Reading in Primary Schools: Guide

Jonathan Doherty | View as single page | Feedback/Impact
Reading matters
The science behind reading
Teaching reading in schools
Extending reading
Case studies
Strength of Evidence
Areas for further research
Editor's Comments
Online communities

Communities of readers

The social fabric of reading communities are shaped differently in every classroom in response to readers, parents, teachers and teaching assistants involved. Communities of readers are characterised by reciprocity and interaction. To create these communities, teachers need rich repertoires of children’s texts and knowledge of their readers, a responsive pedagogy and an understanding of reading. Children’s pleasure in reading is strongly influenced by reading networks and relationships: between teachers; between teachers and children; between children and children; and in some cases, between children, teachers, families and communities. As a profession we must be seek to learn more about parents’ and families’ reading practices; in this way, we can build more equivalent reading relationships with families and explore the potential synergies between teachers’, children’s and parents’ reading lives and practices (Cremin, 2019).

The research project Teachers as Readers (TaRs) found that reading for pleasure is strongly influenced by relationships between children, teachers, families and communities. Where shared understandings were established about the changing nature of reading and the value of everyday reading practices, these supported children’s RfP. These reading communities generated new kinds of talk about reading. The newly constructed reading communities that developed in classrooms fostered a sense of belonging and mutual commitment as well as increased interaction. The project revealed that reading for pleasure is a highly social process and that young readers are nurtured through their involvement in richly reciprocal communities of readers (Cremin et al., 2014).

To read more about the research: see the Executive Summaries and related papers.

Families reading together in the Primary years

The National Literacy Trust has produced a family involvement toolkit containing tips, research and best practice examples to help early years practitioners and settings involve families with young children in reading. You will need to register to become a member to access the resource.



Cremin, T., Mottram, M., Collins, F., Powell, S. & Safford, K. (2014) Building Communities of Engaged Readers: Reading for pleasure. London/New York: Routledge. 

Cremin, T. (2019). Reading communities: why, what and how? NATE, Primary Matters Magazine.


Research Rich Pedagogies have produced a resource on developing a reading community.