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Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils: And we're off!

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Education Director, Ali Mawle tells us what’s been happening at the very first Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils session, Cheltenham Festivals’ NEW network of teachers’ reading groups – giving teachers the time and space to share children’s literature in a professional capacity with a view to engendering the rich teaching of literacy…

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Following a successful launch at #cheltlitfest in October where the brilliant Professor Teresa Cremin shared her wealth of knowledge on Reading for Pleasure, the Gloucestershire teachers’ reading groups met for the first time in November.

Over all manner of teas, coffees and hot chocolates, not to mention a variety of home-made cakes, the teachers discussed Piers Torday’s fantastical adventure, The Last Wild.

Teachers tend not to be backward in coming forward, and this was no exception. They shared generously, questioned critically and challenged sensitively. Conversation ranged from Piers’s clever clues hidden throughout the book to the ecological issues raised by the story.

Excellent meeting tonight – I came away really buzzing with ideas and opportunities.

Paul Beech, Amberley Parochial School

So many ideas were shared for exploring the novel with children including:

  • Use the map at the beginning to raise curiosity
  • Tell sections of the story: sitting in a circle, invite certain children into the centre as specific characters to act out what you describe
  • Design a marketing campaign for Facto’s Formula
  • Write the arrival of the animals at Old Burn Farm from Ma’s viewpoint
  • Reduce the story to a skeleton plan (with the hooks marked in) and use this to write a new one
  • Make a film trailer for the book

I am excited to see how these amazingly creative teachers explore The Last Wild with their children. They certainly are not short of ideas!

Before everyone dispersed back into the cold, we revealed the next book…

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill!!

I look forward to seeing everyone again in January to continue the conversation…

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