Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Reading for Pleasure - The Countdown is On!

There are 37 days and 15 hours until I fly out to London on my scholarship trip to find out more about reading for pleasure initiatives in the UK.  Just typing this causes flutters of anxiety and I have to take a deep breath to relax.  I am really excited about the trip, I just still have a lot to do.  I have had a recurring dream where I am trying to find everything to pack and I am running late to get to the airport (so I try not to stress about the trip just before I go to sleep!).

Things are actually coming along nicely.  Here are some highlights:

  • I extended my trip because I found out about the UKLA National Conference, which is on "Finding and sharing pleasure in reading" and takes place in the University of Cambridge!  It happens the day after I was initially going to leave, so I am now staying until the 19th of March.  Thank goodness I have an understanding principal.
  • I am getting to visit schools in London, Hertfordshire, Ipswich, Norfolk and Scotland.
  • I have appointments with a number of Trusts and non-profits who support reading.
  • I am going to a day-long course on reading for pleasure.
  • I am visiting Seven Stories in Newcastle upon Tyne and the Norfolk Children's Book Centre.
  • I am really lucky to be meeting with Professor Teresa Cremin.  She is a prominent education researcher who has been doing a lot of work on reading for pleasure.  I talked about her book at the bottom of my last post.

I am also treating myself to a Warner Bros. Studio Tour on The Making of Harry Potter.  I had to find something to do on my weekends!

It has taken a lot of work to coordinate all the different visits, and I still have a couple of places to confirm.  Relying on email takes time, and patience, as I know that my requests may be just adding to a busy day for the people who receive them.  That said, I have been blown away by the number of people who have offered to: organise days with them that include visits to other schools in their area, drive me around and help me with accommodation.

Investigating all the places I'm going, and people I'm seeing, has lead to some interesting ideas already.  I've discovered mood boards

and fun library games

It is a challenge not to get pulled down the rabbit hole and spend days exploring online when I actually need to work out other things like what clothes to take and how to fit them into a suitcase!


  1. OMG your trip sounds amazing. I am so jealous, on so many levels!! The UKLA conference, the Cambridge visit (I studied there), Scotland (I am from there!), Newcastle (many happy memories from there!) - and HARRY POTTER!! OMG!! Words fail me!!

    Having said all that, I shouldn't really be envious as I am going back to the UK in June, and fortuitously, it coincides with some UKLA event in Glasgow, so I am going to try and get along! I will also be heading to Harry Potter World too!! Sadly, I think Cambridge will be off the agenda as my sister lives in Oxford (pfttt!) so will have to go there instead!

    Am really looking forward to reading your blog posts as you experience some AMAZING things!!!

  2. At least you should be getting more favourable weather Penny! I am happy that you also have a UK trip to look forward to. I will definitely attempt to blog about my experiences, and will also be presenting at the SLANZA conference in July.

  3. Looking forward reading about your trip when you return Michelle. Bon voyage!!