Literacy Hive was set up to help teachers find resources to support all aspects of the literacy curriculum quickly and easily. That includes signposting them to the many resources that can be used to promote Reading for Pleasure.
The Revised Reading Framework published by the Department for Education in July 2023 emphasises the key role of Reading for Pleasure, including the importance of providing a range of quality titles for children to choose from and the vital role of teachers as book influencers.
One way for teachers to encourage children to read for pleasure is to extend their own knowledge of children’s books.
The vital role of the teacher as both a fellow reader and a source of book recommendation for pupils is one of the foundations of a Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.
With over 10,000 new children’s titles published every year, there’s no shortage of inspiration. The difficulty lies in finding the best books, which is where using book review and recommendation sites can make a big difference.
On Literacy Hive we have a ‘Books and Authors’ Category, in which there is a heading for ‘Book Recommendations’. Here you will find a range of different review sites to choose from. There are review sites to cover all genres and they come in a range of different formats so you can choose the one that best suits you:
- An online magazine like Books for Keeps
- A blog that you can sign up to, like Comics in Class
- Online resources that you can interrogate such as CLPE’s Core Books or Book Trust’s Great Book Guide
- Podcasts or videos of new monthly releases.
Award shortlists are another great source of recommendation.
You can find all the children’s and YA book awards listed on the Literacy Hive website to help keep you up to date with the best of the latest publishing.
Specialist school book suppliers are there to help teachers find the right books for their budget.
In order to encourage Reading for Pleasure, schools should be able to provide children with a wide range of books to choose from. CILIP recommends that a primary library should contain between 10-13 quality library books per pupil.
Literacy Hive can signpost you to a range of specialist school book suppliers that can help you stock your library shelves. They are also another amazing source of book knowledge and expertise that you can tap into.
Some of the specialist book suppliers offer a wish list facility that will allow your parents to buy and donate books to your library to help your budget go that little bit further. School book fairs and sponsored reading events can also be a way of raising some extra money for books, while also creating excitement around reading. Book gifting schemes and fundraising platforms are other options that you could explore.
Part of providing books and reading material that will engage young readers is ensuring that your library is as diverse and representative as possible.
A lot of work has been done in this area recently and in the ‘Reflecting Realities’ section of the website you will find resources dedicated to helping you do this. Resources can include:
- specialist book suppliers
- book awards that specifically champion diversity
- latest editions of CLPE’s Reflecting Realities report and BookTrust Represents.
One of the key points to come out of the RfP research was the importance of the social aspects of reading.
Looking at ways that we can encourage talking about books and providing shared reading experiences are important.
One way to provide a shared experience and create some excitement around reading is by hosting an author visit. If you haven’t done this before, it can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, our ‘Access To Authors’ section showcases a number of resources that you can use to bring authors and pupils together:
- literature festivals with dedicated schools programmes
- libraries of recorded online author events
- agencies that you help you organise your own in-school visit
An author visit is one way to provide a shared reading experience but there are other options you can explore too. Why not
- get involved in judging a book award with your pupils
- run a book club
- or take part in a reading challenge, sponsored read or competition?
Use our literacy calendar to find great events to showcase books and reading.
There are events such as World Book Day and Read Hour that specifically target Reading for Pleasure. However, there are lots of other events throughout the year where books and reading play, or can play, a major role.
Guiding you through the Literacy Year, our online calendar helps you take advantage of all the celebration days, awards, competitions and literature festivals.
It’s a great planning tool that can help you link your literacy curriculum to wider events to make it more exciting and engaging for your pupils. Simply choose the month that you are interested in and you will be able to see what’s coming up.
If you need help in getting children to read for pleasure, find out more about Literacy Hive today.