This booklet is one of a series about the teaching of language, literacy and English to children and young people aged 3 to 19. The aim of the series is to inspire and inform debate about school strategy. The booklets draw on seminal studies and development work carried out over many years. The series is a co-publication between the United Kingdom Literacy Association and Owen Education, an independent school-improvement agency.
About this booklet
This booklet is a statement about the complex and multi-faceted process we know as reading. It brings together understandings from many sources as to how children and young people between the ages of 7 to 16 come to enjoy and benefit from books and other texts; and what kinds of books and other texts are most likely to bring enjoyment and benefit to readers. The booklet contains chapters on reading for information and the reading of imaginative literature. It highlights the crucial role of libraries in schools’ provision for learning. It discusses the role of the home in promoting reading, the needs and achievements of readers of English as an additional language, the question of boys as readers, and the reasons why some readers fail to thrive. The booklet partly welcomes and partly criticises the orders for reading in the new National Curriculum for English at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, and the new examination requirements for English Language and English Literature at GCSE.
It offers an alternative, better-balanced curriculum for reading 7 to 16, grounded in what we now know about how teachers can best prepare learners to continue to gain pleasure, personal enrichment, practical benefit and power from reading for the rest of their lives.
About the author
Peter Traves worked as an English teacher in Hackney, east London from 1974 to 1983. He was later an advisory teacher for English in the Inner London Education Authority and an English adviser in the London Borough of Waltham Forest and in Shropshire, where he took on wider whole-school responsibilities. From 1995 to 2001 he was headteacher of the Wakeman School in Shrewsbury. In 2001 he joined Staffordshire local authority, to set up a school-improvement unit. In 2004 he was appointed Director of Children’s Services for Staffordshire. He retired from full-time work in 2010 but continues to work as an educational consultant. He has written articles on English and on multi-cultural education and has delivered talks in the UK and abroad.