Tag Archives: Reading

Supporting teachers in Wales with reading



Rob Randel In this episode of Oxford Ed Chat, we welcome Andrea Quincey and special guest Rob Randal to discuss how we can support the teaching of reading in Wales.

We look at the current context of reading instruction in Wales and explore the science of reading before going on to discuss Rob’s experiences of using a phonics programme in his school.

We talk about the many aspects involved in teaching children to read including the importance of routine and repetition, and why matched decodable books matter. We also cover the challenges of transition and supporting children at Secondary school.

Andrea Quincey is Director of Primary Literacy at Oxford University Press. She has worked in educational publishing – with a focus on primary literacy – for over 20 years and has contributed to some of the UK’s most popular literacy programmes, most notably the award-winning Project X series. In her current role she manages a market-leading product portfolio that, as well as Project X, includes the globally renowned Oxford Reading Tree and the highly effective Read Write Inc. programmes.

Rob Randel has been a primary teacher in south Wales for 16 years. Having promoted high quality and evidence-informed early reading instruction for several years, he has a wealth of experience in advising school leaders and teachers about the science of reading, and how they can best evaluate their current provision. Since 2021, he has been a committee member of the Reading Reform Foundation and an advisory group member to the International Foundation of Early Reading Instruction. Rob tweets at @robrandel

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27. Disciplinary literacy in the classroom with Kathrine Mortimore



Kathrine Mortimore

In this episode of our series Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Kathrine Mortimore about ways to employ disciplinary literacy techniques in your classroom. The EEF have placed disciplinary literacy as their number one strategy for improving literacy in secondary schools. Kathrine and Helen discuss the importance of: showing students what excellence looks like in your subject; the explicit teaching of challenging key ideas and vocabulary; and scaffolding using carefully prepared materials. 

Kathrine Mortimore is currently an Associate Assistant Principal, leading literacy at Torquay Academy. She is particularly interested in tackling social inequalities through education and has been blogging about this topic for many years here.

Her most recent book ‘Disciplinary Literacy and Explicit Vocabulary Teaching’ is centred on moving forward those who are furthest behind by improving their literacy skills. This publication follows research she has undertaken into narrowing the attainment gap at the University of Cambridge, and whilst working in the context of Torquay Academy.

Kathrine has also co-authored four of Neil Bowen’s ‘Art of..’ literature study guides and tweets at @kathrine_28

Read more on disciplinary literacy strategies from Kathrine on the Oxford Education Blog 


25: Talking about race, racism and empowerment with Laura Henry-Allain MBE



Laura Henry-Allain

In this episode of Diversifying Reading with Shareen Wilkinson, Shareen talks to Laura Henry-Allain MBE about the Lit in Colour research and diversifying children’s publishing, why we need to talk to children about race in school and at home, and how to be anti-racist.

Laura Henry-Allain MBE is an award-winning international writer, speaker and consultant. She is the creator of the well-loved CBeebies characters JoJo and Gran Gran as well as the series’ associate producer. She is also executive producer on a few shows that are currently in development. She is the vice-president of the British Association for Early Childhood Education, and is an educational consultant for several well-known brands as well as children’s media, television and publishing.

Laura’s new children’s book, My Skin, Your Skin, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu, explores race and racism, and empowers children to be the best versions of themselves.

Laura is on Twitter @LauraHAllain.

Read more about the Lit in Colour research and find out what we’re doing to support the initiative, including lots of practical tips for your school on our website.

Further reading


24: Diversifying the curriculum with Daniel Fenwick



Daniel Fenwick

In this episode of Diversifying Reading with Shareen Wilkinson, Shareen talks to Deputy Headteacher Daniel Fenwick about his involvement with Penguin and The Runnymede Trust’s Lit in Colour initiative and the steps that his school have taken to teach a wider range of texts.

Daniel Fenwick is the Deputy Head and English Coordinator at St Wilfrid’s Primary School. He has a real passion for English and one of his favourite things to do is to read stories to children of all ages. He’s a father to two young children and loves reading stories to them, particularly before bed.

Read more about the Lit in Colour research and find out what we’re doing to support the initiative on our website, where you can download our free Getting Started Guide to diversifying literature in your school.

Further reading


23. Diversity in children’s books with Darren Chetty



In this first episode of Diversifying Reading with Shareen Wilkinson, Shareen talks to Darren Chetty about his involvement with Penguin and The Runnymede Trust’s Lit in Colour initiative. They talk about why it’s important for all children to have access to a representative range of books, as well as ideas to support parents.

Darren Chetty is a Lecturer at UCL Institute of Education and has taught in London primary schools for twenty years. His research focuses on philosophy for children, multiculturalism and racism. Among his many books, columns and articles, he is the author of ‘You Can’t Say That! Stories Have to be About White People’ an essay in The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla.

Read more about the Lit in Colour research and find out what we’re doing to support the initiative, including lots of practical tips and reading recommendations to share with parents on our website.

Further reading


14. Teaching tips for the Key Stage 2 classroom with Sophie Bartlett



Sophie Bartlett

In this episode of our series Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Sophie Bartlett about her experiences of being a primary Year 5/6 teacher. Sophie shares some great tips on how to use vocabulary in mixed year groups and explains how she successfully teaches whole class reading. Sophie also talks about how she uses Twitter as a positive way to engage and support other teachers and NQTs.

Sophie is a Year 5/6 primary teacher, English & curriculum lead, and the brains behind #TeachLikeAChumpion on Twitter. 

Access the content referenced in this episode here: www.oup.com/education/podcasts 


9. A lifelong love of storytelling – part 2



Michael Morpurgo

In this episode of our series Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Michael Morpurgo about his childhood, teaching career and success as a storyteller and writer. We learn how Michael’s love of stories was inspired by his actor mother and how a courageous decision to tell his first story to Year 6 class, along with encouragement from Headteacher Mrs Skiffington, opened the door to him becoming an author of magical children’s books.  Continue reading 9. A lifelong love of storytelling – part 2


8. A lifelong love of storytelling – part 1



Michael Morpurgo

In this episode of our series Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Michael Morpurgo about his childhood, teaching career and success as a storyteller and writer. We learn how Michael’s love of stories was inspired by his actor mother and how a courageous decision to tell his first story to Year 6 class, along with encouragement from Headteacher Mrs Skiffington, opened the door to him becoming an author of magical children’s books.

Michael Morpurgo is an award-winning storyteller, author, poet and playwright who has written over 120 books; a former teacher who went on to become Children’s Laureate. Michael is also series editor of TreeTops Greatest Stories published by Oxford University Press. 

Access the content referenced in this episode here: www.oup.com/education/podcasts 


2. How to engage children with reading to expand their vocabulary



Shareen Wilkinson

The link between extensive reading and a broad vocabulary is well known, but how can teachers expand children’s vocabulary when they’re reluctant to read?  

In this episode of our series Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen and Shareen Wilkinson talk about children’s literature, early memories, reading and poetry. Shareen discusses the different strategies she uses to engage children with reading; including dance, music and drama. Shareen also shares stories from her best lessons and why they’ve been so successful.  A lovely conversation looking at the link between vocabulary and reading in primary schools. 

Shareen is a primary school senior leader, former LA lead Primary English advisor, and an established educational author and series editorShareen advises at national level, including as a DfE grammar and reading (KS1 and KS2) subject specialist. 

Access the content referenced in this episode here: www.oup.com/education/podcasts