As we approach the end of another challenging school year, we are reminded of the extraordinary dedication and resilience of teachers. This year, more than ever, you’ve been a rock for so many –someone that the young could rely on for help and support. The importance of teachers continually developing their knowledge of texts that embrace the full spectrum of humanity and emotion has been further exemplified, so do keep the conversations and book recommendations going on Twitter or Facebook over the summer.
We wish you a very relaxing summer break with plenty of time with family and friends, and of course plenty of time for RfP!
Last week 39 English leaders from Sheffield, Rotherham, Derby and Birmingham presented their school improvement journeys to each other, and to Senior leaders and MAT executives. The work involved baseline analysis of needs, action planning, and implementing their research-informed programmes to enrich staff knowledge and practice and critically also involved tracking the impact on less advantaged learners. The extract above is from St Wilfred’s Primary, Sheffield presentation. It was a joy to listen to the leaders and head teachers and to hear that Ofsted has also applauded and celebrated the work undertaken. Well done to all!
There are 8 menus, all created by brilliant OU/ UKLA Reading Group Leaders, and Book Character Quizzes and more to help you run your Booknic! Send in a photo to WELS-Reading-For-Pleasure@open.ac.uk to be entered into a draw to win book prizes too! 50 books to give away!
We were delighted to meet such committed young teachers, about to commence their third year BAEd and eager to profile and support their colleagues in developing as Reading Teachers across the next year. Surveys to identify needs, reading groups, posters, new children’s texts sections in University Libraries and more have been set up! Super work!
In collaboration with The Reading Agency we launched on 10 July. Our research shows subject knowledge of children’s texts is critical and its summer so more time to read! Why not try this as a whole staff, hundreds of schools are! Super posters, a reading diary and certificates to download as well as a Teacher Book Sorter!
Why not involve your Year 6s in this super mini Book club? Send them home for the summer with free resources based on the book When Secrets Set Sail by Sita Brahmachari, the book is offered at a discount price too! The initiative will help build confidence and support transition to secondary through shared experiences.
OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Groups: CPD for RfP
Final sessions have happened, and leaders have had some terrific feedback! “Best CPD ever”- It’s not only helped me improve my practice but been a source of personal support this year”. “I love being a TRG member- roll on next year”! If you’re uploading your Example of Practice this guide will help! Thanks to Katherine Young from Elmhurst Primary, Newham who made it for her group!
About half of the 40 strong Cornwall TRG group were able to meet face to face for the final session. It was fantastic for members to be able to share overviews of their Examples of Practice, which they are ready to upload to the website. So much learning has happened remotely and there was plenty to celebrate.
Nottingham Trent University has just completed its first year of TRG sessions. This was a new venture for us and we were delighted to welcome over 30 members during this time. The English Team and our trainees on undergraduate and post graduate routes into teaching have really benefitted from sharing best practice around RfP during our sessions.
Featured Examples of Practice
This month we’re featuring two examples from members of our RfP community. Thank you to Gethin Wallace and Tom Griffiths.
In this example, Gethin describes developing a WhatsApp group to mirror the Teachers’ Reading Challenge and invites staff to share and discuss children’s books. Gethin explains how the group developed teachers’ knowledge of children’s literature and was also an informal way to start building a reading community in school
Sue Cheung is an award-winning British-Chinese author/illustrator. Born in England, to parents who ran a restaurant, she spent her early years hooked on comics and doodling. Sue now writes and illustrates books from her home in Dorset.
Stephanie Hilder joins the OU RfP team in September and also works with teachers, schools and organisations developing English and assessment in primary schools. She is a big fan of RfP and enjoys swapping book recommendations with her (incredibly well-read) OU/ UKLA Teachers Reading Group.
This meta-analysis of 44 studies tested the effects of three major book giveaway programs: Bookstart, Reach Out and Read, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The findings by de Bondt et al (2020) confirm the assumption that these programmes help nurture home literacy environments, result in more interest in reading and children scoring higher on measures of literacy-related skills prior to and during the early years of school.
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