Reading for pleasure – What difference does it make?


literacy logoThis is one of a series of thought pieces from the Literacy and English team at Education Scotland.  In this one, Helen Fairlie discusses some well-known research about reading for pleasure from the National Literacy Trust.

literacy trust reading for pleasure 2006The lead up to Book Week Scotland seems like a good time to consider how we motivate learners to read independently for their own enjoyment.  An equally important question for me, though, is why does the amount that we read for enjoyment make such a big difference to our learning?

This paper was published by the National Literacy Trust in 2006, however the research that it refers to still tells us a lot about the difference that reading for pleasure makes to our progress in literacy, as well as revealing a lot about how motivation to read works.

Get involved and join the conversation!

Please read the research, consider your own practice and what happens in your establishment.

Some questions to consider…

  • Do you recognise the benefits of reading for pleasure (p.8) in the learners that you work with?
  • Rewards and motivation – Do reward schemes have a positive or negative impact on young readers’ motivation?
  • Have cultural changes and technological advances changed children’s attitudes to reading? Are there ways to work with this?

Join the conversation on our Literacy community.

Find out how to get or update your Glow membership – How do I get a Glow login?


To find out more about Book Week Scotland (23rd to 29th November, 2015) go to the Scottish Book Trust website.

Book Week Scotland




When I grow up

Have you had a chat with children and young people about what they want to do when they grow up?


Reflective/challenge questions –

Why not continue the conversation here?

Learning for sustainability hitting home?

Profile 3The Scottish Household Survey is designed to provide reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of private households and
individuals across the nation.

I’m really interested in the links between sustainability policy in education (i.e. every learner entitled to LfS) and some of the attitudes towards environment, climate change and access to outdoor space, as outlined in last year’s survey.

You can read Chapter 13 on the environment here (Scroll to Page 140)

SSH graph

Challenge Questions:

If “adults aged 16 to 24 and those aged 75 and over were least likely to consider climate change to be an urgent problem”, where are the opportunities to shift attitudes in our schools and communities?

If “households in flats are much more likely to dispose of their food waste mixed with their general waste (74 per cent)”, how can activities in schools help to bring about change?

What other behaviour can a 5p charge (as with plastic carrier bags) change?



Is famous the same as influential?

During the inagural Academic Book Week Darwin’s On the Origins of Species was voted by the public as the most influential academic book ever written.

A shortlist of 20 books was compiled, including among others Newton’s Principia, Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and Orwell’s 1984 to name but a few.

In the following post Emily Tee provides a rationale to her voting preferences. Her comments and the original shortlist lead me to ask the following questions:

Does the result of the vote reflect voting preferences based on the fame of a book or author rather than influence of the book?

Should 1984 have been included on the academic shortlist?

Which book would you have voted for and why?

Unfortunately, the vote is now closed but I would have opted for Newton’s Prinicpia. However, I may be biased being a physicist!

Please comment.





DYW in pictures – TEST

DYW in pictures

We have tried to capture some of the messages around DYW into cartoon format.

Challenge Questions

  • Which of these messages resonates with you?
  • Which message do think presents the biggest ask of practitioners?
  • How can we engage parents and carers to understand and support this agenda?

Developing the young workforce


Have we moved on from talking about ‘Behaviour Management’?

Behaviour or Relationships?

I came across this interesting video from a 1947 classroom which gives teacher tips on managing pupil behaviour. Have a wee look:

Some questions to reflect on:

  • What has moved on?
  • Is anything the same or similar?
  • What should the focus be: control behaviour, or relate to the person?

Join the conversation on the Inclusion Hub.

Test for Uplevelling

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Reflective Questions