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Contribute to the next SLA guide on reading for pleasure

18 May 2020 Share

The SLA is publishing a new guide to Reading for Pleasure, which will be free for members. The guide will be edited by Alec Williams, and we hope you’ll share your experience as it will make this guide even more valuable.

The SLA is publishing a new guide to Reading for Pleasure.  It will incorporate the best of our previous work on this topic, but we’d love to have the input of members to widen the range of views; hear about your own experience and initiatives; and make it relevant to all.  The guide will be edited by Alec Williams, whose request for information is below.  I do hope you’ll get in touch with him, to make this guide even more valuable.

The new guide to reading for pleasure will cover the whole school age range, and I’d love to hear from all of you!  This appeal is to find out ‘what works best’ in your experience, along with initiatives that may be unique to you.  I’m particularly interested in three areas:

a) Which general factors encourage a reading for pleasure culture in school?  These could include: the right book stock; ‘starting early’; modelling RfP; whole-school commitment; successful parental involvement; etc.

b) Which existing initiatives have worked best in your school, and why?  These could include reading celebrations (Libraries Week, World Book Day, etc.); National book gifting/purchasing schemes (Bookstart, Book Buzz, etc.); regular reading time in classrooms; reading guests (authors, storytellers, etc.); challenges/incentive schemes; etc.

c) Have you created any initiatives unique to your school?  We’d love to know about anything new that you’ve tried, that would be of interest to other SLA members!

Email is best way to reach me (alec[at]alecwilliams[dot]co[dot]uk), especially if you want to attach any more text, pictures, etc.  If you make sure to include your name and school, SLA will be happy to include you in the guide’s list of acknowledgements.  Email me if you’ve any queries – and thank you so much for your help!  

If you would like to also highlight the top three things listed in the two categories below that would be very useful, but if not please just answer the questions above. 

 I'll need this by 5th June 2020, but email me if you’ve any queries – and thank you so much for your help!  Alec Williams (alec[at]alecwilliams[dot]co[dot]uk)


1. General Factors (e.g.):

Book stock (sufficient amount, choice, diversity)

Starting early (e.g. pre-school work, for primaries; plus primary work, for secondaries)

Modelling RfP by staff/other adults

Modelling by students (reading ambassadors, mentors, buddies)

Respecting students’ personal choices (any Fiction, Non-Fiction, comics, magazines, e-books)

Whole-school commitment

Successful parental involvement

Knowledge of students’ reading patterns and tastes (not just levels)

Transition work

Co-operation (with other schools or phases, public library, etc.)

‘Reading across the curriculum’ (featuring stories/poems in all subjects)

Specific target groups (e.g. boys/girls, EAL, ‘reluctant readers’); etc.


2. Specific initiatives (e.g.):

Reading Celebrations (Poetry Day, Libraries Week, World Book Day)

National book gifting/purchase schemes (Bookstart, Book Buzz, etc.)

Summer Reading Challenge (promotion and follow-up)

Regular reading in classrooms (DEAR, ERIC, etc.)

Library-based initiatives (displays, book swaps, competitions, quizzes)

Reading displays/presence all around school (corridors, halls, TV in entrance, etc.)

Regular class visits to the school library (borrowing, topic-related, stories)

IT initiatives (in-school, social media, reading presence on school website, etc.)

Whole-school events (e.g. ‘Book Week’)

‘Reading guests’ (authors etc., but also others)

Student groups (Reading Groups, Pupil Librarians)

Involvement in book awards (local and/or national)

‘Patron of Reading’ scheme

Challenges/Incentive schemes (Accelerated Reader, home-made or short-term schemes)

Storytelling, book talking; etc.