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"A reading child is, quite simply, a successful child"
Alan Gibbons

I set up the Creative Reading Company with the sole vision of encouraging thousands of children to read for pleasure.

I studied English Literature at both GCSE and A level before going on to read the subject at university, where I achieved a BA (Hons) in English Literature. After deciding that teaching was my vocation, I gained a PGCE in secondary English. My love of reading has been life long and I have tried to instil this into my family and friends by running reading groups within the community.

I joined the teaching profession in 1996, and have taught in a wide range of schools in the north of England, both primary and secondary. The majority of my career has been spent in secondary education where I have become an ‘outstanding’ practitioner. During my time in secondary education, I have always placed the encouragement of reading for pleasure firmly at the top of my agenda, believing that this is the single most important factor in determining a child’s academic and social success.

I have enjoyed much success in encouraging children’s reading in schools. I run reading groups for different groups of learners within my own school, including one for SEND pupils, as well as one for the most able students reading classic literature. I have delivered both staff training as well as parental sessions on the importance and impact of reading for pleasure. I regularly deliver engaging assemblies to pupils on the importance of reading, which are always well received.

Whilst trying to devise new ways of encouraging reading amongst my pupils, I lighted on the idea of holding an actual reading event: a competitive quiz where children could compete against other children in nearby schools, and so The Big Book Quiz was born. I began running the quiz three years ago with the three secondary schools nearest to where I worked. Although the children saw the winning of the quiz as being the ultimate goal, I only saw a huge growth in the numbers of children reading for pleasure. I saw children talking about reading and becoming excited about literature. I saw parents involved and interested in their children’s reading. One parent even asked me if I would organise an adults’ competition!

Since that small start, The Big Book Quiz has grown and grown in popularity and The Creative Reading Company was established in order to manage and develop that popularity and growth.

So I’m going to try to make it a huge event and see if I can force down sales of PlayStation and Xbox games, because children are too busy reading to play them. Let’s think big!

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