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Reading for Pleasure

Welcome to the December newsletter

This year has demonstrated what an extraordinary, committed and resourceful group of people teachers are! A year ago, none of us had conceived of the possibility of teaching young children online full time, yet you rose to the challenge. Many of you read bedtime stories, providing reassurance and continuity to children when their worlds had been turned upside down. You found innovative ways to recommend and distribute books and continued to build and support the RfP community on Twitter, contributing to rich discussions in #OURfPbookblethers – and we trended! And let’s not forget the astonishing numbers who participated in the Teachers’ Reading Challenge over the summer.

This year has surely been challenging – but our profession rose to it - keeping calm and pioneering ways forward! Thank you all, you are amazing!
We hope you enjoy the magic of Christmas with your classes, before the holidays arrive for a well-earned rest. We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

Stay safe and stay in touch @OpenUni_Rf

Lucy Rodriguez Leon

The Golden Beano comic: Free Edition Six

The Golden Beano comic: Free Edition Six

Children love comics and the Golden Beano Edition 6 is out now and it’s fantastic!

There are 6 FREE comics for all to enjoy! Why not share these in your school’s Christmas newsletter?

Reflecting Realities Research

Reflecting Realities Research

The third report from CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) reveals an improving yet still challenging picture of ethnic representation in UK children’s literature. For example, only 5% of main characters (in 2019 books) are from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background, yet 33.5% of UK children are BAME. The report reminds us we need to use diversity in all its forms as a key criterion when choosing children’s books.

The Author's Voice

The Author’s Voice

This has been made by one of our own OU/ UKLA Reading Group Leaders, Kala Williams. It brings authors and teachers together to widen repertoires beyond the highly marketed texts and to discover diverse texts – essential stuff! There are new blethers each Sunday from 9am.

#OURfPBookBlether Returns!!

#OURfPBookBlether November THANKS TO ALL!

These one-hour Twitter chats were focused and popular- memories were evoked and new books bought! Comments included: “Thank you to all the fabulous hosts and for all the recommendations and tips” Jen O’Brien “Definitely need to continue these...I take away so much from each one!” Erin Hamilton. Thanks again to our TRG Leaders: Jon Biddle, Clare McGreevy, Ben Harris, Justine Lister, Rich Charlesworth, Nicola Mansfield Niemi, Sadie Philipps and Tom Brassington.

OU/UKLA New Teachers’ Reading Groups

Fabulously, we now have over 100 TRGs running from Jan-June 2021!

Dates are going on the site daily so do join one near you. They are all virtual or blended but we hope to be in person by next summer.

Sat 9th January 10-11.30

Experienced Leaders who wish to join us for a refresher session are welcome, as are any new leaders or co-leaders who didn’t join us in November. We look forward to a good book blether and time to discuss how to make these CPD for RfP sessions interactive, engaging and effective.

Dubai TRG

Dubai TRG Update by Mary Rose Grieve

Brilliantly, everyone had found new ways to ensure RfP for all continued! Some teachers even felt online schooling had increased opportunities for book chat and reading aloud.  The atmosphere of a quiet RfP revolution permeated and everyone resolved to return for our 3rd year to continue the projects started, or to harness the new environment to bring about a RfP culture shift.

Coventry TRG

Coventry and Warwickshire TRG Update by Kala Williams

Our group has grown from strength to strength. Teachers completed their development plans and are looking forward to uploading their wonderful examples of practice. Our final session was filled with book blether and ways to encourage sharing books in our bubbles. Out of this experience, a new platform 'The Author's Voice' has been born.

Aylesbury TRG

Aylesbury and Buckinghamshire TRG Update by Stephanie Hilder

Whilst our original projects have stalled, our enthusiasm hasn’t. It’s a slow-burn, but realising our achievements (when we thought all was lost), has spurred us on to make a bigger difference this year – Covid or Novid! Four of us have secured RfP on the SDP, many have been involved in judging Book Awards and we’ve formed a vibrant Whatsapp group to keep sharing our reading!

Featured Examples of Practice

This month, we’re featuring two more winners in the 2020 Egmont Reading for Pleasure Awards, thank you and congratulations to Carol Carter and Nigel Lungenmuss-Ward.

5 ways to use your library

5 ways to use your School Library to build Reading Communities, by Carol Carter

Carol is a Library and Resource Co-ordinator at Headlands primary school in Northampton. Her example of practice won the award for the School Reading Champion Category. Carol outlines 5 initiatives that she implemented to encourage reading communities, both within and beyond the school gates. If you’re looking for inspiration to build reading communities in your school - Carol’s example has a plethora of ideas to draw on.

Nigel Lungenmuss Award

Promoting RfP Through Online Bedtime Stories by Nigel Lungenmuss-Ward

Nigel, who won the Early Career Teacher RfP Award, works at St Margaret’s Primary Academy in Suffolk, where he is part of the Reading Leadership Team. Nigel explains how, even before the necessity of lockdown, his school harnessed the power of social media to bring teacher-read bed-time stories into children’s homes. Children were exposed to a diverse range of texts and experience different reading styles, as each teacher brought the stories to life with their own personality and approach.

Vashti Hardy
Author in the Spotlight

Vashti Hardy was a primary school teacher for several years before becoming a professional author. She is particularly interested in children’s free-writing, the use of journals and creating fantasy worlds.

John Murray
Top Texts

John Murray is a specialist in developing children’s reading and comprehension.  An independent consultant, he aims to support schools to improve their performance and, above all, ignite within us a passion for books and the written word.


Reading in one's own language

This 2020 free open access article describes the initial implementation of a programme providing books in the home languages of children in a refugee centre in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Nicola Daly and Libby Limbrick link this work to Principle 4 of the International Literacy Association’s ten principles of the Children’s Right to Read campaign.

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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