Susan Rook is a lecturer in Primary English at Leeds Beckett University, before this she was a primary school teacher for seventeen year. Research interests include: engaging children in reader for pleasure and using process drama to help children make inferences when reading.
Co-Author: Ana Sanches de Arêde
Empowering Reading Volunteers in Schools – A Collaboration with Coram Beanstalk, the OU/UKLA Teachers as Readers Project
The session will explore how both the groups for Coram Beanstalk reading volunteers and the Teachers as Readers’ groups have helped to extend their members’ knowledge of children’s literature. We will explore the thematic approach to children’s literature which has been adopted in our groups, look at activities which can be used to discover children’s reading preferences and our own!
Coram Beanstalk is a charity whose aims are to recruit, train and support volunteers who provide one to one support for children in schools. The volunteers are trained to help those children develop their reading skills and most importantly, help to instill in them a love of reading.
The Open University/UKLA partnership support Coram Beanstalk in their aims through providing free evidence based professional development for the reading volunteers. This helps to deepen their understanding around the importance of children reading for pleasure and to help the children they work with engender a real love of reading.
Since the introduction of the 2013 National Curriculum, promoting reading for pleasure in English schools has been a statutory requirement. The most recent PIRLS data demonstrates that the children who read for pleasure scored on average 45 points more than those children who said that they did not enjoy reading (McGrane et al., 2017). Understanding a child’s reading preferences and habits can make a real difference in terms of then presenting them with books that they will enjoy reading. If a child reads for pleasure then they will read more and will therefore become increasingly skilled (Cremin, 2019).
In this seesion we will enjoy looking at a range of contemporary and diverse children’s books. Discuss practical ways we can re-position reading as a social activity in schools. We will also demonstrate the importance of auditing our own knowledge of children’s books and developing an individual action plan to widen our knowledge of children’s authors. This is all underpinned by the Open University/UKLA Research Based reading for pleasure pedagogy,