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Reading for Pleasure News – January
Welcome to 2023 and our January newsletter. We hope you found some time to relax and recharge over the holiday break. Perhaps you received some brilliant books that you can recommend to us? Simply tag @OpenUni_RfP in your social media posts to share your top reads.
OU RfP Conference June 17th 2023
SAVE THE DATE! Our next RfP conference will take place on Saturday, 17 June at the Open University, Milton Keynes campus. We hope to see you there for this day of celebration and exploration of RfP pedagogy and practice. Booking details available soon.
2022 was an excellent year for children’s books! Download our list of the Book Award Winners to stay up-to-date with brilliant reads. This printable list contains the winning titles, author, publisher and ISBN for each award and category, making it easy to order books quickly and easily! Make it your first stop to enrich book stock.
World Book Day, with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, National Literacy Trust and Open University are co-hosting a webinar on how to involve and engage families in the pleasure to be found in reading. Do join the crew as we explore ways to support families as part of the wider reading community. Register for your free place today!
Let’s talk books! Listen to our engaging Informal Book Talk podcast, hosted by our very own Debbie Thomas, and featuring Lisa Hesmondhalgh (Aspire Educational Trust), Mike Tuckwell (Woodlands Park Primary School) and Brittany Evans (Lea Forest Primary Academy). Download to hear how the RfP pedagogy of informal book talk has benefitted their pupils.
The OU RfP Team is continually adding new resources to the website to support RfP pedagogy, including materials for parents to inspire reading at home. We know how deeply children need support to develop the habit and love of reading, and the long-term benefits this can bring. Explore our ‘Inspiring Reading’ poster, full of excellent ideas to share with your wider school community.
Coming soon: Reading for Pleasure Quality Mark
UKLA and The Open University are launching a brand-new Reading for Pleasure Quality Mark (QM). It focuses on establishing, embedding and evaluating the impact of RfP within school settings, evidencing how this is:
1. Promoted in the school values and ethos 2. Engaging the whole community 3. Embedded across the curriculum 4. Established through CPD 5. Centred in ensuring equality and diversity
After a successful pilot year, the official launch will take place early 2023 - keep an eye out for updates!
Ken Wilson-Max was born in Zimbabwe. His first book was published in 1993 and since then he has written over 70 titles! As an author and illustrator, he has a string of national and international awards to his name. One of our favourites is Astro Girl, what's yours?
Start the new year with an inspiring selection of KS1 Top Texts, selected by Beth Dawson, Head of School and DfE Hub Leader at St. Michael’s C of E Primary School in Durham. Find out more about Beth’s choices, along with other recommendations, on our Top Texts page.
OU Reading Schools Programme Update
Schools in the OU Reading Schools programme: Building a Culture of Reading participate in inspiring, practical conferences for all teaching staff, including teachers, TAs, SLT and governors. The last one for 2022-23 schools is this month, prior to the implementation of their staff development action plans. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for them!
We had a great start to our first TRG with 35 people signed up and eager to begin! We discussed our aims and intentions for the TRG and the biggest thing that emerged was the continuous development of our subject knowledge so we can help every child and develop as a community of support. We enjoyed doing the A-Z of authors and found the letter 'X' particularly difficult! Members also wanted to develop their reader identities and find out more about the children's, too and we began a Padlet to use for collaboration over the year.
Our brand-new South Lincolnshire TRG had a flying start last term as we came together to share our love of children's books and develop the key messages of RfP in our schools. We are excited to be working together to share evidence and best practice. A thought-provoking discussion about The Garden of Inside-Outside by Chiara Mezzalama showed us how we can expand our knowledge of other formats and genres, alongside making links with other texts. Do join us if you're local!
Student Teacher RfP Ambassadors
Student teacher RfP ambassadors from 18 UK universities are off to a flying start this academic year, promoting knowledge of children’s literature and RfP pedagogy. Following 2 online workshops in the autumn term, they are leading new initiatives including library displays, newsletters, Padlets, book clubs and Instagram activity to support future teachers’ knowledge and practice for RfP! We look forward to seeing what they do in 2023.
Featured Examples of Practice
This month, we are featuring the two whole-school joint winners of the Farshore RfP Awards 2022. Keep an eye out for how to submit your entries for the 2023 awards!
Claire Nelson of Cheadle Catholic Infant School, Greater Manchester, shares how her school focused on developing children's autonomy in choosing their own reads and diversified their bookshelves to reflect a range of children's realities in their submission: Widening Children's Experiences of Authors when Reading for Pleasure.
The Girls, the Boys, the Mole and the University by Georgie Lax and staff at Starcross Primary School, Devon (also participants in the 2021-22 cohort of the OU Reading Schools Programme) built a whole school reading culture by focusing on developing knowledge of poetry and strengthening opportunities for independent reading time.
Drawing on OU research with 6 London based initiatives and organisations (Doorstep Library, Get Islington Reading, Literacy Pirates, Ministry of Stories, Primary Shakespeare Company, and World Book Day), the significance of creating places and spaces for reading and writing for pleasure are emerging as key. Worth reading to explore possible consequences for classrooms, too.
Get More Involved
Follow us on Twitter @OpenUni_RfP and share your own experiences using #OURfP