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All About the Teacher's Reading Challenge

The 2023 Teachers’ Reading Challenge launches across the UK on 26 June and runs until 31 October. You can sign up on this website.

The Teachers’ Reading Challenge is an opportunity for school, library and other education staff to expand their knowledge of children’s books and develop their understanding of reading for pleasure pedagogy. The Challenge invites participants to join a supportive and inspired community of educators and readers, set their own reading goal, share reviews, access resources, and submit an example of practice.

How Does it Work?

Once a participant has created or signed back into their account, they will be asked to set themselves a reading target for the summer and to log the titles they read. There are three levels to complete, Bronze, Silver and Gold, designed to encourage participants to reflect on what they have learnt and begin to think about how they can apply this in their practice. Throughout the Challenge, we will be sharing a variety of ways participants can do this, no matter their role, to share the benefits of reading for pleasure with others.

Bronze: Participants will need to log at least six read books and publish reviews for at least three of them.

Silver: Participants will be asked to download the poster and diary and to complete a short questionnaire demonstrating how they have engaged with the Teachers’ Reading Challenge.

Gold: Participants will be asked to submit an example of practice to The Open University’s Reading for Pleasure website, demonstrating how they have applied their knowledge and understanding in their work with children.

The Need

The latest Childwise report reveals that 1 in 4 5-16-year-olds don’t read for pleasure. Research by The Open University found that reading aloud, independent reading time, book talk and sharing recommendations in a highly social reading environment can help to positively influence children’s attitudes and attainment. School and library staff play an invaluable role in influencing children’s reading journeys, and the Teachers’ Reading Challenge provides the tools, resources, and forum for them to develop and apply their understanding of reading for pleasure pedagogy.

For Teachers who Read and Readers who Teach

The Teachers’ Reading Challenge is for any education or library professional who wants to expand their knowledge of children’s books and develop their understanding of reading for pleasure pedagogy. These individuals are called Reading Teachers and they include:

Primary, Secondary, and Special School Teachers

School and Public Librarians

Headteachers/ Acting Headteachers/ Deputy Headteachers

English Consultants

Learning Support Assistants (LSAs)/ Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs)

Curriculum Leaders

Student Teachers

University lecturers working with schools and teachers

Heads of Pastoral Care

Language Teachers

Whilst it is called the Teachers’ Reading Challenge, the Challenge is for all teachers, librarians and education staff, including trainees. Here are just some of the ways the Teachers’ Reading Challenge can support your professional development, and how you can use it to grow a love for reading for pleasure with the children and young people you work with:

Student teachers will be able to enrich their repertoire, drawing from the diverse recommendations of other teachers and librarians, and will be able to use their new knowledge to support Reading for Pleasure pedagogy in their future work and make recommendations to individual children.

Librarians will be able to use their increased knowledge of children’s literature to recommend books to budding readers in their libraries, as well as support staff or parents to find books.

Teaching assistants may find titles that could be shared with small groups to discuss further and explore new topics or themes.

Secondary school teachers will be able to expand their reading repertoire and promote wider reading with their students through informal book talk as they transition into secondary school – with 1 in 2 young people reportedly not reading for pleasure when they reach secondary school.

Primary school teachers will be able to extend their knowledge of texts for children to better tailor recommendations for individuals in their classrooms and promote reading for pleasure through reading aloud.

Returning participants will be able to build on what they have learnt from past Challenges and find new ways to use reading for pleasure pedagogy in their work.

Teachers’ Reading Challenge Website Features

Advice on putting Reading for Pleasure Pedagogy into practice with blog posts from librarians and teachers sharing their work. We will also be sharing tips for putting learning into practice through our newsletters throughout the Challenge.

A Top 100 Books Review page: Participants are able to access Reading Teachers’ reviews of the most popular books being read in the Challenge, drawing from over 6,000 reviews left in the past two years.

Brand new publisher resources on the Resources page, including book extracts, discussion guides, activity packs and teaching notes, plus opportunities to win sets of books for your class or library users.

A refreshed and beautifully designed poster, diary and completion certificate for you to track what you’ve been reading, your progress towards your goal and promote the Challenge to others in your school or library who may want to take part.