Innovative teachers awarded for getting children reading as The Farshore Reading for Pleasure Teacher Award winners are announced

Reading For Pleasure Awards Logo22 night


London, Saturday 1st October 2022

The winners of The Farshore Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards 2022, in association with the Open University and the UK Literacy Association (UKLA), have been announced, revealing how teachers have found innovative ways to inspire reading for pleasure in the classroom.

Each year since its launch in 2017, the awards have revealed the determination and passion of teachers to get children reading. The teachers who entered the 2022 awards were just as equally passionate and continued to display inventiveness in original and surprising ways. 

Farshore’s 2022 Reading for Pleasure research showed that in 2021 reading for pleasure amongst children remained low, with only 25% of children saying they read daily or nearly every day for pleasure, rather than for schoolwork, meaning teachers have an even more vital role to play. Reading for pleasure is a simple solution to help with academic attainment, social mobility and mental health issues post-pandemic but the research shows that 64% of 0-17s would rather watch TV, play video games or go online than read books.

This year’s entries saw teachers at schools across the length and breadth of the UK united in a mission to get children and their families reading, despite the continued disruption caused by the pandemic, cost of living crisis and budgetary constraints. Winners were awarded in four categories:

Community Reading Champion – WINNER: Amanda Hanton, Leicestershire County Council Virtual school

School Reading Champion – WINNER: Lucas Maxwell, Glenthorne High School, Sutton

Experienced Teacher – WINNER: Amy Greatrex, South Wilford Endowed C of E Primary School, Nottingham

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sarah Bell, The Holt Primary School, Skellingthorpe, Lincoln

Whole School – JOINT WINNERS: Georgie Lax, Starcross Primary, Exeter, Devon; and Claire Nelson, Cheadle Catholic Infant School, Cheadle

This is the second impressive win for Georgie Lax after winning the Experienced Teacher category in 2021. In the Whole School category, at her school, Starcross Primary in Exeter, they established a Change Team of passionate teachers and teaching assistants from across all year groups with an aim of increasing knowledge of current and new authors, with a focus on poetry. Ensuring that every child was represented in the books they read, the award judges got a real sense of reading for pleasure being woven into the fabric of the school, evidenced by many projects including staff adding ‘what I am reading’ inserts to their lanyards, pairing older and younger children to become reading buddies and many more truly impressive initiatives. Feedback from both parents and children has been positive, and the school itself has observed that KS1 SATS reading results being 10% higher than in 2019 and the frequency in which KS2 children are changing Accelerated Reader books has increased.

At Cheadle Catholic Infant School, Cheadle, Claire Nelson, the second joint winner of the Whole School award, showed clear aims which she and the school delivered on superbly. Highlights included building teachers’ knowledge of books, diversifying the range on offer, pupil book choice and their great engagement of parents. The judges especially loved ‘The Battle of the Books’ and their recognition of the power of humour and laughter to engage. The school also built links with local libraries and the sourcing of authors from the local community for school visits.

Community Reading Champion winner Amanda Hanton at Leicestershire County Council Virtual school, focused on hard-to-reach and vulnerable children. Judges noted that their My Books, My Story project made good use of reading for pleasure research and was clearly a highly effective way to engage and enthuse children, young people and their foster families with books, reading and stories. The project saw children and young people in care create an exhibition of artwork inspired by books, which was available as a pop-up exhibition in Leicester’s main shopping centre; an interactive online exhibition; and a travelling exhibition in community spaces.

The judges admired many initiatives from School Reading Champion winner Lucas Maxell at Glenthorne High School in Sutton. Lucas engaged pupils and staff through a book award scheme which put children in control of their reading journey and as a result there has been a significant increase in book borrowing from the school library. 

In the final category, Experienced Teacher, Amy Greatrex at South Wilford Endowed C of E Primary School in Nottingham built a reading community in school as well as in the home. Highlights also included a class voting system with the use of pebbles which offered easy involvement for young children. The power of choice was also evident, and the judges commented on the impressive range of books and the recognition that reading identity is fluid, not fixed. Farshore’s research shows that children feel more motivated by feeling in control of their reading choices. By having this freedom of choice, children are invested in their decision and have genuine intent to read. 

Cally Poplak, Executive Publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books and Farshore, said: ‘Judging these awards is a highlight of the year for me – this is about the strategies teachers and reading champions use to open up children’s life chances by turning them into enthusiastic readers. This is something that should be available to every child and Farshore is proud to shine a spotlight on such inspirational work.’

The Reading for Pleasure Awards 2022 were judged by:

Joy Court, Co-founder: All Around Reading

Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education, The Open University

Alison David, Consumer Insight Director, Farshore

Fiona Evans, Head of Schools Programmes, NLT

Cally Poplak, Executive Publisher, Farshore Books

David Reedy, UK Literacy Association

Mike Stirling, Creative Director, Beano Studios

Issued by: Antonia Wilkinson – antonia@wilkinson-pr.com | 0770 353 8554

Notes to Editors:

ABOUT THE FARSHORE READING FOR PLEASURE TEACHER AWARD

The awards were launched in 2017 following extensive research into reading for pleasure by Farshore, the OU and UKLA over many years. Studies suggest teachers have limited awareness of children’s literature beyond the tried and tested classics and lack a coherent reading for pleasure teaching strategy. Curriculum pressures and an emphasis on testing detracts from their abilities to dedicate time and space for this which in turn this has a direct knock-on effect on children’s development as readers.  By recognising and celebrating teachers who are currently putting reading for pleasure at the heart of their classrooms, it is hoped the award will serve to inspire others to use similar practices in the future.

The award has been endorsed by over 20 organisations, including The Reading Agency, The Publishers Association and the School Library Association, who recognise the impact that dedicated reading time can have.  The final submissions were judged by a panel of experts including Teresa Cremin (Professor of Education, Literacy, The Open University), David Reedy (UKLA), Joy Court (Reviews Editor: The School Librarian Journal), Fiona Evans (National Literacy Trust) Cally Poplak (Executive Publisher, Farshore) Alison David (Consumer Insight Director, Farshore) and Mike Stirling (Creative Director, Beano Studios)

ABOUT FARSHORE 

Farshore’s mission is to make every child a proud reader through a broad and diverse portfolio of books that offers multiple ways into the joy of reading. Farshore publishes child-friendly books for all ages and genre, from picture books, fiction and non-fiction by household authors and illustrators, including Michael Morpurgo, Lemony Snicket, Julia Donaldson, Jim Smith, Laura Ellen Anderson, Steven Lenton, Sophy Henn and Michael Grant, to classic properties and the hottest popular culture brands, including Minecraft, Winnie-the-Pooh, Mr. Men Little Miss, Thomas & Friends, Disney Princess, My Little Pony and Tintin. Farshore is recognised for nurturing and building exciting new author and illustrator talent, for leading the children’s market in brand publishing, and for applying unique consumer and market insights to ensure every book reaches the widest possible audience. 

About HARPERCOLLINS UK:

HarperCollins UK is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 17 countries, and was named Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards 2018. With over two hundred years of history and more than 120 unique imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year, in 16 languages, and has a print and digital catalogue of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins UK has offices in London, Glasgow, Honley and Manchester, and can be found online at www.harpercollins.co.uk.

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