winning author Katya Balen. Don’t miss out!
We are delighted to partner with the Spark! School Book Awards this year, where the winners are decided by children from a shortlist chosen by teachers, booksellers and librarians. Teresa Cremin, Professor at The Open University, says “We are immensely proud to partner with this worthy charity and support them to reach even more children.” Find out more about the Spark! School Book Awards.
For those that attended, we hope you enjoyed this webinar where we shared top tips for creating a reading for pleasure culture in your school. You can also catch up with the on demand webinar recording here. If you want to deepen your understanding of RfP and nurture a love of reading in the children and young people you work with, then consider joining the Teachers' Reading Challenge which will run until 29 October.
To celebrate International Literacy Day, which was held on 8 September, we launched a giveaway competition for this fabulous bunch of books! One of our lucky new newsletter subscribers will be selected as the winner by 30 September. We’ll be in touch to find out which nominated school they would like us to send this amazing bundle of books to!
On 6 October it’s National Poetry Day! The OU RfP website has lots of great examples of practice to inspire you. Why not set yourself the challenge to prioritise poetry and see the impact it has, as Rebecca Douglas did for Mortimer Primary School in this ‘Prioritising Poetry’ example.
Meet the Team: Kelly Ashley
Kelly Ashley (@kashleyenglish) joins the team this month from Yorkshire as a Lecturer in Reading for Pleasure. She is thrilled to work with schools involved in the OU Reading Schools Programme, to support TRGs and to contribute to other events. Kelly, who is passionate about unlocking communication and reader identity, hopes to commence her PhD next year. She is delighted to join the crew and engage in collaboration, innovation and…discover new books!
Take advantage of all that the world of books and reading has to offer this year with Literacy Hive’s online Literacy Year Calendar. Packed with events, book awards, festivals and competitions, it’s free and each calendar entry comes with links to supporting resources. See what’s coming up in the months ahead to help you develop a culture of RfP in your school.
The Youth Libraries Group is in Sheffield 16 – 18 September for
Reading the Planet: Libraries in a Changing Climate conference. Young
people’s activism around the environment, climate change and more
generally on societal change, gives us all hope for the future. Find out more about this live Reading the Planet conference (with virtual places available), focusing on the future of libraries and publishing.
Petr Horácek graduated as a Master of Fine Art in 1994. The first books ‘Strawberries are Red’ and ‘What is Black and White?’ were published in 2001 and he received the Books For Children Newcomer Award in the same year. Since then, Petr has written and illustrated many books for children and won awards for his books in Britain, USA and Holland. His new book, 'The Perfect Present' was published on 25th August 2022.
The OU Reading Schools Programme: Building a Culture of Reading
We are very excited to be welcoming 43 new schools to the Reading Schools Programme for 2022 – 2023. English subject leaders will join us in the next two weeks to begin their journey by exploring the issues in RfP and establishing a baseline for their school.
Best Book Forward: CPD for Teacher Reading Group Leaders – 17 September
All of our fabulous TRG leaders will now have received an email from us, inviting them to the virtual TRG leader CPD session on Saturday 17 September 10.30am – 12.00pm. We hope you’ll all join us to hear about the latest books, to network and gain support for your autumn term meetings.
The new Glasgow TRG launched this month. We welcomed about 20 members and everyone was enthralled as Maisie Chan started the session by reading an excerpt of, "Keep Dancing Lizzie Chu". Our session finished with new members sharing their favourite books. We are all looking forward to getting started and sharing meaningful and enriching conversations on fostering reading for pleasure.
Featured Examples of Practice
As we look forward to our Reading Teachers conference in October, this month we’re featuring two examples of practice focused on Reading Teachers: teachers who read and readers who teach.
This was a highly commended entry in the 2020 RfP Awards by Phoebe Lawton from The Wilmslow Academy in Cheshire. She was moved by the statement that “reading for pleasure is a social justice issue and children have the right to access a rich and varied diet of literature”, so she began reflecting on what it means to be a reader and took actions to align her practice accordingly.
Rebekah Denby at Cherry Hinton primary school in Cambridgeshire, was inspired by the Teachers as Readers research and an article by Teresa Cremin titled ‘How to Become a Reading Role Model in Primary School’. Rebekah began to share some of her favourite texts and discussions developed around children’s own unique reading identities.
This article, written by Alyson Simpson and Teresa Cremin, argues that literature is core to more equitable literacy development. As there is little evidence that recent policy directives have positioned literacy in ways that promote social equity, they argue teachers have an ethical responsibility to redress this through their teaching.
Get More Involved
Follow us on Twitter @OpenUni_RfP and share your own experiences using #OURfP