Our Library




Click on the headings or links to take you to the appproriate page.




Teachers' Reading Challenge



Welcome to the 2021 Teachers' Reading Challenge



Why Do the Teachers' Challenge?

The Open University (OU) research reveals that teachers’ knowledge of children's literature and other texts is essential for developing a rich reading curriculum, and when combined with the four-fold reading for pleasure (RfP) pedagogy, effectively nurtures the reading habit in young people (Cremin et al, 2014). It is the cornerstone on which interactive communities of readers are built.

Modelled on The Reading Agency's popular Summer Reading Challenge, which is run annually to motivate more children to read during the break from school, the Teachers' Reading Challenge invites you to read and comment on six or more children's books.

Reading for pleasure impacts on children’s life chances, so if you participate in the Teachers’ Reading Challenge you will:

  • Develop your reading repertoire of children’s texts
  • Enrich your capacity to foster a love of reading
  • Enhance your reflection on the nature of reading and being a reader


The Teachers' Reading Challenge is an opportunity for school and library staff to expand their knowledge of contemporary children's books and develop their understanding of reading for pleasure pedagogy. Run by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Open University with funding from Goldsmiths, University of London, the Challenge invites participants to:

  • Join a supportive and inspired community of educators and readers
  • Set their own reading goal
  • Upload book reviews
  • Access thousands of reviews from teachers and librarians
  • Share best practice
  • Download engaging and beautifully designed publisher resources
  • Record and apply their knowledge


The 2021 Teachers’ Reading Challenge runs from 10 July to 19 September.


How it works

  1. Read at least 6 books - the more the better!
  2. Reflect upon and record your reading
  3. Share your reading with others using the review and blether tab.
  4. You will get a digital badge and downloadable certificate when you reach your reading goal and complete the Challenge.



   Information about our Library

Our library has a wonderful collection of books (fiction and non-fiction), audio CDs, graphic novels, magazines and comics and a children's newspaper. We also have older picture books, dual language and books for those less confident on reading or who have reading difficulties or are dyslexic (collection is called High Interest). 


Our fantastic library is here to support teaching and learning in the school as well as to provide resources and promote reading for pleasure amongst the children.


For more information about our library, click here, which will take you to the children's library page. 



    Libresoft library computer system

You can access our library system here to see what we have in the library, what books your or your children have loaned out to you/them (and any past loans), reviews a child has written (you can also write one!)  Mrs Parr can provide you with login details. There is more information on Libresoft in the children's library section.



   Reading Aloud to Your Class

Whilst many children are not in school due to lockdown, you might want to continue reading aloud to your class in a virtual storytime.

However, there are copyright implications in doing this which you will need to be aware of to ensure this is done legally.

  • Generally (but not in all cases), copyright lies with the publishing company, although authors do retain their own copyright. Even if an author allows you to read one of their books aloud to your class, it would be wise to check the publisher's permissions.
  • Additionally, they may ask that you only carry out the readings in a closed online environment, like a school's own private YouTube channel, SeeSaw, etc and that only the school community has access (on YouTube it would need to be 'unlisted').
  • Publishers may also ask that if you have recorded yourself reading aloud, that you delete the video after a certain period of time.
  • When you record a video of you reading aloud, before the actual story begins, you will need to show the front cover, state the title, author/poet, illustrator (if any) and 'with kind permission of * publisher's name*'.


You'll find below links to some publisher's websites for more information. If in doubt, always email the publisher for permission. If you have any questions, just contact your friendly school librarian wink!



   Information about books, authors and illustrators

You'll find plenty to keep your children busy with our top-notch reading websites. There are so many great websites out there offering information about authors, illustrators, books, games, puzzles and other activities. 

Have a look at the rest of our library pages - there's plenty to see!

Another excellent resource is Discovering Children's Books from the British Library. Explore centuries of stories, poems and illustrations. For children, teachers and book-lovers of all ages. A partnership with Seven Stories. Make a miniature book, create talking animals, interviews, author's and illustrator's tips and more.


For links to online reading and book resources that support teachers in book content for curriculum delivery, please check the links at the bottom of this page.  [awaiting content - pop back later]



   What to Read Next?

Have any of your children finished a book they enjoyed and is stuck on what to read next? We have just subscribed to an online resource which can help you support your child in choosing their next read. Please contact Mrs Parr for a login for this service.  Children can also access it with a login.

We are almost finished compiling our lists of suggested reads for children to use and to help you support them - please pop back later.


If you yourself are stuck on what to read next, if you are a Herts Libraries member you can use your library card and pin to access the Who Else Writes Like...?



   Hertfordshire Libraries

We are so lucky to have a fantastic public library on our doorstep. We work very closely with North Watford library and publicise their fun reading, creative and other events for the children. The librarians also come into school each summer term to tell us all about the Summer Reading Challenge.


Year 6 visit North Watford library every year and the children thoroughly enjoy the trip. The trip is arranged by Mrs Parr in collaboration with Year 6 teachers.


Adults can borrow books and magazines, as well as accessing ebooks, digital audiobooks and online magazines and newspapers. They offer lots of other services and events for both adults and children. 


So if you or any children in your class are not already members, why not pop along and join and encourage them to do so as well? It's free to join - you/parents/carers just take along ID and proof of address (like a council tax bill, for example) and complete a simple form. For more information about Herts Libraries, click here.


  • Use your library card to access online services such as ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers and reference information (click here). 


  • Not a member? You can sign up today here. Access the above online services  immediately using the temporary member number provided on sign up, until they are able to issue you with a permanent library card when you visit.



   Classroom reading areas

Classroom libraries have a positive impact on reading behaviour. They help promote literacy and increase independent reading. Here are some tips on how to create a welcoming classroom reading corner that your children will enthusiastically use.


For information on how you can get your children interested in reading for pleasure within the classroom, please click on the link below.



   Supporting the curriculum

The library has a great range of books and other resources to support the teaching and learning of the curriculum. 


Non-fiction - Mrs Parr can collect non-fiction resources and issue them to your class when you are studying a particular topic. Please just ask. They will be issued to you on our library system (so we know where they are!) and discharged once they are returned.


Fiction - again, Mrs Parr can search for and provide a range of fiction books to support the topic you're teaching.


Reference - you'll find a small collection of reference books in the library, including dictionaries, thesauri, atlases, subject specific encyclopedias and Spanish dictionaries. These can be used in classroom teaching.


Teaching resources - Mrs Parr has a collection of book resources for staff - teacher's notes, lesson plans, activities and other teaching resources. Please contact her if you would like to look at these.


Display - if you need to display posters related to books, the library will look for these and try to provide them where possible.


Libresoft library system - when children use our system, they are using IT in an everyday situation. They can search for books, locate them in the library, follow instructions, write book reviews online.




  Supporting reading for pleasure

Please encourage your class to borrow regularly from the library and use their classroom collections. Our library and classroom reading areas have over 8,000 items recorded on our library system, mainly books but also some audiobooks on CD, so there's plenty to choose from. That doesn't even include all the magazines, comics and newspapers we have!


There is a Book Swap trolley downstairs in the hall. This is brought out into the Maze playground every Tuesday after school. If children want to swap a book any other time during the school day, they can do so with your permission. We also hold a couple of big book swaps/sales throughout the year.


If you or the children don't know what to read next, use some of the links on this page or on the children's pages to guide you/them. 


There are loads of links to explore on the library webpages to sites related to reading, books, authors, illustrators, comics, graphic novels, teaching resources and more. 


Suggested reading lists can also be found to guide children in finding that right book for them.


If you have children who are stuck in a rut with their reading, not moving away from their favourite series or author, who say they just don't enjoy reading or who might need some help in finding something to read, please let Mrs Parr know. She is more than happy to have a chat with them and hopefully guide them to a book they might enjoy.


We aim to run at least a couple of special events after school each year. In the past we've done Doctor Who, Graphic Novels, Funny Ha-Ha! and Harry Potter.



   CPD - free resources and training

OU/UKLA Research Rich Pedagogies

Free reading for pleasure CPD.


OU/UKLA Teachers' Reading Groups

Free teachers' reading groups. Nearest ones to us are 3 groups in London (2 Bloomsbury, 1 Islington). 


Books for Keeps

Reviews hundreds of books each year and publishes articles on every aspect of writing for children. Over 12,500 reviews and more than 2,000 articles including interviews with the top children’s authors and illustrators.


CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education)

Free teaching sequences, celebrating books and special days, reading and writing scales, what we know works. other free resources from The Power of Reading, Poetryline website, Power of Pictures website, Corebooks Online (including free book recommendations) and more. There is also a paid membership option.



BookTrust is the UK's largest children's reading charity. 'New kids books we love', 100 best new books, bookfinder, their recommendations, booklists, lots of tips and advice for parents (but might be useful for teachers, too), books, authors, illustrators and much more.


National Literacy Trust

There is a paid membership but these resources are free.


Mrs Parr's Wee Collection!

You're welcome to borrow these any time. I probably have some more lurking on the shelves!

Tell Me by Aiden Chambers

Building Communities of Engaged Readers by Teresa Cremin et al.

Poetry and Stories for Primary and Lower Secondary Schools by Michael Rosen

Once Upon an If: The Storythinking Handbook by Peter Worley

Tell Me: Children, Reading and Talk by Aiden Chambers


More resources to come!