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Reading for Pleasure

Welcome to the July newsletter

What an amazing group of professionals teachers are!  We’re continually inspired by your extraordinary commitment to supporting each other, families and children’s reading, learning and wellbeing as the pandemic unfolds. Recent events have left many young people (and adults) trying to make sense of the complex issues that led to the Black Lives Matter movement. If you want support, we recommend The UKLA resource collection.

We’re thrilled to be involved in the National #ReadingTogether day on 16th July (see below). Do join in to celebrate reading in families and promote our OU message that we engage as readers with multiple texts every day and don’t always choose to read books. Use the ideas to support yourselves and younger readers share, recommend and connect.

Lucy Rodriguez Leon

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

Lucy Rodriguez-Leon

Reading Together Day
Reading Together Day: More than books!

To support families on and around 16th July we’re seeking to highlight that being a reader involves more than reading fiction books! We find pleasure in a multitude of texts. We’ve three initiatives, thanks to TRG Leaders Laura Dobson, Danni Cooke, Lisa Hesmondhalgh, Clare McGreevy, Ben Harris, Debbie Thomas, Rich Charlesworth, Petula Bhojwani, Claire Williams, and Sadie Philips.

Reading Treasure Hunt
Reading Treasure Hunt! 5.15 pm Thursday 16th July!!

Do you want to help to widen the concept of reading? Then invite your children and families to do the OU Treasure Hunt and become Reading Detectives, hunting out advertising, Top Trumps, comics, reading that makes them laugh or is precious and share these on/offline with each other #Reading Treasure. It’ll be fun and a change from the family quiz or use it for transition to get to know your new readers!


This video profiles ten ace authors sharing what they’re reading that isn’t fiction! Guess who is joining us? Do join in and tweet what you or your class are reading in response. Poetry, magazines, books, Facebook, manuals, recipes, newspapers - whatever - let’s showcase reading in all its diversity!

Summer Reading Adventure
Summer Reading Adventure

A fun Summer Adventure for all ages that anyone, anywhere can join in. You could send children home for the summer with a copy to entice them to go on a #OUReadingAdventure and share this with the class in September? Our thanks to Sadie Philipps!

Sharing the Love of Reading: Teachers
Sharing the Love of Reading: Teachers

This new one has been designed by the Plymouth OU/UKLA Teachers Reading Group! Ace work - thanks! It’s an invitation to engage and share your love of reading alongside the children! Don’t forget! Prizes for most engaging student teacher ones uploaded.


We’ve been trending nearly every week! Do join in the last 3 in this 10-part series led by ace pairs of TRG leaders and Higher Education Partners! Tuesdays 8-9 pm, focused on widening repertoire and enriching RfP pedagogy!

Rain Before Rainbows
Rain before Rainbows

This free online book is uplifting and inspiring. It’s written by Smriti Hallas and illustrated by David Litchfield. Not one to miss, thanks Walker Books!

Featured Examples of Practice

This month we are featuring three examples of practice from our RfP community, congratulations to Ben Harris, Clare McGreevy, and Hannah Grace.

Reading Aloud
The ‘Three Rs’ of Reading Aloud in lockdown by Ben Harris

Ben, a Y6 teacher, discusses the ways in which he ensured children continued to access quality Read-Alouds during lockdown. He explores some of the interesting effects of reading aloud on children’s emotional wellbeing, showing in particular how it supports the ‘Three Rs’, Reassurance, Recovery and Relaxation.

Claire McGreevy
The Virtual Snug by Clare McGreevy

Clare’s details how she maintained her school’s social reading environment during lockdown and enhanced reciprocal reading communities with families and teachers. The staff created an online library - the ‘virtual snug’ on their website and added video clips of authors and teachers reading aloud. A half-termly RfP newsletter also encouraged families to get involved.

Secondary Journey
Starting the RfP Secondary school Journey By Hannah Grace

Hannah, a secondary English teacher, documents how she applied the TaRs research findings to promote RfP in KS3. Her example demonstrates how developing her own knowledge of children and young peoples’ literature and other texts, positioning herself as a reader and raising the profile of reading purely for pleasure in English lessons had a positive impact on the students’ perceptions and engagement.

OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Groups

Mentors met with their TRG leaders to thank and encourage leaders to keep going or restart their groups in the autumn to close in December. Additional resources will be made to support leaders. New Groups and any existing renewed groups will run Jan-June 2021. Training for new leaders will be in the autumn, though an informal welcome is planned this term. Contact us if you are interested.

London TRG
London TRG: an update from Katie Myles and Ann Lazim

It has been a real pleasure in these uncertain times to continue with our Teachers As Readers book club, discussing books has been a real comfort to us all. We have come together to discuss both adult and children’s literature and how we have found reading for pleasure during the lockdown. 

Bishop Grosseteste TRG
Bishop Grossteste TRG: an update from Emma Rogers

I’ve been so impressed by our members- undaunted, they’ve found new ways to develop their practice and subject knowledge virtually.  Recording videos, building communities via Google classrooms, sharing interactive reading display ideas on Padlet and compiling read aloud YouTube lists! Members have shown dedication, resilience and perseverance to ensure that reading is Learner-led, Informal, Social and with Texts that tempt.

John Dougherty
Author in the Spotlight

Sally Gardner, an author and an avid spokesperson for dyslexia, is working to change the way it is perceived by society. Check her work out here.

Karl Duke
Top Texts

Karl Duke, a Headteacher from Lincolnshire is passionate about creating a curriculum driven by high quality texts - both picture book and novel - to promote reading and inspire learning for all.


Becoming a Teacher of Early Reading

In this article, Helen Hendry (OU) shares her research with PGCE students during their training year and as NQTs, exploring how their understanding and practice was shaped by school cultures, mentor interactions and university guidance. Her development continuum is particularly fascinating.

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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