Reading communities: why, what and how?

Cremin, Teresa (2019). Reading communities: why, what and how? NATE, Primary Matters Magazine.


Are you seeking to build a vibrant community of readers in your classroom and/or school? If so, how will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? What are the key characteristics of such communities? Can these be seen, heard, felt, experienced? What strategies and practices will help you succeed? Is there a fail-safe route? A motorway between research and practice? Whilst this article responds to these questions, first we surely need to consider our long term aims. Do we want to develop readers for life (the maximum entitlement), or will the ‘expected standard’ (the minimum) or ‘greater depth’ (a halfway house) suffice? After all, it’s only five years since reading for pleasure became a statutory requirement in England; it had never before been mandated and, as Philip Pullman observed about the 1998 National Literacy Strategy, whilst there were more than 55 verbs to describe reading, ‘enjoy’ was not one of them! Yet now developing a love of reading is recognised officially as essential and building communities expected of us all.

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