Reading: A Child’s Superpower

Thank you to so many of you who attended the Book Week NI event on Tuesday, 18 October – Reading: A Child’s Superpower.  If you missed Professor Teresa Cremin sharing her expert knowledge on the benefits of reading in childhood, you can watch the replay using the link below.  This would also be a great […]

South Lanarkshire Secondary TRG: an update from Susan Brownlie and Michael Wilkie

Our 22-23 members enjoyed a discussion around Teresa Cremin’s ‘Reading Communities’ article to start off our second session. It was encouraging to see how quickly participants have started to think about their individual areas of research having reviewed their own practice. Some useful ‘what has worked for us’ tips shared too across the group and, to […]

Ilsham English Hub TRG: an update from Danni Cooke

We had a great start to our first TRG on Wednesday after school with 35 people signed up and eager to begin!  We discussed all the things we wanted to get from being part of the TRG and the biggest thing that emerged at the moment was continually developing our subject knowledge so we can […]

Flying High English Hub TRG: an update from Carl Pattison

Reading the planet YLG Conference- September 2022 I was fortunate enough to win a place at the wonderful YLG Conference in Sheffield and I want to start this piece by thanking the Open University for this opportunity. I wasn’t able to attend the full event but I certainly made the most of the evening and […]

Digital Book Awards 2022: Now open!

Digital Book Awards

The Children’s Digital Book Award is the only award focused on children’s reading on screen and judged by teachers. It recognises innovation, creativity and excellence in digital book publishing.

Children’s Literature and Social Justice

This article written by Alyson Simpson and Teresa Cremin, argues that literacy is core to more equitable literacy development. As there is little evidence that recent policy directives have positioned literacy in ways that promote social equity, they argue teachers have an ethical responsibility to redress this through their teaching. Responsible Reading: Children’s Literature and […]

OU/UKLA Reading for Pleasure Conference: Reading Teachers

Reading Teachers – capital R, capital T – are not just school based teachers of reading. Nor are they simply teachers who read. Reading Teachers are enhanced professionals and reading role models who reflect upon the relationship between being a reader and a teacher of reading, adjusting their work to make the experience of reading […]

OU Reading Schools Programme 2022-2023

Do you want to: Improve children’s reading attainment? Enhance children’s reading for pleasure and wellbeing? Strengthen the leadership of reading? Develop staff knowledge and practice to motivate all children? Enrich home-school relationships around reading? ‘Since engaging with the research and working with The OU we have seen a transformation in our reading culture.’ English Hub […]

Student Teachers as Readers: The ITE responsibility

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 […]

OU/UKLA Reading for Pleasure Conference: The Thread That Connects

We were delighted to host the Reading for Pleasure: The Thread That Connects conference on Saturday 18th June at The University of Cambridge Primary School. The event, which had been postponed from March 2020, was a fantastic day, drawing in children’s reading and literacy professionals from across the UK. We were joined by wonderful children’s author […]

Clippa Award 2021

  CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) is the only award for published poetry for children in the UK. A Schools Shadowing Scheme  is available to promote the teaching of poetry in schools. To assist schools there are teaching resources for all the shortlisted books and videos of the poets performing their poems. […]

School Library Association – The Information Book Award 2021

The Information Book Award is an annual event, in its tenth year, and is a major development for information books, being designed to support school libraries and to reinforce the importance of non-fiction whilst highlighting the high standard of resources available. Each year the shortlist in three age categories, under 7s,8-12 and 13-16, is announced […]

Southwark TRG: an update from Jonathan Rodgers

The TRG group at CLPE in London is run by Librarian Phoebe Demeger and Advisory Teacher Jonny Rodgers. It’s quite a challenge – but an enjoyable one – to suggest new texts to discuss that our incredibly passionate and well and widely read group don’t already know, and the first getting-to-know-you session had some amazing […]

Nuthall TRG: an update from Carl Pattison

The Flying High TRG kicked off with some excellent book PR: A whole host of poetry books were shared and a few of us were open and expressed that we do not usually read poetry. However, poems were shared and various recommendations were given which soon addressed that! The discussions flowed throughout the session and […]

Reading and Writing for Pleasure: Exploring systems and synergies that make a difference

The OU is research partner for the Mercers’ Company Special Initiative (2020-2023), funding six London-based programmes to develop reading and/or writing for pleasure with children and young people. This is the third blog in the series exploring the backgrounds, aims and approaches of these engaging programmes. Reading and Writing for Pleasure: Exploring systems and synergies […]

St Mary’s University South West London TRG: an update from Finola Utton

Our second session focussed on diversity in children’s literature and all our members brought a wonderful selection to book blether. Using the CLPE Reflecting Realities report as a starting point we explored key leaders in this field and how the industry is responding to the lack of diversity. Our own practice was reflected upon when […]

Blue Peter Awards 2022

Announced in a special edition of Blue Peter, the 2022 winners of The Best Story and The Best Book of Facts were voted for by hundreds of primary school children around the UK, after shortlists had been drawn up by a panel of judges.

OU RfP Newsletter LIVE! 26th April

We are delighted to have hosted another successful OU RfP Newsletter Live, a rapid-fire virtual event dedicated to the latest in Reading for Pleasure. With Professor Teresa Cremin hosting, this virtual event covered a range of useful topics to help you enrich your practice and nurture your pupils’ love of reading. Top Texts – the best […]

Rochdale TRG: an update from Clare McGreevy

Rochdale TaRs Group are all geared up for a fantastic RfP year ahead in 2022! Teresa joined us to share a wonderful picture book by David Lucas – The Robot and the Bluebird – and we discussed the huge impact of good social reading environments in classrooms. Colleagues shared the great practice going on in […]

Leyburn TRG: an update from Sarah Beveridge

Due to the current situation in schools with large numbers of staff and pupils affected, we had a much smaller Teacher’s Reading Group meeting for our third session. What we lost in numbers, we more than made up for in discussion and all felt re-energised as a result. Children seeing themselves as readers and reading […]

Geneva TRG: an update from Chris Baker

Our second meeting broadened our knowledge of picture books – we added these to our online “blether board” – a mix of old and new and reminded ourselves that they DO have a place in KS2! We reflected on schools’ book borrowing cultures: how to ensure younger readers get chances to choose books purely for […]

Trafford TRG: an update from Vicki Johnson and Wendi Swann

The Trafford Primary TRG launched again in October, bringing a new cohort of teachers, headteachers and librarians together to explore the Reading for Pleasure agenda. We were delighted to use the TRG launch materials in a virtual reading conference with Joseph Coelho and Alex Quigley, where we presented to school and subject leaders about the […]

Bi-Borough TRG: an update from Angela Jenkins

It is a delight to be in our second year of facilitating a TRG in West London (Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and beyond). Our new group consists of 15 members, including class teachers, subject leaders, teaching assistants and senior leaders. It’s wonderful that a number of schools have signed-up at least 2 colleagues. Based on […]

A Comparison of Children’s Reading on Paper v Screen

This 2021 paper by Norwegian researchers examines findings across international studies that compare children’s learning outcomes with digital and paper books.  It focuses on children’s story comprehension and vocabulary learning in relation to several variables. Which was most effective? Read on to find out! A Comparison of Children’s Reading on Paper Versus Screen: A Meta-Analysis […]

Blackbird Leys, Oxford TRG: An update from Matthew Courtney

Our group is a mix of primary and secondary teachers and an independent bookseller! We have enjoyed beginning to explore the OU RfP Website and related research during our virtual sessions. We have been really lucky to be joined by Tony from the Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop (Richmond), who has shared some brilliant children’s texts none of us […]

Buckinghamshire TRG: an update from Lucy Catten

We met for the first time in November and are off to a flying start!  21 members signed up, representing 14 schools with roles including: TAs, ECTs, English Leads and members of SLT. This is testament to the importance placed on RfP in schools and we’re very excited to get stuck in! This tweet by […]

The Farshore Reading For Pleasure 2021 Award Winners

The 2021 Farshore Reading for Pleasure Awards, run by Farshore in partnership with The Open University and UK Literacy Association, celebrated huge achievements amongst inspirational, dedicated individuals. Launched in 2017, these awards aim to recognise teachers and schools whose research-informed practices make a real difference to children’s reading for pleasure. We were delighted to see […]

YA Book Prize 2021

The YA Book Prize launched in 2014 to award a YA title written by an author living in the UK or Ireland. Organised by book trade magazine The Bookseller and run in partnership with Hay Festival. The shortlist is selected by a team at The Bookseller and the winner is selected by a panel of […]

Reading for Pleasure Student Ambassador scheme

The Open University and the UKLA launched a new Reading for Pleasure Student Ambassador scheme in April this year and we are already hearing such great things about their work! The RfP Ambassadors are trainee Primary Teachers who have just completed their 2nd year of teacher training. They work in pairs or threes and are […]

Dubai TRG: an update from Mary Rose Grieve

Our Dubai TRG has become rather more international this year with members from Milan, Malaysia and Nigeria, as well as from across Dubai. After a story (John Brown, ‘Rose and the Midnight Cat’) we all introduced ourselves and described a favourite book from their childhood in just one word – more difficult than we thought!  […]

Six literacy organisations and their rapid response to Covid-19

The Open University’s research team has been involved with six collaborative projects exploring effective approaches methodologies in Reading for Pleasure. This blog reviews how these projects had to adapt in response to the pandemic-related challenges of the past 18 months. FINAL-Mercers-Blog-2.pdf (

South Lanarkshire TRG: an update from Susan Brownlie

The South Lanarkshire secondary TRG launched again in September, bringing a new cohort of our secondary teachers and school librarians together. Word had spread about the way the TRG invigorates people’s passion for RfP and this was evident in the numbers wanting to take part. We started with a chapter from Pam Smy’s ‘The Hideaway’ before […]

UKLA Book Awards 2021

The only national book awards judged by teachers! United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) Book Awards are now in their 13th year. The 2021 winners were announced virtually on July 1st alongside the result of the teacher’s Shadowing choices. For the first time in this category the judges selected Joint Winners because both novels were considered […]

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award 2021

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award recognises children’s fiction (for readers aged 0-12) which promotes social justice or social equality, challenges stereotypes or is informed by anti-discriminatory concerns. The award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers.