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Reading for Pleasure

Welcome to the October newsletter

This month we bring you news of some exciting new resources to share with parents and a webinar to support talk and reading - whether at home or school! We have an update on the Egmont RfP awards and a return of the #OURfPBookBlether! And of course, you’ll find all the usual content, including Featured Examples of Practice, Author in the Spotlight and Top Texts – so please read on.

Also, if you’re looking for some inspiration for high-quality children’s books that reflect all identities and promote diversity, the UKLA 2021 Book Awards longlist has been announced.

Stay safe and stay in touch @OpenUni_Rf
Lucy Rodriguez Leon

Book Chat: Reading with your child

Book Chat: Reading with your child

This new OU resource comprises three short films and support materials to help parents, families and carers read books conversationally and creatively to children. Working with Macmillan Children’s Books, RfP ambassadors - Ben Harris, Richard Charlesworth and Teresa Cremin created these during lockdown. The films model book chat, the informal interaction that accompanies quality reading to and with children. Do watch and share with parents to support the pleasure of reading together.

Summer Reading Adventure

Webinar, Sharing the Pleasure: the Role of Talk in Reading

Tues 20th October 20.00 – 21.00 BOOKING OPEN!

This OU webinar is open to all who are interested in nurturing a love of reading in childhood. Teresa Cremin will be joined by an expert panel of teachers - Ben Harris and Richard Charlesworth, a librarian- Rumena Aktar and Smriti Halls, the children’s author. The session will include research insights, strategies to enrich informal book talk at home and school, and book recommendations that get everyone talking. BOOK NOW!


Egmont RfP Awards in collaboration with OU and UKLA: Award Ceremony

Sat 7th November 11.00 -11.45 BOOKING OPEN!

The Ceremony, hosted by Egmont and Teresa Cremin, will include time to revisit research, celebrate rich practice with mini films clips of all winners and participate in the Big Book Wave! All those who booked a place at the March 2020 RfP conference will be invited, then the Ceremony opened to all. Please bring an ace children’s book with you.

#OURfPBookBlether Returns!!

#OURfPBookBlether Returns!!

Tuesdays in November 20.00 21.00  

This time we are focusing every Tuesday across the month on short stories, texts that inspire reluctant readers, ace read alouds and tricky topics.  Do join us on Twitter to share brilliant book recommendations and blether, connect and reflect on how to use these books for RfP pedagogy!  The RfP Twitter community is such a supportive one.

Comics are GREAT Reading

Reading for Pleasure: The Nectar of Imagination

Part 1 and Part 2 - Did you miss it?

If you missed this OU and Reading Agency webinar do feel free to watch the recording. It focused on the rich nectar of RfP which feeds our imaginations and nurtures our curiosity. Joe Coelho gave a fabulous performance, and Teresa Cremin, Matt Courtney and Sonia Thomson punched home messages with passion!

Poetry by Heart

Poem of the Week in the Walled Garden

On this Poetry by Heart site you’ll find prompts to have a go at saying poetry aloud that will encourage children to experiment over a number of weeks. There is also a “walled garden” of poems chosen for children that offers a playful interface to discover poems. The focus is on experiencing the poem, in voice and sound, in patterns of musicality, and in breath and the human heartbeat.

Featured Examples of Practice

This month we are featuring two Examples of Practice from our RfP community, thank you to Gemma Currie and Isabel Macdonald.

Listening for Pleasure

Recommended Reading Lists for Reading Aloud by Gemma Currie

Gemma, a librarian at Arundel Court Primary Academy in Portsmouth, documents an initiative to promote reading aloud across the school. In collaboration with each Head of Year and the local SLS, she developed a Recommended Reads List for each year group, with accompanying posters. The initiative led to more positive reading aloud experiences for staff and children and more diverse text choices.

Laying the foundations of Reading for Pleasure

Laying the foundations of Reading for Pleasure for student teachers by Isabel Macdonald

Isabel, a senior Teaching Fellow and English lead at UCL institute of Education, discusses her work with trainee teachers to develop their understandings of the concept of RfP and how to foster reading motivation as well as instruction. She documents four key aspects of the work and the impact on trainees’ sense of what teaching reading may involve.

OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Group Leaders Training

Sat 7th November 14.00-16.00

New Groups and any existing renewed groups are running virtually Jan-June 2021. Training for new leaders (and any current leaders who’d like to meet for a refresher and a book blether) is on Saturday Nov 7th. Everyone will be invited. We look forward to meeting leaders and adjusting the plans to suit virtual meetings.

Liz Brownlee
Author in the Spotlight

Catherine Fisher is an acclaimed poet and author of children’s fiction. Catherine has won many awards for her work, including The Cardiff International Poetry Prize. Incarceron was The Times Children’s Book of the Year and New York Times Bestseller.

Sonia Thompson
Top Texts

October’s favourite read aloud books are chosen by Sarah Paxton, lead of the New Wave English Hub based in Hackney. She knows her books so do check these out!


Research: Reading in one’s own language

This article describes the development and initial implementation of a programme providing books in the home languages of children in a refugee education 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. It is published in Education Sciences a free open access journal 2020.

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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