The Literacy Classroom

Supporting the teaching of English in UK primary schools

Children's Book Awards

Using literature in the classroom has long been recognised as being important.

Even as far back as 1975 it was suggested in the national report ‘A Language for Life’ that exposure to and use of children’s literature is beneficial to children’s development in a number of ways. ‘it helps you shape the personality, refine the sensibility, sharpen the critical intelligence; that it is a powerful instrument for empathy, a medium through which the child can acquire his values.’ (Bullock, 1975)  


Marriott (1995) also provides four reasons for teaching fiction in the primary school: personal, social, intellectual and cultural.  He explains that reading is an enjoyable activity which helps individuals grow personally. As individuals read they can experience events vicariously and therefore grow and develop through these experiences. In the same way readers can develop empathy by living through the experiences of the characters they read. More importantly in terms of attainment reading fiction has been shown to increase pupils’ achievement in reading. This was particularly evident in the research carried out by Moore and Wade (2000) in their longitudinal study following children from the ages of six months to seven years old.

More recently evidence has pointed to the fact that those children who read for pleasure go on to achieve higher academic qualifications and therefore have increased life chances. We owe it to our children to switch them onto reading, not just teach the technical aspects but really switch them on to want to read for their own enjoyment and want to spend time engaging with a book.


I am passionate about children's literature and nurturing a love of reading. On these pages you will find suggestions for quality texts to introduce and read with your children and activities and resources to engage pupils in those texts and develop their comprehension skills