Reading for Pleasure: What We Know Works CLPE’s first Chartered College Network event of the year!

Published on: 
Thursday, 15 November 2018 - 11:11am
Jessica Arnold


On the 13th November CLPE’s Literacy Library in Central London was packed full with teachers for our first Chartered College Network event. The night was a massive hit, with attendees walking away with a reignited spark for reading and fresh ideas on how to influence a lifelong love of reading and writing in children.

The night kicked off with CLPE Chief Executive, Louise Johns-Shepherd, introducing the core values that support CLPE’s work. As a charity CLPE works to improve literacy in primary schools, by helping schools to teach creatively and effectively while putting high quality literature at the heart of all learning. This event centred on CLPE’s revised version of the Reading for Pleasure: What We Know Works booklet, which brings together the ten key findings from the impact of the Power of Reading project.

Farrah Serroukh, CLPE’s Learning Programme Leader (Regional), was next to speak. Farrah delved deeper into the What We Know Works booklet, exploring its ten key findings and explaining the importance each point can have on children’s reading and literacy learning. Farrah emphasised how vital it is to let children read for enjoyment, not for a book report or because a teacher or parent tells them to, but as a form of entertainment. In doing this, along with showing children how exciting reading can be, it creates the culture needed to ensure progression of children in literacy across the curriculum and for success later in life.

The Power of Reading training has supported thousands of schools in raising engagement and attainment in reading and writing for all pupils. The next speaker, Jacob Wahab, shows how his school achieved this. Jacob is the English lead at Mottingham Primary School and undertook the Power of Reading training last year. Since then, his school has successfully developed an inclusive reading environment which has led to an improvement in reading and writing performance throughout the school. Jacob also touched on the point, as Farrah did, that showing enthusiasm about books and reading can have a significant impact on children: if adults love to read, children will love it, too.

Acclaimed children’s writer S F Said, author of Varjak Paw, The Outlaw Varjak Paw and Phoenix, was next up to speak and like the previous two speakers he emphasised the idea that adults can influence whether a child enjoys to read. S F took the audience on a journey through the books that impacted him as a child: The Cat in the Hat, Watership Down and The Little Prince to name a few, and he noted the common theme was that he chose to read all of these books for fun. “Every single life-changing book I can remember reading were through reading for fun.”

It was clear that all three speakers felt very passionate about the importance of children reading for pleasure:

“In the simple act of sharing a book you love you’re going to change children’s lives.” S F Said.

“They’re not born to do this, we’re teaching them how to read… setting them up for life success.” Farrah Serroukh.

“The main reason we do this, is for the kids.” Jacob Wahab

There are six further Chartered College Teacher Twilight events planned for the rest of this academic year, taking place at CLPE. The next event is on 6th December and is focusing on the findings from our Reflecting Realities report. As well as this, award winning author Catherine Johnson will offer special insights, drawing on her 25 year career and advocacy in this area and Netley Primary English Leader, Rosie Chapleo, will share reflections on the impact of under-representation in children’s books and the affect it can have on pupils and school communities. Tickets for this event are £5 and include a glass of wine or a soft drink.

Book your place at our next event 

Read our full booklet on Reading for Pleasure: What We Know Works