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Reading for Pleasure News – May
We’re super proud to be celebrating our fifth birthday, and to mark the occasion we’re giving away 50 brilliant children’s books! Find out more, including how to take part, below. You’ll also find a new staff meeting PowerPoint on Informal book talk to download, details of our conference in June and the third blog in the series about student teachers’ as readers.
Finally, May is National Story Month, an annual celebration aiming to bring children and stories together. The theme this year is Belonging and there are lots of ways you can get involved. Enjoy!
In 2017, the OU RfP website was launched to share the findings of the ground-breaking Teachers as Readers research, led by Professor Teresa Cremin. Since then, our community has flourished. Over 600 teachers have published their work and over 300 TRGs have run, all led by volunteers! Find out more and keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages tomorrow for a book bonanza giveaway, where we’ll be giving away 50 Texts that Tempt for schools!
Join us for the Reading for Pleasure: The Thread That Connects conference on Saturday 18th June 9.30am-4pm at The University of Cambridge Primary School. Postponed from March 2020, it will be a day to remember, enabling you to widen your reading repertoire and enrich your RfP practice. Frank Cottrell Boyce is joining us, and Norfolk Children’s book Centre will be running a giant bookshop! Seize a ticket now!
To complement our Informal Book Talk poster, we now have a staff meeting powerpoint
with guidance notes to support you in developing this practice in your setting. Look out for a new podcast on this topic coming soon too!
Thanks to the 186 people who joined us for our Spring RfP Newsletter LIVE!, a rapid-fire virtual event dedicated to sharing rich practice, top texts, news, research and more. SF Said was a delight, tempting us with a sense of his new book Tyger (October 22). If you missed the evening, the recording is now live on our website, so feel free to watch at your leisure. Thanks to all involved. See you at the next one in the Autumn!
National Share-A-Story Month is an annual celebration of the power of storytelling and story sharing. The Federation of Children’s Book Groups organise events and resources to support people in bringing children and stories together. This year’s theme is Belonging. Read more and see how you can get involved.
Join Empathy Lab’s mission to raise an empathy-educated generation through the powerful tool of reading. The Day’s theme is Empathy, framed as a Human Superpower and a range of activities are offered to help everyone grow their empathy skills. Research suggests it is possible to develop empathy and that books are a powerful empathy-building tool. Join in the fun and move from empathy to social action.
Chrissie Sains is the author of The Alien in the Jam Factory and The Treasure Under the Jam Factory. Chrissie now writes full time and is a graduate of the Golden Egg Academy and a member of SCBWI. Read on for Chrissie’s favourite books.
Eve Morton, one of our fabulous Teachers’ Reading Group leaders, has worked as a primary teacher for 18 years and is currently a literacy adviser. One of her favourite parts of the role is sharing her passion for children’s books and encouraging teachers to become readers themselves. Check out Eve’s selection of Top Texts.
The OU Reading Schools Programme: Building a Culture of Reading
The Reading Schools Programme aims to do more of what works. RfP leaders are implementing their actions at pace and gathering evidence about what difference they make to children as readers. We are looking forward to hearing their reflections in celebration events planned for June.
OU/UKLA Teacher Reading Groups
Teacher Reading Group New Leader Training: 31st May 10am-12pm (online)
Would you like to lead a Teacher Reading Group? It is great fun and has many benefits for you and your group. If you are ready to start your journey as a TRG Leader in 2022, then please complete this form (2022-23 OU/UKLA Teacher's Reading Group Information) and join Teresa Cremin and Debbie Thomas for the training session in May. There will be a training session for all TRG leaders in September. Find out more in your next TRG leaders’ email.
All our groups are coming to their final sessions, which are always a wonderful celebration of RfP development work. Please do share photos and comments on social media or send them to us. We love to hear about your work and look forward to all the new Examples of Practice coming in over the next few weeks. Don’t forget to complete your evaluations, which have been sent to TRG Leaders this week.
Despite spring being the most hectic term ever, Session 4 was very good. Great poetry books and non-fiction books suggestions shared from all, whilst RfP pedagogy, social reading environments and Jon Biddle’s video created much discussion. As the leader, I remain impressed and motivated by the enthusiasm and talent this group shows and their determination to impact on young readers.
Our group is composed of ITT students this year, all keen to build their knowledge of children’s literature and to hone their practice. We have done plenty of book sharing and there are some interesting RfP projects coming along. This time, ‘The Sunflower Sisters’ by Monika Singh Gangotra was a real favourite and sparked some great discussions about inclusion as well as reading.
Featured Examples of Practice
This month we’re featuring two of our most popular examples of practice. Each has been downloaded literally hundreds of times!
Focusing on the research strand relating to teachers’ knowledge of children as readers, Ben Harris at Dunmow St Mary’s Primary School, Essex, created several book blankets and observed the results to get a better understanding of his class’s reading tastes. He then built on this new knowledge to support them more effectively as readers.
Mirela Brough from Heath Primary School, Derbyshire, developed her RfP pedagogy through this work and began to build reading communities. She appointed and supported some highly successful reading ambassadors who promoted peer-to-peer reading recommendations, helped with book ordering and encouraged ‘book blether’ amongst many other initiatives.
This blog, by UKLA President Roger Macdonald, is the third in a series arising from the OU Student Teachers as Readers (STaRs) pilot research into their experiences and identities as readers and their views about supporting children as readers. It reveals cause for concern and the need for support and knowledge expansion in Initial Teacher Education.
Get More Involved
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