Welcome to Wednesday, the half way point of our A Little, Aloud for Children half term. School might be closed for a week, but Being Teacher is something we’ve been thinking about a lot here at The Reader Organisation, so that’s our theme for today.
Our mission to build a Reading Revolution, bringing great literature and people together by sharing reading for pleasure. School is one of the places where reading can make a big impact – everyone can remember a teacher who made a difference to their lives and introduced them to some great books. Being read to is relaxing, entertaining, and often leaves a lasting impression. A recent study suggested that reading for pleasure is more important determinant of a child’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status.
So we know how important reading for pleasure is for children, but what about the teachers that teach them? These are the people who can have a huge influence on their pupils and their enjoyment of reading, so shouldn’t they be reading for pleasure too? That’s where The Reader Organisation comes in! We are in the second year of a groundbreaking project with Liverpool Hope University. All first year QTS Education Students, who will go on to become primary school teachers, have a timetabled slot each week for shared reading, inspiring them with a genuine passion for reading for pleasure, which they can then pass on to the thousands of children who will pass through their care.
The first shared reading groups will be starting tomorrow and we will be reading from A Little, Aloud for Children, a book which is packed full of stories and poems perfect for reading aloud and sharing with young people. Frank Cottrell Boyce, The Reader Organisation’s patron and children’s author, has been appointed Liverpool Hope University’s Professor of Reading, the first such post in the UK. He thrilled staff and students earlier in the term by bringing along Danny Boyle, who worked with him on the Olympic Opening Ceremony, for a special lecture about the books and writers which made them tick. You can find out more about this lecture, and the Hope Readers project, over on the Hope Readers blog.
Meanwhile, the Being Teacher section in A Little, Aloud for Children features Celia Gentle’s hilarious poem, ‘Skimpily Red’, about the horrors of bumping into your teacher in the underwear department! Click here to watch Joe reading the poem aloud.
Frank Cottrell Boyce also makes an appearance in this chapter, with the opening of his novel Cosmic. Here he is reading the first few lines – you’ll have to get your hands on a copy of the book to find out what happens next!
Continuing the theme on Twitter, we’ll be asking which books you think should be on the curriculum? Please join the debate and share your thoughts on this, and your reading experiences in school, on Twitter, on Facebook or in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!