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Reading for Pleasure

Thanks to the wonderful RfP community, this month’s newsletter is again packed with ideas for supporting children’s reading and their well-being both at home and in school. Whether you are teaching in school or remotely, why not use the ideas below to support yourselves and young readers.

Empathy Day on 9th June (see details below) seems more significant than ever this year; literature and poetry enable us all to escape into another world and experience someone else’s emotions for a while. The 2020 Read for Empathy collection is a great place to find books that explore a range of emotions and promote empathy, but please also share your own recommendations with our OU RfP community on Twitter, #OURfP.

Lucy Rodriguez Leon

Do join in, stay connected and above all, stay safe as times change for us all.

Lucy Rodriguez-Leon

Supporting Reading from Home
Supporting Reading from Home

We’re still working on Parent Book Chat Videos and an accompanying poster with Macmillan, have plans for a Reading Hunt and a new partnership with the Reading Agency … so watch this space!

Sharing the Love of Reading from 3-16 years!
Sharing the Love of Reading from 3-16 years!

These invitational Reading Challenges have proved very popular! Key though is sharing - on the school’s -or another platform as this helps connect readers and builds community. This photo is a Moorlands Academy pupil reading in every room at home! Feel free to encourage sharing on the OU padlet too!

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

Megan and Emma, respectively a year 2 BAED and an ITE tutor combined forces to make this one!  Thanks! Prizes for the 5 most engaging ones uploaded by July 10th here. We believe a teacher one is on the way!

Top Ten Digital Texts
Top Ten Digital Texts

Our curated digital favourites with visuals so children can CHOOSE! This is key to fostering motivation, so do pass on.


Do join this 10-part series led by ace pairs of TRG leaders and Higher Education Partners! Tuesdays  8-9 pm, focused on widening repertoires and enriching RfP pedagogy! Our thanks to all 21 folk involved who came to meetings and mapped this out!

Join the Silly Squad
Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge is digital this year, and the theme is all around funny books, happiness, and having a laugh – exactly what many of us need right now! Do encourage children to participate.

Join the Silly Squad
Empathy Day June 9th

Do join in, there are new Empathy short stories, toolkits and events on the day! Also do share the team’s Family Activities Pack. Covering the day's themes - Read, Connect, Act – they can be done in any order, with just paper and pencil. Download the pack for free and enjoy!

Stay at Home!
Free Anthology of lockdown stories and poems

Island-based publisher Cranachan has launched this, illustrated anthology of poems and stories for children aged 8-12 called Stay at Home! Poems and Prose for Children in Lockdown. Free!

Featured Examples of Practice: Supporting RfP from a Distance

Check out these new examples of teachers finding ways to nurture readers virtually! If you want to share your work and support others in supporting home reading, please send direct to Teresa.

The Book Exchange
The Book Exchange by Catherine Bridger

This Example of Practice documents how Fairholme Primary organised a Book Exchange to ensure children’s and families’ access to books and other reading materials recently. However, the impact was broader; the initiative facilitated informal book blether amongst children, parents and staff (at a safe distance) and led to plans for whole school RfP events during lockdown.

Sadie Philips
Books, Blogs and Blether by Sadie Phillips

Before lockdown, class read alouds were a firm favourite in Sadie’s Y6 class; a survey revealed the children found these enjoyable and relaxing. This Example of Practice details how Sadie continued such reading aloud remotely and developed an online space for children to ‘book blether’ and interact. Participation was volitional, yet significantly, the overwhelming majority of children joined in.

OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Groups

Many groups are meeting online, exploring manageable areas for development e.g. widening repertoires or supporting RfP at home. Ace! We hope groups re-convene Sept-Dec. and close by celebrating their Examples of Practice! New Groups and any existing renewed groups will run Jan-June 2021.

New OU RfP Facebook
New OU RfP Facebook

Open to everyone interested in enriching their RfP knowledge and practice. Do join - you’ll be welcome!  Share, chat and connect! 

Plymouth TRG
Plymouth TRG: an update from Teresa Cremin

I was delighted when Eve Vollans invited me to join this diverse group which includes TAs, student teachers, teachers (primary and special), a mum, a head and more! Their commitment to the children’s RfP and each other was impressive. Thanks!

Cardiff TRG
Cardiff TRG: an update from Jo Bowers and Claire Douglas

At our virtual meeting we shared our activities supporting RfP during lockdown and teachers enthused us with work on CLPE’s Reflecting Realities report and a class Book of Dragons inspired by Jackie Morris’ Tell Me a Dragon. To see the class’s fabulous work of art read here…

Cardiff TRG
Woking TRG: an update from Laura Dobson

We have been meeting to share ideas, resources and book recommendations. This was an invaluable way of focussing our time away from school, we’re also using WhatsApp for more regular communication. This is a great time to develop reading communities and teachers’ knowledge of children’s fiction.

John Dougherty
Author in the Spotlight

This month we hear from John Dougherty, a well-loved and hilarious children’s author, poet and songwriter, best known for the Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face series of books, the Zeus stories and many more.

Cover of Maia book
Top Texts

Richard Charlesworth introduces picture books and graphic novels that create an emotional response in the reader.


School libraries should not be taken for granted

This summary of recent research highlights the positive impact of library access on young people’s RfP. The article, by Margaret Merga, an Australian researcher, whose own work explores libraries and students’ reading engagement, highlights the absurd and morally wrong practice of taping over library shelves as we’ve seen in the UK during this crisis. Precautions can and must be taken - young people need books and libraries.

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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