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The Book bench project is a creative way to explore the development of children’s engagement with reading through discussion, collaboration and art.

Children-sitting-on-a-decorated-bench-listening-to-someone-reading-a-story

As teacher educators, we see it as our role to demonstrate the importance of working in partnership with schools and their communities to promote the love of reading more widely.

Research has consistently shown that reading for enjoyment has a significant positive impact on children’s progress, not only in literacy but across the curriculum. We believe that decorating book benches with scenes and characters from stories is a great way to encourage young people to read more widely and enjoy what they read.

“We’ve really enjoyed being a part of the book bench project and all the children involved get a lot out of creating the benches. The children decide which book they want the bench to be about and then do all their own research to come up with ideas for drawings on the bench”.

St James Head Teacher Claire Greenway

Students are given the opportunity to work with schools and the wider community and to develop their knowledge and understanding of children’s literature. Cremin et al’s (2009) work, researching teachers as readers, emphasises the positive impact on children’s engagement with reading when they are taught by teachers who read and who  have a strong knowledge of children’s texts.

“It really helped me develop my knowledge of how to encourage reading for pleasure and gave me the experience of how to incorporate books into the classroom. It was a fantastic opportunity to be a part of.”

Eleanor Haeford studying BA (Hons)Primary Education with QTS
People dressed up as popular book characters at Chorley market

Once created the book benches are positioned in Chorley town centre to form a trail and the wider community are encouraged to participate through completing the book bench trail quiz.

Want to find out more on reading for pleasure? 

You can see the department for education’s research on reading for pleasure.

See the department for education’s research

This project aligns to the Faculty’s vision to inspire, innovate and transform. This project also aligns to the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Pillars; subject knowledge and pedagogy. If you want to know more please email Sharon Stelling.