HarperCollins imprint Farshore has announced the winners of its annual Reading for Pleasure Teaching Awards.
The award, launched in 2017, is run in association with the Open University and the UK Literacy Association (UKLA), and is for teachers who have found innovative ways to inspire reading for pleasure in the classroom.
Farshore said the past year, with disruptions to schooling and multiple lockdowns, has seen a drop in five to 10-year-olds choosing to read daily or nearly every day for pleasure, meaning teachers had an even more vital role to play.
Winners were awarded in four categories, with Phoebe Lawton of The Wilmslow Academy in Cheshire winning the Early Career Teacher category and Georgie Lax, of Starcross Primary School in Devon, winning the Experienced Teacher category.
Two categories had joint winners, with Jon Biddle, of Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy in Great Yarmouth and Laura Atkinson of Lapal Primary School in the West Midlands taking the top prize in the Whole School category, and the Community Reading Champion category going to Jenny Holder of Liverpool Learning Partnership and Jill Queen from Netherburn Primary School in South Lanarkshire.
The Experienced Teacher category also saw two highly commended entries from Mary Jenkinson, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in South Yorkshire, and Cathie Whiting, Deb Johnson and Sharon Ealing from Birmingham's Coleshill Heath School, while Craig Clarke of Lea Forest Primary Academy in Birmingham was highly commended in the Whole School category.
Alison David, consumer insight director at Farshore said: “The work these teachers have done is truly inspirational, both engaging with parents and treading the line so well between teaching the skill to read and helping children find the will to read.”
Teresa Cremin, professor of education literacy at The Open University, added: “These awards showcase the brilliant work that teachers are doing to build the habit of reading in childhood. The vibrant reading communities built within and beyond their schools help children sustain this important habit which, as the government’s Reading Framework highlights, makes a real impact on their learning.”