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Stories And Choices

Stories and Choices

A new research study commissioned by Egmont Publishing UK in collaboration with St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Stoke on Trent, The Book People and Family, Kids & Youth research.

Reading to children is a powerful way to encourage them to read for pleasure. Children who are read to daily by their parents are much more likely to be independent readers themselves.

Yet reading to children is decline.

Many parents cease to read to their child once their child has mastered the skills to read independently, believing can read means will choose to read for pleasure. So, what happens if the school steps in to ensure children are read to? This is the simple idea behind Egmont’s most recent study, Stories and Choices. What happens if teachers in Key Stage 2 (7-11 year olds) read aloud to their class daily, with no formal teaching agenda, no testing of comprehension, no cross-curricular projects, no measuring of impact? Simply have storytime for pleasure and nothing more? And, because we know choice is really important to encourage children to read, what happens if we supply a lot of books and magazines?

Egmont decided to see what happened when a school prioritised sharing the pleasure. We worked with 7-11 year olds and their teachers from September to December 2018 at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Stoke on Trent, an area of deprivation and a National Literacy Trust Hub.

• 27% of the children are from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is higher than the national average.
• 8% are from an ethnic minority
• 13% are from Traveller families

Some of the parents can’t read. A sizeable number of children have no or very few books of their own, and most are not read to at home. The school has not had new books for some time; what they do have is not as varied as they’d like; and they only have magazines when teachers buy them.

Read our Stories and Choices research findings in full in our PDF.