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Reading for Pleasure News – October
We were overjoyed that despite the train strike, so many of you joined us for our Reading Teachers conference on 1st October. It was a delightful day packed with rich book talk and a focus on the importance of our authentic engagement as adult readers. To view photos from the day, click here and follow #OURfPConf on Twitter for more thoughts and reflections from participants.
Over 150 educators from across the UK gathered to explore the relationship between being a reader and a teacher of reading, including many of the 36 authors of the new OU book Reading Teachers – we launched it with bubbles and cake! There was space for professional discussion and collaboration, supporting the drive to develop as authentically engaged Reading Teachers, and the author Katya Balen was tremendous- inspiring us all!
Many congratulations to the six Farshore/ OU/ UKLA Award winners! What an amazing display of dedication to building RfP with purpose. From Booklings to Starbooks to Reading Rivers, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. Do have a look at these award-winning examples of practice.
On Tuesday, 18 October (19:30-20:30), Teresa Cremin will be speaking at a free webinar as part of the OU collaboration with Book Week Northern Ireland – Reading: A child’s superpower. This event is suitable for parents, teachers and anyone interested in exploring the benefits of reading in childhood, tips for engaging a reluctant reader and how you can nurture a child’s love for reading.
The Digital Book Award is the only award that recognises quality in children's e-books and literacy apps and is judged entirely by teachers. We are looking for teacher volunteers to act as judges for the 2022 Award. You will receive free codes/e-books to download to evaluate with colleagues and children. If you are interested, please follow the link above to register and to find out about previous winners. Don’t delay! Expressions of interest must be received by November 15th.
Have you seen the newly-updated Authorfy website? With over 10,000 hours of author videos, and hundreds of cross-curriculum resources, downloadable book resources and other classroom content, Authorfy could help you nurture a love of reading in the young.
Are you looking for new ways to encourage RfP whilst also incorporating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical) skills? In this linked ‘Super Questers’ article, Lisa Moss and Dr Thomas Bernard, co-founders of children’s STEM focussed publishing company QuestFriendz, discuss how important early STEM learning is for young children.
Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent but now lives in the south of France. An award winner, he has written over 50 books, including books for adults, young adults, and younger children, and of all types, from picture books to non-fiction, comics to graphic novels.
The OU Reading Schools Programme: Building a Culture of Reading
The new Reading Schools Programme English leaders have hit the ground running this autumn with a baseline survey and additional insights. They are building a clear picture of RfP in their schools in preparation for focused school development work. This year, schools will set the stage for every child to be part of a joyful reading community but we’re especially focused on the ‘RfP disadvantaged,’ children that haven’t yet found their love of reading.
It was great to launch our TRGs for 2022-23 with our Best Book Forward event in September. Thank you to everyone who joined us – over 70 attended! We heard from head teacher and veteran TRG leader, Sonia Thompson, enjoyed ’Tony’s Top Texts’ from the Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop and shared our plans and ideas for the first two TRG sessions.
It has been brilliant to see new groups launching - please keep sharing on social media. We have over 90 groups across the UK and internationally (find your nearest group using the link above). If you haven’t sent in your dates, please do so quickly! Book boxes are on their way, but please be patient. We prioritised new groups and will get further boxes out ASAP.
Amy Greatrex’s Nottingham group used a word cloud in session 1 to summarise members’ hopes for the year ahead. See the updated TRG Leader guidance for this idea and more!
I was fortunate to win a place at the Youth Libraries Group Conference Reading the Planet in Sheffield. Being surrounded by such a wide range of publishers and authors was a TRG leader’s dream! It reminded me what a key role librarians play in promoting a love of reading. As practitioners, we need to ensure that we share their wealth of knowledge and that they become part of our work to tempt all children to read.
Dubai TRG: An Update from Mary Rose Grieve
This is the fifth year of the Dubai group based at Hartland International School. At our initial meeting conversation flowed, connections were made, and ideas were shared. Our incredibly generous sponsor – Dubai’s only children’s bookshop – gave us 50 new books and everyone completed their Review Your Practice, helping us to identify areas that could be improved and initiating discussion about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Featured Examples of Practice
Congratulations to the Farshore Award winners for 2022! This month, we are featuring examples of practice from our Experienced Teacher winner, Amy Greatrex, and our Highly Commended Experienced Teacher, Sarah Bell.
Many congratulations to Amy Greatrex from South Wilford Endowed C of E Primary School in Nottingham for the exemplary work she’s developed on connecting to children’s home reading preferences. Read more about how Amy supports the whole community at South Wilford to develop a life-long love of reading in her award-winning example of practice.
Lincolnshire TRG group leader Sarah Bell from The Holt Primary School in Skellingthorpe, Lincoln has worked diligently to enhance social reading environments to inspire readers with a ‘Starbooks’ Reading Hub in her school. Read all about Sarah’s work to create relaxed reading spaces with accessible materials for all.
This article, with the subtitle ‘Home Language Books in a Refugee Education Centre’ written by Nicola Daly and Libby Limbrick, both from New Zealand, describes the sourcing and introduction of books in the home language of children in the refugee resettlement programme in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Well worth reading and considering your own context - do children in your school have access to enough books in their home languages?
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