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Reading for Pleasure

Welcome to the September newsletter

We hope you’re all settling into your school routines and adapted ways of teaching. The new school year is a time to get to know your children as readers, and crucially, ensure they get to know you as a reader too. If you want a decent reading survey (KS: 1- 2- 3) to find out about their attitudes see here! This month’s newsletter has some additional ideas that will help, and it’s also packed with updates and exciting news!

Lucy Rodriguez Leon

Teachers Reading Challenge

Teachers’ Reading Challenge: new OU and Reading Agency partnership

This exciting initiative responds to our research which revealed the significant role of subject knowledge in nurturing young readers. We worked with the Reading Agency and built on the success of their Summer Reading Challenge. If you want to develop your repertoire of children’s texts and enrich your pedagogy sign up now! Nearly 2000 teacher already have! There’s a downloadable diary, recommendations, space to blether and >1500 reviews to date. Reviews are not required - we know that can kill the pleasure! Open to all interested adults. Closes 31st October.

Webinar TRC Banner

Reading for Pleasure: The Nectar of Imagination A FREE webinar September Tuesday 15th 8-9 pm

Do join us for this exciting webinar with the Reading Agency exploring the rich nectar of RfP which feeds our imaginations, satisfies our curiosity and helps us connect. Sharing research and practical advice, the expert team including Teresa Cremin (researcher), Matt Courtney (teacher), and Sonia Thomson (headteacher) will also answer questions and offer news of the TRC. The event will include a fabulous poetry performance by Joe Coehlo! SOLD OUT but if you’re interested email WELS- Reading-For-Pleasure@open.ac.uk. More spaces may be available soon!


Egmont RfP Awards in collaboration with the OU and UKLA: Award Ceremony Sat November 7th 11-12am

The Ceremony, hosted by our Egmont partners and Teresa Cremin, will include time to revisit research, celebrate rich practice with mini films clips of all winners and listen to stories. All those who booked a place at the March 2020 RfP conference will be invited and then the event will be opened to all.


OU/ UKLA Reading for Pleasure Conference

We are in the process of rescheduling and will be in touch with everyone who booked, but are aiming for June 26th 2021, at the University of Cambridge Primary School, Cambridge.  Yahoo!

Comics are GREAT Reading

Comics and Magazines Resource

Following an #OURfPBookBlether on the place of comics and magazines in a rich reading diet, Ben Harris produced this comics and magazines resource collection which includes some real gems to introduce to children. Do also check out the ace set of posters by Kathryn Rosa Miller to support reading comics and graphic novels at home and school. Please share - Comics are for EVERYONE!

Libraries Week

Libraries Week 5-10th October

Organised by CILIP, Libraries Week celebrates the best that libraries have to offer and highlights their role in the UK’s book culture. Get planning your libraries week activities and encourage children and parents to sign up for a library card today. Many local libraries saw a surge in registrations in lockdown, be sure your community join in too!

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day 1st October

Do join in this day and explore, share and celebrate the power and pleasure to be found in poetry. The website is rich with ideas and events both online and offline, all highlighting the potential of poetry to build connections and community. Might all the children in a bubble perform poetry on the playground? Might you all hide poems around the classroom? Whatever you do..Enjoy! 

Poetry by Heart

Poetry By Heart 2020-21

This engaging competition in which children commit poems to heart and give voice to them is open to young people aged 7-18 in England and launches on National Poetry Day. Do consider entering and look out for additions to the digital anthologies and the opportunity to navigate the site by age range and Key Stage.

Featured Examples of Practice

This month we are featuring two examples of practice from our RfP community, thank you to the Nottingham Institute of Education Primary English team and to Sharon Bridgeman and Simon Lambert of Sandringham Primary School.

Listening for Pleasure
Listening for pleasure: Nottingham Institute of Education Primary English team

‘Listening for pleasure’ is a wonderful example of Initial Teacher Education practice. The team discuss their initiative to introduce student teachers to a wide range of children’s literature, promote RfP and model the power of reading aloud.

The Box of Delights

Box of Delights by Sharon Bridgeman and Simon Lambert

Corinne’s example, ‘Me as a Reader’ describes how, after engaging with the TaRs research, she and her colleagues became more aware of their own reader identities and explored ways to share their enthusiasm for reading with children.

OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Groups
London TRG

‘Old’ groups are re-commencing this autumn to complete in December. Thanks to all leaders.

New Groups and any existing renewed groups will run 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 November 7th. Do contact us if you are interested, all new leaders will be invited. We look forward to meeting leaders and adjusting the plans to suit virtual meetings.

Liz Brownlee
Author in the Spotlight

Liz Brownlee is a poet with work in over 80 children's poetry anthologies in the UK. Liz has also written five books, has two more pending and especially loves to write about animals.

Sonia Thompson
Top Texts

This month’s favourite read aloud recommendations are made by Sonia Thompson, Head Teacher at St Matthew’s C.E. Teaching and Research School. Sonia knows her books well so it’s worth checking these out!


Reading and Walking by Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak

In this blog from a Polish researcher, Justyna reflects on her work to help children mobilise John Clare’s Artistic Legacy in his birthplace - Helpston. She argues that walking-reading practice can take place anywhere, with any literary genre, and may enhance the pleasure of engaging with a text with other people and with nature. A thought-provoking piece.

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Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

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