The winners of the Farshore Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards 2023 have been announced. Launched in 2017 and run in association with the Open University and the UK Literacy Association (UKLA), the awards recognise and celebrate teachers who are putting Reading for Pleasure at the heart of their classrooms in creative and innovative ways, to inspire children to read.
The winners are:
Early Career: Janay Brazier, Braiswick Primary School, Colchester
Experienced Teacher: Katy Bland, Spotland Primary School, Rochdale
School Reading Champion: Kiran Satti, Wallbrook Primary Academy, Coseley
Whole School: Warren Primary Academy, Nottingham and Grove Road Community Primary School, Harrogate
Author’s Choice: Kiran Satti, Wallbrook Primary Academy, Coseley
The Early Career category was awarded to Janay Brazier from Braiswick Primary School, who was recognised for her emphasis on children’s autonomy when choosing books, the importance of reading aloud, and the creation of a book nook where children take turns to sit with a friend and share books together, ensuring that no child misses out.
The Experienced Teacher category winner Katy Bland, from Spotland Primary School, impressed the judges with how engaged the whole school, both children and teachers, became with starting conversations about the books that they had been reading. The teachers had the chance to visit a local bookshop and choose a newly published book and a book they loved from their own childhood, which were then displayed in treasure chests for the children to borrow. Talking about books with teachers and peers enables a sense of discovery, giving children a chance to find a new favourite book.
The winner of the School Reading Champion category, Kiran Satti from Wallbrook Primary Academy, focused her efforts on the importance of facilitating time in the school day for reading together as a community, and encouraging discussions that stimulates a richer reading experience. Satti also won the newly created ‘Author’s Choice’ category, which is awarded by this year’s guest judge J.T. Williams, the author of the award-winning Lizzie and Belle Mysteries series, who will visit Satti’s school as part of their prize.
J.T. Williams said, ‘It was a joy to join the judges for this important award and hear how teachers are inspiring a love of reading in children across the country. The most compelling aspect of Kiran’s work was the drive to develop empathy by placing equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of book selection. Kiran’s informal book talk also spoke straight to the heart of my own values regarding children’s reading.’
In the final category, Whole School, the judges decided to award two schools, Grove Road Community Primary School, Harrogate and Warren Academy, Nottingham. These schools worked diligently to foster a reading for pleasure habit, seeing positive shifts in attitudes with children, teachers and parents. In both schools, books are shared around the whole school, between peers and teachers, with a strong focus on enabling children to choose books that reflect the society they live in.
The winners were awarded across five categories this year, with each category receiving £250 worth of Farshore books and 20 copies of Help Your Child Love Reading by Alison David.