We hope you all managed to enjoy some rest and relaxation over half term and made the most of the good weather. Many of you will be in the midst of report writing now and may have been reflecting on how your pupils have developed as readers over the past year. Evaluating how children’s volitional reading has changed, how their motivation and attitudes have shifted and how their reader identities have developed can be invaluable for planning forwards. You can find more ideas on documenting RfP progress here.
This month we bring you news of some exciting new RfP projects and initiatives!
As part of the Summer of Reading the OU team have created resources to help you hold a Booknic! A picnic with books! Time to relax and read! In school grounds, in bubbles, with parents, in class or how you wish! Nicola Davies has created a wonderful welcome video, there are 8 Menus of Recommendations, Book Character Quizzes and lots more! Add your own ideas to celebrate reading at your Booknic and win book prizes too!
An exciting new RfP Quality Mark for primary and secondary schools is being scoped by the OU and UKLA. This will recognise and celebrate schools with a strong RfP culture and ethos, knowledgeable staff and an embedded RfP pedagogy that has a documented impact on young people. The research-informed Quality Mark will link to the OU/ UKLA Teachers as Readers and later studies. Developing this in partnership with the profession, the team will pilot the criteria before hopefully launching in 2022!
This was a huge success in 2020, and this year we’re back for more! In collaboration with The Reading Agency we launch on 10 July but do sign up now. Our research shows without a rich reading repertoire of children’s texts, educators’ RfP pedagogy is far from effective. Why not challenge yourself to read 6 +books, with resources to support and a community to inspire! You’re welcome to join us for a for a free webinar too: Reading and Relaxation
on 6 July.
To celebrate Pop Up’s 10th
birthday, they have published this ace new collection of original illustrated stories which celebrate difference and diversity. The stories feature characters of colour, with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ themes including coming out, same-sex union and the
transgender experience. This not-for-profit company is launching the collection at the British Library on June 24thBook Here.
If you teach year 6 then send them home for the summer with this super set of 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.
The judges were joined this year by the author Jamila Gavin who expressed her joy in reading the accounts of rich practice from schools, new and experienced teachers and school and community reading for pleasure champions. We will be announcing our next RfP research-led Ambassadors later this year!
Teresa Cremin and author Rebecca Smith, whose brainchild this idea was, met with Morrisons Community Champions to thank them and support them in their new role of sharing the power and pleasure in reading with children. Morrisons are delighted with the success of the scheme so far, and we’re in discussion re next steps-Watch this space and do pop into your nearest store and give unwanted books!
OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Groups: CPD for RfP
28 new Teacher Reading Group leaders from Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Australia joined Teresa Cremin and Roger Macdonald recently for training. They were a really keen bunch! We shared the underpinning research, the remit of leaders, and discussed the commitment and opportunities involved. Thanks, we look forward to you joining our current crew. A final training session is being offered in June.
We’ve just held our 4th meeting with our English Teachers and School Librarians from across South Lanarkshire. We’ve enjoyed the chance to undertake invigorating CPD together, albeit virtually and are now supporting each other as EOPs start to take shape. The gap tasks help us progress and we’ve had some useful conversations around reading recommendations, including a presentation on the Carnegie Medal shortlist from a member who is chair elect for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2021.
We are now 4 sessions into what one of our members described as ‘a godsend during these difficult times, in and out of school’. In this virtual TRG world, breakout rooms have been a fantastic way of sharing new understanding and practice One hit was a focus on comics and graphic novels which left members feeling inspired to explore a genre which many said they wouldn’t normally share. Looking forward to our final session in June which will hopefully be face-to-face.
Featured Examples of Practice
This month we’re featuring two examples from members of our RfP community. Thank you to Claire Williams and Sarah Finlay, Terri Stanton and John McClean.
As summer seems to have finally arrived in the UK, Claire’s Example of Practice is perfect to share right now! She reflects on how she built up the children’s anticipation of more time to read and how she inspired them to continue to read over the summer holidays.
Year Primary Education Students, Sarah, Terri and John discuss the importance of developing a good knowledge of texts that represent cultural diversity. They document the many ways in which they developed their knowledge and understanding of diversity in children’s texts.
Jenny McLachlan writes funny, accessible books that children love. She taught English at a large secondary school before becoming a full-time author. She has written six books for teenagers and now writes for younger readers. She’s currently writing the third book in the popular Land of Roar series.
Laura Ovenden is an English teacher who now teaches in two primary schools in West Yorkshire. She is also a tutor in SLCN for Elklan, a Just Imagine reviewer and an OU/ UKLA TRG leader. Check out her choices!
This study, by Chin Ee Loh highlights that students from Singapore not only found more time to read during lockdown, they also recognized the potential of leisure reading to help them relax and preferred print to digital reading. Whilst many spent more time on their devices, this conflicted with reading, as it was negatively related to their reading enjoyment. Well worth reading.
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