We are delighted to be celebrating five years since The Open University Reading for Pleasure website was launched; the community has grown exponentially, we’ve valued working with so many talented folk and together have achieved a great deal. Check out this short video of Teresa Cremin recounting some highlights and extending a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has supported OU RfP along the way.
Are you, or is someone you know, a Reading for Pleasure superhero? If so, we want to hear from you! These awards recognise the teachers, reading champions and schools whose practices make a real difference to children’s RfP. But hurry, the deadline to enter the awards is Sunday 26th June!
Check out our latest poster on reading aloud. It explains WHAT it is, WHY it’s so important and links to further Reading Aloud research. Perfect to print and discuss with staff as you explore next year’s planned RA programme and track its impact on young readers.
The findings from the ‘Life-changing libraries’ initiative have now been revealed, showing the transformative impact a well-resourced primary school library has on a child’s opportunities in life. The initiative, launched by Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell and BookTrust, supported six primary schools across England to develop a reading for pleasure culture. You can read the full report here.
The Teachers’ Reading Challenge will return on Monday 27 June 2022! This year, the Challenge has been extended to 29 October, to give you more opportunities to put your new knowledge into practice. The Challenge, which is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Open University, encourages school and library staff to expand their knowledge of children’s books and develop their understanding of reading for pleasure pedagogy.
Join us for the Reading for Pleasure: The Thread That Connects conference on Saturday 18th June 9.30am-4pm at The University of Cambridge Primary School. Postponed from March 2020, it will be a day to remember, enabling you to widen your reading repertoire and enrich your practice Frank Cottrell Boyce is joining us, and Norfolk Children’s Book Centre will be running a giant bookshop!
Join writer, director and performer Annabelle Sami on Thursday 30th June 2 – 2.45pm as she introduces her Waterstones Children’s Book Award shortlisted series Llama Out Loud. You’ll hear side-splitting storytelling from the latest book Llama on Holiday and create your own guardian llama holiday adventure! Sign up for the online event here.
The charity Book Clubs in Schools has joined forces with Walker Books to run a summer book club! It will involve engaging activities based around everyone reading the same book. It is aimed at current Year 6 who read across the summer and aims to build their confidence as readers and create ‘books in common’ when they start secondary school. Find out more.
Lissa Evans answers our spotlight questions this month. Lissa changed careers to become a comedy producer for radio and TV. Her children’s novels have been shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award, Carnegie Medal, and Branford Boase Award.
Megan’s top texts this month include nature, friendship, the North Pole and a talking chameleon! Megan works for Scottish Book Trust, where she manages Reading Schools, a national accreditation programme that helps schools in Scotland to prioritise reading for pleasure.
The OU Reading Schools Programme: Building a Culture of Reading
In June our Reading Schools celebrate and share reflections on their year of whole school development. The impact is uplifting. Individual children have become active readers through targeted support and texts that tempt. Pedagogy better supports joy in reading. The job isn’t finished, but the achievements are delicious.
We held our final TRG meeting in mid-May. It was a fantastic occasion with many members sharing their Examples of Practice. Amongst other memorable presentations, a case study from Vicki (a secondary school librarian) showed how Reading Aloud doesn’t need to stop at the end of primary! Indeed, RA has a vital and enjoyable role to play in year 7 and beyond. Members are now busy publishing their work on the website and completing the TRG programme evaluations.
The group reached session 5 and celebrated with a visit from author and poet A F Harold (see photo). Even more importantly, they shared their wonderful development projects and are hoping to publish 10 Examples of Practice on the website! Great work achieved and a huge impact on the children they are working with.
Featured Examples of Practice
This month we’re featuring two fabulous Examples of Practice based around building rich and engaging reading communities.
Carol Carter at Headlands Primary School, Northampton, won the School Reading Champion category of the Farshore (formerly Egmont) Reading for Pleasure Awards for her work in 2021. After reading the Teachers as Readers research, Carol established effective ways to use the school library to encourage reading communities, both within and beyond the school gates.
Craig Clarke, headteacher at Lea Forest Primary Academy in Birmingham, devised and delivered a comprehensive action plan to foster a love of reading across the school. This included developing engaging book corners, selecting texts that tempt, increasing teachers’ knowledge of children’s literature and raising the profile of RfP with parents. More children are now avid readers and book talkers!
This paper by Lydia Menna, Clare Kosnik and Pooja Dharamshi reports on research examining how Canadian teacher educators used children’s literature to invite teacher trainees to critically engage with social issues and challenge their assumptions about literacy. This developed the student teachers’ ways of working with diverse learners.
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