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The Pleasure of Reading for Pleasure

Free CPD being run at Saffron Walden County High School in collaboration with the Open University and the Library Association UK

On the 8th October 2019 SWCHS welcomed a range of teaching and support staff from local schools to join together to promote reading for pleasure in our primary and secondary school communities. The initiative that is being led by Professor Teresa Cremin, aims to allow students, teachers and parents to feel the benefits and values of making time for relaxed reading. We all know the improvements to progress and attainment that come with reading and then subsequent testing of that reading, but what about the benefits of reading-just because?

Reading can help access your imagination and emotions while increasing your ability to sustain attention which anchors your mind in much needed mental and emotional balance.” Yoon Im Kane, LCSW

A student who is reading something that they have chosen to read, in a comfortable place, at their own pace, with no fear of being quizzed or questioned on their knowledge of the text, will be getting the same benefits as if they were meditating or practicing mindfulness.

To start the session and the CPD delegates were asked to look at and reflect their own reading identities and memories. Which books gave us that ‘Ahhhhh’ feeling? Which book taught us a lesson? Which made us laugh, or cry, shocked or scared? Where were we when these lifelong memories were made? You see before we can help students recognise their own identities it is crucial that we understand our own.

The Open University (OP) and the Library Association (UKLA) are passionate about this CPD not being tokenistic or one-off. They want each teacher to trial one thing, however small, that allows students to read for pleasure regularly and highlight its many benefits to them and the wider community.

Some ideas coming into focus and to being explored at our next CPD sessions are: a parent and child book group, a book mark challenge, designated, set times and involving staff outside of the Library and English/Literacy departments and enlisting a Reading Patron.

It is wonderful to be joining forces to spread the joy and magic of reading for pleasure. Have a look at the link to the OU/UKLA Reading for Pleasure site for breaking news, research and opportunities:

Justine Lister

Librarian/Learning Centre Manager

Saffron Walden County High School

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