Teachers as Readers Project Team

Teachers as Readers: Research team

Teresa Cremin, The Open University
Marilyn Mottram, HMI, previously Birmingham LA
Fiona Collins, University of Roehampton
Sacha Powell, Canterbury Christ Church University
Kimberly Safford, The Open University

Teachers as Readers: Local Authority colleagues

David Reedy, Barking and Dagenham LA
Sonia Thompson, Birmingham LA
Linda Dickinson, Suffolk LA
Carolyn Swain and Ruth Wells, Medway LA
Sue Huxley, Kent LA

Teachers as Readers: Literature consultant

Prue Goodwin, Reading University

Website Development team

Teresa Cremin

Website Development lead

Teresa Cremin
Open University

As a teacher I was interested in reading for pleasure from the outset. In my PGCE at Homerton College Cambridge, I was inspired by Morag Styles and her passion for children’s poetry and early in my career I was involved in a ‘Books Alive’ initiative with schools, libraries, authors and children in Medway. Later I was involved in developing County Guidelines for reading in Kent and helping run county wide reading events. Whilst involved in initial teacher education and CPD at Canterbury Christchurch University, I always sought to start every session by reading aloud some children’s literature.

Now as an academic at the Open University my work, which encompasses research, consultancy and teaching, still focuses on the pedagogies that support children’s volitional reading (and writing). I am also interested in teachers’ literate identities and practices and the relationship between these and the children’s emerging identities as readers and writers. I also research other aspects of creativity in education.

Mary Anne Wolpert

Website Development manager

Mary Anne Wolpert
Primary PGCE Deputy Course Manager, University of Cambridge

As a former primary school teacher, literacy coordinator and consultant and now a lecturer in teacher education, I have always loved sharing my passion for reading and children’s literature. The opportunity to contribute to this website was therefore irresistible!

One of my current research projects is entitled ‘Book Play’. Working with my colleague Zoe Jaques, we are exploring with teachers the affordances that interactive and pop-up books offer as objects of play to engage children in reading for pleasure. The TaRs research has played a significant part in informing my thinking about developing children’s and teachers’ enjoyment of these texts.

A really important text for me is Robert McCloskey’s Blueberries for Sal. It is the first book I remember being able to read by myself and, having been taught to read by my mother, has especial poignancy for me because of the evocative nature of the narrative and illustrations.

Liz Chamberlain

Website Newsletter editor

Liz Chamberlain
The Open University

I was one of those children who had the skill but not the will to be a reader; I didn’t like books and couldn’t understand the desire to ‘get lost in a book’. Reading just wasn’t for me. I turned a corner at 14 when I read a book called ‘New Patches for Old’ written by Australian author Christobel Mattingley. It was the experience of reading a book from start to finish that began my love affair with children’s literature. As a classteacher and English subject leader in school I was passionate about getting children (just like me) into reading and finding books they could love. I worked as Deputy Director for a National Literacy Trust project called Reading Is Fundamental and, for four years, ran the Book Trust/NLT project Everybody Writes and advised on The Write Book project, and was a Read for My School book judge. I love book/film tie-ins. I heard Frank Cottrell-Boyce explaining that he hadn’t even finished writing Millions before Danny Boyle convinced him it would make a great film. I realised then it was possible to love both mediums.

Website Teacher Advisory Team

Jon Biddle

Jon Biddle
Moorlands C of E Primary Academy, Norfolk

I have been a teacher in Newham and Norfolk for the past twenty years. Helping children develop a genuine love of reading is central to everything I do in the classroom. I have presented about creating a school reading culture at this year’s SLA and UKLA conferences, as well as organised Reading For Pleasure TeachMeets. I regularly deliver training about blogging for the Norfolk School Library Service and local schools, and run my own blog about reading, http://childrenreadingforpleasure.blogspot.co.uk, which, unfortunately, I update far too infrequently. I also currently coordinate the national Patron of Reading initiative, run the ‘Reading for Pleasure in Schools’ group on Facebook and am involved with trialling the Empathy Lab project, which is about using children’s books to help develop empathy skills.

I have numerous favourite books, but the one that I probably return to most often is Flanagan’s Run by Tom McNab, a story about a 3000 mile running race which takes place from the west coast to the east coast of America during the depression of the 1930s. Even though I know the story inside out, every time I read it, I find it to be totally inspirational. The story inside is fantastic and, in fact, I’ve now realised I need to go and dig it out again this evening.

Stephanie Davis

Stephanie Davis
Harston and Newton Primary School, Cambridge

I have always had a passion for reading and can think of nothing better than sharing a book with a group of children and seeing them become enthralled by a text, clamouring to read, and be read to more! I have taught in both KS1 and KS2, and currently teach Year 6 in a small school in Cambridgeshire. I have a special interest in picturebooks and am lucky enough to have recently completed an MPhil in Education which specialised in Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature. My thesis investigated Year 5 children’s responses to a wordless picturebook and explored the different ways they made meaning.

A favourite text which I have enjoyed sharing with children of all ages is Elys Dolan’s highly entertaining picturebook Weasels, which recounts their plans for world domination! It’s packed full of humour which is accessible for young and old alike and the beautifully detailed illustrations invite many re-viewings as there is always a new joke to spot!

Lauren M. Freedman

Lauren M. Freedman
Shirley Community Nursery and Primary School, Cambridge

Dyslexic. As a child, I never read books, magazines, blogs or anything else that required reading. I couldn’t do it. It filled me with dread and panic. Yet, this year I am excited to start a MEd in Children’s Literature at the Faculty of Education, Cambridge. So what changed? During my PGCE, I was inspired to read children’s books. Inspired is not a strong enough word – I couldn’t stop! When I began the course, I was asked to list all of the children’s authors I knew – Dahl, Wilson… That was pretty much it. Now I am embarking upon a new journey on an MEd (that requires me read – a lot!)I have discovered so many authors, it is nearly impossible to choose a favourite author – here are a few I would highly recommend: `Katherine Rundell, Christopher Edge and AF Harrold. I am going into my third year as a year 6 teacher – these books were winners: Beetle Boy, The Girl of Ink and Stars, The Many Worlds of Albie Bright.

Emma Futter

Emma Futter
Derwent Lower School, Bedford

My name is Emma Futter and I teach in Year One at Derwent Lower School in Bedfordshire. I completed my teacher training at the University of Cambridge in 2013. I enjoy reading a wide range of literature to my class, and thrive in watching their enthusiasm for reading blossom. There is nothing more uplifting than seeing this interest in reading seep into their home life and continue to flourish in the classroom. I’m always keen to deepen and widen my knowledge and repertoire of children’s literature. To open my own mind to these different texts enables me to open the minds of future generations.

Since my training, I have always loved the ‘Traction Man’ series created by Mini Grey. When I have read these to my class, their responses have been overwhelming. I have had the privilege of attending a workshop led by Mini Grey and consequently read a wider range of Mini Grey’s creations such as, Biscuit Bear and The Dish and the Spoon just to name a couple. Her books have been received extremely well in the classroom. Hermelin: The Detective Mouse is a current favourite!

Kelly Grove

Kelly Grove
Altmore Infant School, London

My name is Kelly Grove and I am a Year 2 teacher at Altmore Infant School in Newham, East London. I have been teaching for ten years, two years in South Africa and 8 years in London. I am the KS1 Reading Leader at my school and I am very passionate about reading. I love reading to the children in my class and enjoy seeing the outcomes children receive from reading and the pleasure that it brings to them.

My favourite author to read to children is Oliver Jeffers and I enjoy reading all of his stories to the children in my class as well as planning fun, exciting units of work around his texts. I recently read ‘Lost and Found’ to my class and we enjoyed a trip to London Zoo to see real life penguins. I also have a passion for picture books and love the work created by David Wiesner, especially his books Flotsam and Sector 7.

Rebecca Thomson

Rebecca Thomson
Bannerman Road Community Academy and Children’s Centre, Bristol

I’m an avid bookworm with a particular enthusiasm for children’s books. I’ve always been a keen reader and devoured books. I work at an inner city school in Bristol and love teaching in a diverse community and the many challenges this can bring. Over the last two years I have been studying for an MA in Education and really enjoy furthering my own learning. At the moment, my favourite book to read aloud to my class is Hoot Owl Master of Disguise. We have had so many laugh-out loud moments reading this book and enjoyed the way the author uses the language and illustrations to create a hilarious main character on a quest for dinner. I’m always eager to extend my knowledge of children’s literature and enjoy more brilliant books with my class.

Claire Williams

Claire Williams
St Andrew’s C of E VA Primary School, Essex

“She’s crazy about books and reading!”

According to the children in my first class, this is one of the top ten most important facts about me! I am the Year 4 teacher and reading coordinator at a primary school in Essex and currently completing an MEd in Children’s Literature at the University of Cambridge. In addition, I am the Early Career Teachers’ representative for the United Kingdom Literacy Association. Passionate about children’s literature and fostering a love of reading, I embrace every opportunity to get excited about books and reading, whether that be sharing a story with my class around a fire at Forest School, a ‘You’ve GOT to read this book!’ chat over a coffee with a teacher friend or travelling over 11,000 miles for a children’s literature conference in New Zealand! An all-time favourite book of mine is Traction Man is Here by Mini Grey; the book that first ignited my passion for children’s literature and has, in turn, been a source of enjoyment, laughter and magic for the children I have taught.

Advisory Team: Phase 2 Engagement Phase (2017-18)

Jon Biddle, Moorlands C of E Primary Academy, Norfolk
Megan Dixon, Aspire Educational Trust
Roger McDonald, University of Greenwich
Sonia Thompson, St Matthews, C of E Primary School, Birmingham
Rebecca Thomson, Bannerman Road Community Academy and Children’s Centre, Bristol
Claire Williams, St Andrew’s C of E VA Primary School, Essex

Initial Teacher Education partners

Cambridge Teaching Schools Network (CPET) John-Mark Winstanley
Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) Tracy Parvin, Becky Austin
Cardiff Metropolitan University CMT, Jo Bowers
Edge Hill University Primary English Team Phase II Engagement Phase (2017-18)
Oxford Brookes University Jane Scholey, Debbie Wright, Matt Tobin
School Centred Initial Teacher Training in East London Schools, (Scittels) Hazel Dorrington, Julia McKinley
St Mary’s University College Belfast Donna Hazzard Phase II Engagement Phase (2017-18)
UCL Institute of Education Sue McGonigle Phase II Engagement Phase (2017-18)
University of Cambridge (ITE) Mary Anne Wolpert
University of East Anglia Sarah Brownsword Phase II Engagement Phase (2017-18)
University of Greenwich Roger McDonald, Sarah Smith
University of Roehampton Anna Harrison, Angela Colvert, Alastair Daniel Phase II Engagement Phase (2017-18)
University of Hertfordshire Libby Lee, Kate Voss Phase II Engagement Phase (2017-18)

Subject Association partner

The UK Literacy Association as a partner in the original (Teachers as Readers: Building Communities of Readers Phases 1 and 2) is also a partner in this website development.

UKLA Children’s Book Award Partners

Bristol Primary Teaching School Alliance Phase I Development (2016-7)
Bristol Learning City Cerys Stevens, Jane Carter, Trish Dodds Phase I Development (2016-7)

UKLA Literacy Schools of the Year

With thanks to our UKLA Literacy Schools of the Year for many of the photographs on the site. Photographer Gem Ward.

High View School (UKLA Literacy School of the Year 2015) Plymouth Headteacher: Mrs Kim Dorian-Kemp www.highviewschool.org.uk
St Peters of C of E Primary School (UKLA Literacy School of the Year 2016), Bristol Headteacher: Miss Livvy Sinclair-Gieben www.stpeterscofeprimary.co.uk
Horfield Church of England Primary School (UKLA Literacy School of the Year 2017) , Bristol Headteacher: Jenny Taylor www.horfieldprimaryschool.org

OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Group Leaders


Amy McKay
Corby for Beanstalk 

Rebecca Kennedy
Birmingham for Beanstalk    
Alice Atkinson
Sonia Thompson
Becky Thompson

Alison Tarrant


Claire Williams and Mary Anne Wolpert
Luke Rolls
Tracy Parvin
Jo Bowers
Duncan McCarthy
Co Cork, Ireland 
Mary Roche
Co Cork, Ireland
Martin Galway and Nikki Gamble
Louise Gall

Jon Biddle
Great Yarmouth

Roger McDonald


Laura Ovenden

Christine Cork
Herne Bay

Kate Voss


Jennie Marley


Sarah Adams and Karen Morris

Joanna Hasler and Lauren Shanley


Katie Kibbler


Dwynwen Roberts and Nicola Lucas
Jo Gray
Katharine Young
Michelle Sims
New Zealand 

Caroline Ash


Charlotte Soulsby


Mahreen Mansha


Sylvia Cummins
Tower Hamlets
Polly Atkinson
West Sussex

Laura Baxter


Simon Fisher