Top Tips: Reading Role Models

6 September 2021

The most influential people in the lives of children are those they are around the most: their parents and teachers. This is particularly important when it comes to reading. Even if a parent or teacher isn’t an avid reader themselves, that doesn’t mean they can’t be a reading role model. Below are some ways that you can help parents and other members of staff to promote reading for enjoyment. Everyone can get involved in championing reading in your school. What ideas, skills and knowledge can you share that will help create and sustain and reading community in your school?

Reading Role Models - Parents 

Parents are the best reading role models for their children. Here are some ideas for how you can help parents support their child and get involved in your reading community.

Shout about the library!

Keep parents up to date with school reading and library developments. Share your reading for pleasure strategy with them and the PTA and help them understand why you want to work together to help their child discover a love of reading. Use your school’s communication channels to parents, including newsletters and social media, to share reading ideas and celebrate books.


Invite parents in to be volunteers in your school library. Provide training and encourage parents to use their skills to support the library. Parents can be a valuable asset and can enable you to open the library more frequently, encouraging other parents – and more pupils! – to visit and get involved.

Displays aren’t just for kids 

Always have books and reading materials in reception so that parents know as soon as they walk in the door that this is a reading school. Create displays based on parents’ favourite reads and encourage them to contribute their book reviews. Offer book lists and holiday reading suggestions to parents.


Invite parents to attend story time and author visits (even one of this Autumn's Puffin Virtual Visits) – they can be inspired too! Better yet, see if members of your local community would do a story-reading. Imagine pupils excitement at a real post-person reading The Jolly Postman or their football coach reading Percy Jackson! 

Reading Role Models - Teachers 

All members of staff can encourage and support reading across the whole-school. However, it can be hard to know how to  persuade some pupils to step into the library or enjoy the reading corner. Try these ideas in your school to help create a sustainable reading community and promote good reading habits.

Use the library

Build visits to the library into your timetable. You’ll be demonstrating the importance of reading to pupils and helping them to foster a love of reading by giving time to discover stories and get used to being around books.

Currently reading poster

Put up a poster in your classroom or on your office door that says what you are currently reading. This is a simple and effective way of making reading visible in your school and being a positive reading role model. Be honest about your own reading experiences, for example when you've found it difficult to finish a book or a time a book has been a comfort to you and why. This way they'll learn that there are many ways to be a reader and that'll change as they grow.

Discover the next big books! 

Check out shortlisted titles for children’s book awards, including Carnegie, Children’s Book Award, Branford Boase, Costa – they’re a great starting point for brilliant writing.

Top 10 

What are your pupils’ favourite books? Create a top-10 list based on their reading choices – whether they are current or childhood favourites. Share them with other classes and start conversations about reading across the school. Maybe you can start a vote and decide on a whole-school top 10

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Watch our World Book Day 2024 Story Makers Show from 4th March 2024, and submit your class' short stories to win 1 of 5 stacks of Puffin Books!