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The winners of the 2019 Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards, in association with the Open University and the UK Literacy Association (UKLA), were announced in London on Saturday 16 March at the Open University Reading for Pleasure conference. 

The awards were launched in 2017 following extensive research into reading for pleasure by Egmont and the OU and UKLA over many years. Together these 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. However, 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. The aim of the Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards is to demonstrate the positive impact that reading for pleasure can have on all aspects of a child’s life. 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 Andy Stanton (bestselling children’s author), Teresa Cremin (Professor of Education Literacy, Open University), David Reedy (General Secretary, UKLA), Joy Court (Chair: CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals Review), Fiona Evans (National Literacy Trust), Cally Poplak (Managing Director, Egmont Publishing) and Alison David (Consumer Insight Director, Egmont Publishing).

“We were so impressed with the creative, innovative and entertaining ideas that were demonstrated in the submissions,” says Alison David, Consumer Insight Director at Egmont Publishing. “From our research we know how important it is that children read for pleasure. The interesting thing about reading for pleasure is that you can’t teach it! It is not a set of skills to acquire. Teaching reading is teaching literacy, it’s incredibly important, but not to be confused with helping children establish a lifelong love of reading, simply for the pure joy of it. However, reading for pleasure can be shared, modelled, and encouraged. These amazing teachers and schools, with their inspirational research-informed ideas, understand that.”

Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Award 2019 Winners

Whole School Award– Jointly awarded to Elmhurst Primary, London, and Sneinton Primary, Nottingham.

Co-recipients of the Whole School Winner prize – Elmhurst Primary

Elmhurst Primary: creating a culture of reading for pleasure

At Elmhurst developing teachers’ knowledge of RfP pedagogy and children’s literature has led to changes across the school. Increasing choice, resources and time to read have been at the heart of their research-informed approach to getting children to read more and to love reading.

Co-recipient of the Whole School Winner prize – Sneinton C of E School

Sneinton Primary…Where every day is Book Day!

The aim of Sneinton Primary has been to build an immersive reading environment. Time is set aside for reading aloud and book blether, as well emerging spontaneously across the school, not forgetting their ‘Cosy Caravan’. 

Experienced Teacher Award– Sadie Phillips, Canary Wharf College, London

Sadie Phillips, winner of the Experienced Teacher Award 2019

Inspiring Reading: Media Club

Sadie sought to challenge and extend experienced readers, as well as encourage those more reluctant children. Since many children share a passion for magazines, she created a Media Club and in several other activities profiled readers’ choice and agency.

Early Career Teacher Award– Marianne Mitchell, Christ Church C of E Primary, Hertfordshire

Marianne Mitchell, winner of the Early Career Award 2019

Inspiring Readers

Recognising gaps in her knowledge of KS2 texts Marianne set out to develop her awareness by participating in online reading forums. She now shares favourites with children through book talk, displays, a ‘picture book world cup’ and a newsletter for children and parents

Each category winner receives an individual award, Egmont books to the value of £250 for their school and 20 copies of Help Your Child Love Reading by Alison David.

“We know that teachers are under immense pressure to deliver results, and can find it challenging to make time within the curriculum for fostering reading for pleasure.  But the social, emotional and cognitive benefits of reading for pleasure is unquestionable,” said Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education at the Open University. “Our winners are clearly building reciprocal reading communities and documenting the impact of these within and beyond the classroom. We are delighted to be able to recognise this publicly through the award.”

About The Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards

The Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards were launched in October 2017, in partnership with the Open University and UKLA. The aim of the awards is to build reciprocal and interactive communities of readers by recognising the work teachers do to promote reading for pleasure in schools.

The awards are endorsed by: The Reading Agency; BookTrust; The Reader; The National Association for the Teaching of English; Youth Libraries Group; School Library Association; Seven Stories; The Publisher’s Association; Goldsmith’s University; Cambridge University; Newcastle University; University of Central Lancashire; EmpathyLab; WHSmith; The Bookseller’s Association; First Story; The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education; The National Literacy Trust.

Submissions for the 2020 Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards will be open from October 2018.

About Egmont Publishing

In the UK, Egmont Publishing is the leading specialist children’s publisher for babies to teens, inspiring children to read through more than 25 million award-winning books, magazines, ebooks and apps sold each year. We’re proud to be home to many of the world’s favourite stories and best-loved authors, illustrators and characters such as Michael Morpurgo, Andy Stanton, Enid Blyton, Julia Donaldson, Lemony Snicket, Michael Grant, Winnie-the-Pooh, Tintin, Mr. Men, Thomas & Friends, Disney Princess, Ben 10, Fireman Sam, Angry Birds, Minecraft and Star Wars.

Egmont Publishing is part of Egmont, a leading Danish media group, with activities in 30 countries and 6,600 employees. Our media world includes Nordisk Film, TV2 in Norway, cinemas, book publishers, educational publishers and PlayStation, as well as a number of partly owned film companies, including Zentropa. Egmont is a commercial foundation that generates revenue amounting to €1.6 billion. Every year we donate over €10 million to help improve the lives of children and young people.

About the Open University

The Open University, established by Royal Charter on 23 April 1969, is the leading university for flexible, innovative and world-leading research in the United Kingdom and in over 100 countries worldwide. Uniquely placed to understand the needs of part-time students, combining their learning while earning, our innovative, award-winning distance teaching credentials have seen over 2 million students receive an education, otherwise denied to them at campus-based universities.

About the UKLA

The UKLA is a registered charity, which has as its sole object the advancement of education in literacy.

The UKLA is committed to promoting evidence informed effectivepractice nationally and internationally in literacy and language teaching and research. The Association was founded in 1963 as the United Kingdom Reading Association. In 2003 it changed its name to the United Kingdom Literacy Association, to reflect more accurately its wider range of concerns.