Developing a whole school approach to Reading for Pleasure by Aspirer ELE Lisa Hesmondhalgh

4 October 2018

Since attending the Reading for Pleasure/UKLA conference at Ash Grove Academy in November 2017 with colleague and fellow Evidence Lead in Education Emily Crumbleholme, I have begun to develop RfP Pedagogies in my own school, Peover Superior. This initially involved a constant drip –drip approach’ to RfP– reading aloud for pleasure, creating a relaxed reading environment in the classrooms, encouraging book ‘Blether’ and independent reading. Using the wealth of resources available on the OU website https://researchrichpedagogies.org/research/ and dipping into the research from Professor Teresa Cremin (Professor of Education at the Open University) I experimented with different approaches in school. Emily Crumbleholme was given to freedom to develop different pedagogies further with her class. She conducted a small scale research project and successfully won the UKLA/Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher of Year (early Career award) as a result.

It was therefore an easy decision to make when I was approached by Megan Dixon, Director of the Aspirer Research School to support a joint venture between schools and Prof Cremin in developing a whole school CPD research and development programme for RfP with a view to creating a whole school CPD resource for the Open University.

Five schools from the Aspire Educational Trust are now embarking on an exciting research and development project. Lead teachers from Puss Bank Primary School, Holmes Chapel Primary School, Victoria Road Primary School, Park Royal Academy and Peover Superior Primary School are engaging in the most recent research around RfP in order to affect whole school culture change.

At our first meeting at the beginning of September the Lead Teachers dipped their toes into Building Communities of Engaged Readers by Teresa Cremin, Marilyn Mottram, Fiona M. Collins, Sacha Powell and Kimberly Stafford, as well as looking at articles on the OU RfP website and the UKLA’s Literacy journal. They were also encouraged to share their favourite books and were gifted books by children’s authors Kate DiCamillo and Emma Carroll. Megan Dixon and Teresa Cremin talked passionately about RfP pedagogies and supported the teachers in unpicking important baseline data – from the children and staff.

Several different baselines assessments have been carried out in each school, the findings of which will be used to inform each schools development plan using the Logic Model approach. The first baseline has been used by class teachers as an assessment based on the Read on Get research – What it means to be a reader at age 11 – values, skills, affective components and behavioural processes. (Dec 2017 Christina Clark and Anne Teravaine NLT) Teachers have looked at behaviours such as children’s enjoyment of reading, how well children identify themselves as readers, have often children read and whether they read widely.

As well as this, pupil surveys haven been carried out to determine the children’s perceptions of themselves as a reader and how they see others. With questions such as Where do you read?  Who is your favourite author? So you see your teacher read? The pupil surveys are proving to be extremely interesting reading.

Finally, teachers own practice has been examined using the Review your Practice document https://researchrichpedagogies.org/research/page/developing-reading-for-pleasure-in-your-school.

Over the coming weeks, my role as ELE is to support each Lead Teacher and the senior leadership of each school in using the evidence base to develop a clear plan for whole school development of RfP, underpinned by the DFE’s Standards for teachers’ professional development July 2016.

The Research and Development programme will be:

·        underpinned by robust evidence

·        ensure collaboration and expert challenge

·        be sustained over time

·        priories by school leadership

·        focusing on evaluating and prioritising pupil outcomes.

At the end of October, a joint development day with all the schools and Teresa Cremin delivering a key note speech will introduce all staff to the principals of RfP as well as a range of collaborative workshops. I am really looking forward to seeing the learning community evolve across the 5 schools and joining each school on its journey to develop an RfP ethos for all.

Posted on 4 October 2018
Posted in: Blog

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