Institute of Education


VIRTUAL EVENT: How to help young children with their reading

09 March 2021, 2:30 pm–3:10 pm

Teacher helping a young girl and boy with their reading at a Reading Recovery event

Answering your questions about how children learn to read and how to nurture their interest in reading, in IOE Coffee Breaks.

Event Information

Open to





Kate Thomas

Watch the discussion

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There is growing evidence to show the wide-ranging benefits of reading for young children’s learning and wellbeing. In particular, research suggests that the more time children (and adults) spend reading, especially fiction, the greater the advantage. But not all children find learning to read easy and not all of them choose to read in their spare time.

In this event, we answer your questions about how children learn to read and how to nurture their interest in reading, in and out of school. Join us to put your questions to our panellists, Professor Gemma Moss and Dr Rachael Levy.


About the Speakers

Dr Rachael Levy

Associate Professor in Education at UCL Institute of Education (IOE)

Dr Rachael Levy
Rachael’s research and teaching interests focus on young children’s reading, which include children’s perceptions of reading and factors that influence motivation and engagement with reading. Her most recent research has explored the barriers and motivations to shared reading practices in families living in disadvantage. Rachael is also interested in the influence of gender on children’s attainment and engagement with literacy as well as the implications for opportunities within and beyond the schooling system. Rachael took up the post of Associate Professor in Education at the IOE in February 2019, having spent the previous nine years working at The University of Sheffield. More about Dr Rachael Levy

Professor Gemma Moss

Professor of Literacy, and Director of the International Literacy Centre at UCL Institute of Education (IOE)

Professor Gemma Moss
Gemma is interested in the shifting relationships between policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders that are reshaping the literacy curriculum, and the use of research evidence to support policy and practice. She was president of the British Educational Research Association (BERA) between 2015 and 2017, and has served on BERA Council and as the Association’s vice president, as well as acting as the convenor of BERA’s Educational Research and Educational Policy-Making special interest group. More about Professor Gemma Moss

Chair: Dr Sandra Leaton Gray

Associate Professor of Education at UCL Institute of Education (IOE)

Dr Sandra Leaton Gray, IOE
Sandra is an applied sociology of education specialist and has published extensively on issues of education professionalism, professional training, education policy, the knowledge economy, curriculum, biometrics and children, artificial intelligence in education and conceptions of time in education.

She has served as an education consultant and advisor to national and international organisations including the UK Government, the European Commission, the International Baccalaureate Organisation and the UK's Royal Colleges of Medicine. Sandy is currently directing the My Life Online research project, investigating young people and their social media algorithms.

Prior to joining the IOE, she held posts at the Universities of East Anglia and Cambridge. Her recent publications include Invisibly blighted: the digital erosion of childhood (2017, with Andy Phippen) and Curriculum Reform in the European Schools: Towards a 21st Century Vision (2018, with David Scott and Peeter Mehisto).

More about Chair: Dr Sandra Leaton Gray