We hope that you’ve had a wonderful summer, enjoyed lots of reading and are feeling fully refreshed for another academic year. This new term feels like an optimistic time, full of fresh hope for the months ahead, particularly in the world of literacy.
With so many of you now on the Reading for Pleasure mission, we’re keen to see the innovative and creative ways you find to enable children to become engaged readers. This issue offers different tools to help you, including activities, apps, videos, research and recommended texts.
Farshore, OU and UKLA Reading for Pleasure Award Ceremony 21st October 7-8pm
Jamila Gavin will be announcing this year’s award winners! We look forward to celebrating with each of them. Look out on Twitter, Facebook and on the OURfP site to join us. It’ll be a night to remember and it’ll be ace to learn from these talented folk!
OU School Programme: Developing a RfP Culture and Ethos
Over the next fortnight, 72 English Leaders will start their yearlong RfP journeys with the OU team to create engaged communities of readers. Schools from Devon, Derby, Durham, Blackpool, Ilkley, London, Essex and East Anglia will begin by gathering baseline data… Watch this space for updates as they work to change children’s lives through whole school RfP development.
Meet the team
We’re excited to welcome Charlotte Stevenson to the RfP team as our new Communications Officer. Charlotte will be steering the RfP ship on all things website, social media and newsletter. As a passionate reader herself, Charlotte enjoys spending time at home trying to tempt her toddler with colourful noisy books!
We’ve had some brilliant photos of you all enjoying your ‘booknics’ over the summer. If you haven’t held one yet, why not try one in September? After all, what could be better than a picnic with books? We’ve got some useful tools to help you get started, including character quizzes and Menus of Recommendations.
Authorfy, has a range of resources to inspire budding readers and writers. Their latest addition is weekly author videos of around five minutes for assemblies, classrooms or libraries. Plus, they’re completely free!
Track my Reads is a new, free web-based tool, designed to help you engage pupils in RfP. It’s easy to set up and enables pupils to tell you what they’re choosing to read, and for how long. Originally designed for schools, it’s now available for groups, book clubs and families.
OU/ UKLA Teachers’ Reading Groups and Refresher for TRG Leaders
We’re delighted that over 100 Reading Groups are commencing this autumn. Leaders are invited to a Refresher and Network session online on 18th September 10-11.15 with Teresa Cremin and mentors. To check out if there is one near you, see the map here and do check again soon, as dates for new groups are being added all the time!
Meet some of our TRG Leaders
Kelley Ashley: Running #TRGYorks with Louise Rayner has been a 2021 highlight. Dedicating time to discuss research-led principles, for reflection and critical discussion around RfP have helped to enhance the reading culture for children and adults in this community. We can’t wait to meet new colleagues this month!
Carl Pattison - Flying High English Hub Lead & Flying High Trust Reading Lead. My interest in the TRGs developed after listening to Teresa Cremin speak at an English Hub training event. I was captivated by the research findings so started to explore the OU website and the various contributions on Twitter. It soon became clear that many teachers and children were benefiting from the TRGs. Being able to explore this research together, in order benefit children back in school, is very motivating. I’m proud to be leading a TRG and look forward to connecting with others.
Featured Examples of Practice
This month we are featuring two new examples sent to us recently by Annabel Sharman and Ann Baker, members of our RfP community.
Annabel Sharman explored the children’s views of social reading and independent reading and discusses how introducing time to read daily has already begun to embed a strong RfP culture in the classroom.
Rob Biddulph is a bestselling and multi award-winning author/illustrator whose picture books include Blown Away, Odd Dog Out,Kevin and Show and Tell. He has just published his children's novel, Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City. In March 2020 he started #DrawWithRob, a series of draw along videos designed to help parents during pandemic
Barbara Bleiman who chose these top KS2/KS3 books is an education consultant at EMC and writer of fiction. Her most recent publications are What Matters in English Teaching (2020, EMC) and a collection of short stories, Kremlinology of Kisses (2020).
In this 2021 paper by Anezka Kuzmičová and Teresa Cremin, they examine ‘remindings’ i.e. personal reminiscences prompted by children’s self-chosen fiction and explore the potential of invoking such experiences when fostering reading for pleasure. The findings indicate the influence of different fiction genres and the value of remindings which can help children connect and make sense of texts.
Get More Involved
Follow us on Twitter @OpenUni_RfP and share your own experiences using #OURfP