Oxford Reading Spree

A conference/festival/celebration of reading in schools

Buy Tickets for Oxford Reading Spree

Tickets for Oxford Reading Spree will be available through Eventbrite very soon

Tickets cost fifteen pounds and include a tasty lunch made by the amazing Sandra and Marie of Waste to Taste. Those who have been to one of the Spree events before will regard that as being worth the ticket price by itself.

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Getting to Oxford Reading Spree

The Reading Spree is happening at Larkrise Primary School in East Oxford. There is plenty of parking on the school playground.

Arriving by Car

The school postcode is OX4 4AN. Do not try to come through town, whatever direction you come from use the ring road and approach Larkrise on the A4158.

Coming round the ring road in a clockwise direction from the A34 you will cross over the river Thames and pass the Sainsbury’s Superstore. At the next roundabout take the first exit towards the town centre. You will pass a row of shops and down a steep hill (look out for the speed camera) and then up again. At the next set of lights turn right onto Boundary Brook Road. The school is along on the right.

Coming round the ring road in an anti-clockwise direction you will pass the mini-factory, at the next roundabout take the third exit towards the town centre. You will pass a row of shops and down a steep hill (look out for the speed camera) and then up again. At the next set of lights turn right onto Boundary Brook Road. The school is along on the right.

Arriving by Train And Bus

Buses have changed a little since last year due to the opening of the new shopping centre.

If you arrive at Oxford Station you could walk a few hundred yards up to the new Westgate Shopping Centre and go to stop E1 (at the bottom of the hill) to catch a number 3 bus up to the co-op on Iffley Road, from there you’ll walk a little further up Iffley Road and turn left onto Boundary Brook Road – the school is along on your right.

If you want to miss out the walk from the station to the shopping centre, you could catch a 1 or a 5 bus in the station forecourt and change to a 3 outside Queens College on the High Street.

Oxford University Press

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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Everything we do is driven by a love of learning and a love of the written word.

As a leading provider of high-quality classroom resources and CPD for teachers, our mission is to improve the lives of all children, by working with you on the issues important to your schools, supporting assessment, progress and attainment.

Since one of the most powerful things you can do to raise the attainment of the pupils is to help them develop a love of reading, we work with some of the world’s most creative and respected educational experts and authors to develop books that are emotive, compelling, and fire children’s imaginations. Everything we do is designed with rigour and care, in order to help you engage learners and deliver results in a real-life learning environment.

You can find out more about our work on our website: Oxford University Press.


What’s a Spree?

Ed Finch writes;

Last year, on April 1st, some of the most exciting people in the world of books and reading came to a little school in East Oxford and worked together to create the year’s most distinctive day of reading, thinking, discussion and fun.

We had Simon Smith (@smsimon) talking about his life as a reader, Martin Galway (@GalwayMr) on the many splendoured thing that is reading itself, Andrew Moffat (@moffat_andrew) told us about his ‘No Outsiders’ approach to creating an inclusive school ethos through picturebooks, Nick Swarbrick (@nickswarb) made us think hard about the relationship between home, school and reading, Mary Roche (@marygtroche) inspired us with her intimate dialogical approach for developing critical readers.

Author Piers Torday (@PiersTorday) spoke movingly in an intimate interview with Simon Smith, Darren Chetty (@rapclassroom) challenged us to percieve the hidden bias that excludes children from the mainstream of literature, Rhoda Wilson (@TemplarWilson) helped us think about how we could deliver guided reading to our whole class, Sue Cowley (@Sue_Cowley) led workshop particpants through the steps it might take to get their own book from their laptop to the bookshop shelf and the wonderful Mini Grey (@bonzetta) showed particpants how to make their own fliping, folding, surprising little books.

I’ve left so many people out – the Story Museum were there and Chris Smith of Storytelling Schools…. so many more.

For particpants the day was a feast, we learned, laughed, enjoyed, debated and made new friends.

So, what’s a Spree? It’s part conference, part festival, part celebration and it’s all fun. 2018 is shaping up to be even better than 2017 – some of the same people are coming back, some new ones are adding their voices, the programme will be packed, the goody bags will be bursting, the lunch will be insanely delicious (and insanely good value) and the only thing missing is… you! SO, don’t delay, snap up a ticket while there’s some left and let’s get this show on the road.


We have an extraordinarily strong line up of speakers and workshop leaders for our Reading Spree. More may be added but so far the list includes;

Darren Chetty (@rapclassroom)

Darren is a teacher and academic. He contributed a thought provoking chapter to the highly successful ‘The Good Immigrant’. He has lots to say on the subject of representation of black and minority ethnicity characters in fiction. You can read his blog here.

Martin Galway (@GalwayMr)

Martin is a well known book lover and a literacy advisor. He is held in high regard for his attention to detail and his expertise in teaching grammar through reading of high quality texts. We’re letting him off the leash to speak on something close to his heart. There may be tears. Martin contributes to the Herts for Learning English blogs and newsletters . You can see some of his work here.

Mini Grey

Mini is the author and illustrator of a whole host of brilliant, quirky, thought provoking picturebooks including the all time classic ‘Traction Man’. Mini’s books often question or gently poke fun at stereotypes and preconceptions. You can find out more about Mini and her books here.





Chris Smith (@chrissts1)

Chris is an Oxford based storyteller, musician, trainer and founding member of Storytelling Schools. Chris has worked in schools, universities, museums and prisons using the power of story to improve education and to change lives. There’s lots more to find out at

Simon Smith (@smithsmn)

Simon spent some years as a literacy consultant but now works as a Head Teacher in Whitby. He has an infectious passion for children’s literature which runs from picturebooks to Young Adult Literature. Simon’s blog is thoughtful, entertaining and frequently moving.


Mat Tobin (@Mat_at_Brookes)

Mat teaches at Oxford Brooke’s University. He is involved in ITT as well the Early Childhood Studies programme and the PGcert/MA programme. Mat has a dizzying array of research interests including landscape in the work of Alan Garner, depictions of fatherhood in picturebooks, vernacular architecture as a window into representation in children literature and Reading for Pleasure. Mat’s blog is a treasure trove of thoughts, reviews and interviews around children’s literature.

SF Said (@whatSFSaid)

SF is the author of Varjak Paw and Phoenix, he is currently working on Tyger which we hope will see the light of day before too many more months have passed. SF is a passionate advocate for children’s reading and for school libraries. Unlike some chilren’s authors, SF is never afraid to say what he thinks – ask him a question and you’ll get an answer! Check out his many blogs at SF Said

Jules Pottle (@MrSpottle)

When it comes to using storytelling to deliver targetted learning Jules is the one to watch. She has collaborated with Chris Smith of Stroytelling Schools on ‘Teaching Science through Storytelling, and Teaching History through Storytelling – two indispensible volumnes of brilliant stories and brillaint ideas. Jules continues to teach regularly ensuring her ideas and training has real authority.



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