How can we build on the buzz of World Book Day to develop our school’s reading culture? We must focus on an evidence-based approach to reading for pleasure, not an activity-oriented one. Professor Teresa Cremin explains


Earlier this month, schools across the country were alive with talk about texts, reading assemblies, book-based quizzes, art activities, reader recommendations, author visits and more.

Capitalising on this energy and enthusiasm for reading is surely a no-brainer. World Book Day – which took place this year on March 2 – offers schools a launch pad to raise the bar on reading for progress and for pleasure, and with carefully planned intent and implementation, impact on even the lowest attaining 20% of students is possible.

As research studies show, and the OECD (2021) confirms, the will to read influences the skill and vice-versa.

International tests for both 10 and 15-year-olds (PIRLS and PISA) persistently indicate that those young people who choose to read at home in their own time – regularly and widely – score far more highly on reading attainment tests than their peers who do not choose to read at home. It is a perhaps obvious fact, but it bears repeating.

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