Reading for Pleasure Partners

Combining the expertise of Reading for Pleasure practitioners will ensure Get Hounslow Reading's long term success. Joint Practice Development identified the need to focus on early language development and reading across Hounslow's primary schools.

Course Facilitator – Charlotte Raby – Author & Education Consultant

Charlotte is a trained primary school teacher, consultant and ITE lecturer specialising in English and an Open University Reading for Pleasure HEI partnership member.

She is also an inaugural member of the English Hubs Council and continues to give advice to the DfE.

Charlotte is a passionate advocate for teaching both the skills of reading and the joy of reading to all children and believes that every child can become a reader.

Currently working as Programme Developer for not-for-profit Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, Charlotte has developed both the main and SEND programmes for Little Wandle.

Just Imagine

We've partnered with Just Imagine Story Centre who curate books to help our teachers grow their knowledge of new and diverse children’s authors/illustrators for their age group.

Here's what director, Nikki Gamble, had to say about GHR

"Just Imagine has been delighted to work closely with HEP for the past three years, selecting and supplying books for the hugely successful Reading for Pleasure initiative. It has been so rewarding to see the passion and commitment that the participating teachers have for children's reading."

Meet the team
Nikki Gamble 

After 20 years working as a teacher and university lecturer, Just Imagine's founder and director  set up Just Imagine to support schools with their literacy needs, including book selection.

Twenty years later, Just Imagine has a broad portfolio, including the award-winning Reading Gladiators book club and Take One Book.

Nikki heads up school development and training with consultant Jo Castro.

Wil Nicolaou 

Business Manager, Wil Nicolaou works closely with Nikki and has been with the company for eight years. She's the voice at the end of the phone or email, supporting schools with their enquiries and overseeing the book supply.

She manages the Best Book for Schools website with developer Alex Blanc and content creators Jo Bowers and Roy Moss.


Did you know ...

... the wishlist feature on Best Books for Schools can be used to build collections of books, and the link sent to parents or local businesses to support by purchasing them? It's a great way for schools to increase their book collections.

They are always pleased to hear from schools, so do get in touch, and they will be delighted to assist.

Open University Reading for Pleasure

Steeped in rich pedagogy, this website offers teachers a wealth of resources and case studies to support teachers throughout the Get Hounslow Reading programme.


In addition, all teachers on the programme have signed up to the Teachers Reading Challenge which runs every year.

The Alligator’s Mouth is an independent children’s bookshop in Richmond, stocking books from baby to late teen.

They often work with local schools, providing events or stocking libraries.

There are regular events in the shop, with frequent author and illustrator visits. In the past we have welcomed Jacqueline Wilson, Chris Riddell, Cressida Cowell, Oliver Jeffers and Axel Scheffler.

They were shortlisted for The British Book Awards Children's Bookseller of the Year 2017.

The Alligator's Mouth is a bookshop at the heart of the local community with a mission to reach all readers: the confident, the beginner, and the reading-resistant.

Tony, Margaret and the team are always happy to help, so get in touch or pop in and see them –

Mary Curran and Clare Petre from Collins joined the Get Hounslow Reading team at their conference in March 2023. They brought goody bags and cakes with them and have donated books for the GHR prize draw.

Collins Big Cat fosters a love of reading with over 1,500 carefully levelled readers to support guided, independent and whole class reading.

From dynamic fiction to exciting graphic novels to engage reluctant readers, and from poems to fascinating non-fiction, Big Cat has something to inspire and support every child’s reading journey.

The programme also delivers a consistent and highly effective approach to early reading with classroom resources and a diverse range of decodable phonics books developed in partnership with the DfE-validated Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised SSP.

St Mary's University, Twickenham hosted the GHR Conference in March 2024.

Their experienced Senior Lecturers in Primary English have a deep-rooted Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.

This is an important partnership with GHR reminding us that RfP practice continues into the classroom of every teacher in every school for every child.



Meet the team

Kerry Assemakis is a Senior Lecturer in Primary English, teaching on both Postgraduate and Undergraduate programmes. Kerry is passionate about teaching and learning in primary English, and especially about reading for pleasure and developing teachers’ identity and confidence as writers. Kerry completed research that focussed on student teachers as creative writers, and is currently leading a joint research project on teacher-writer identity and the impact this has on teaching and learning. Kerry co-runs an Open University/United Kingdom Literacy Association Teachers’ Reading Group with her colleagues. She is currently a doctoral student with a strong interest in visual literacies.

Finola is a senior lecturer in primary English, and the Primary English subject lead at St. Mary's University, teaching on the Primary Education Work-based, UG and PGCE routes. She is passionate about teaching English, particularly celebrating diversity and reading and writing for pleasure and co-runs the South West London Open University/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Group with her colleagues. She has co-conducted research into students as writers, and has collaborated with The British Library learning on a project on student identity. Finola is currently involved in a joint research project on teacher writer identity and the impact this has on teaching and learning.


Karen is a Senior Lecturer in primary English at St Mary’s University. She teaches English on the Primary Education Work-based Routes, the BA Hons in Primary Education with QTS and the PGCE in Primary Education with QTS. Karen is passionate about teaching English, particularly how English can support children with the explorations of their identity and can empower them to tackle issues of social justice. She is currently studying for her professional doctorate and her research focuses on children's identity and the books that they read. She co-runs an Open University/United Kingdom Literacy Association Teachers Reading Group. She is also currently involved in a joint research project on teacher writer identity and the impact this has on teaching and learning.

Jo is a lecturer in primary English, and the Early Years Course lead at St. Mary's University, teaching on the Primary Education Work-based, Undergraduate and PGCE routes. She is passionate about teaching English, particularly celebrating diversity and reading and writing for pleasure. Jo co-runs the South West London Open University/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Group with her colleagues. She has co-conducted research into students as writers, and is currently participating in research alongside colleagues on place-based writing.  Jo also works closely with the STA and Ofqual to validate Early years accreditations and advise on writing processes and assessment. 

Alison Willmott joined the primary English team at St. Mary’s in 2017 and has taught English and Drama on the PG, UG and WB routes. Prior to joining St. Mary’s, she taught in Primary Schools in inner London, ran workshops at Kew Gardens and was a primary curriculum advisor for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). She has worked with schools and ministries in the UK and overseas - facilitating conferences and developing curriculum projects and learning resources with educational, creative and cultural bodies including The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Society and the British Council. She is a member of the Primary Umbrella Group (PUG), a facilitator on the Enquiring Schools Programme and a member of the advisory group for the Speech Bubbles communication and drama programme.

Hounslow School Library Service
Their offer

Hounslow School Library Service provides essential, high quality resources and support for all schools that take out a subscription.

Advice from professional librarians on all aspects of the library, including library stock, classification and layout is invaluable.

A number of annual events are provided to develop children’s book knowledge and love of reading.

Project loan books

All project loan books are tailored to teachers’ needs and complement the school’s library provision, increasing access to a wide range of books to encourage reading for pleasure and independent learning.

What our schools have to say

“I really can’t thank you and your team enough. You’ve made such a huge impact on our library and significantly improved the children’s engagement with books in our school. We think the service you provide is excellent!” Teacher from local Hounslow Primary School

Who to contact

For further information please contact Nikola Standing –

What our members say

Ofsted Inspection Training – "Four days well spent! Supporting the development of our school under the guidance of a skilled trainer with a wealth of experience across the primary range was invaluable."

Primary Subject Networks – "The content in the sessions covers all aspects of high quality practice in Maths and it makes me reflective on my practice in class and how I lead and help develop other teachers."

Primary Subject Networks – "Meeting other subject leaders and sharing, makes me feel better about what we are delivering and that we are on the right track."

Develop your A level Teaching – "It was really nice to be able to talk to other A level German teachers as there aren’t very many and we could share our experiences."

Contingent Talk with Books – "Such a worthwhile project for Early Years, which you can see working right in front of your eyes. Well-planned and organised project, fantastic expert who inspires us all."

Get Hounslow Reading – "The biggest impact has been on our teachers’ enthusiasm for reading/books and their knowledge of high quality texts, finding innovative ways to engage readers through displays, book talk and story time."

Secondary Subject Networks – "There are so many useful takeaways from the meeting to help improve teaching and learning and they are things which can easily be put into place after the meeting."

Get Hounslow Reading – “There can be no doubt of the enthusiasm of Hounslow teachers and impact of their hard work on growing a Reading for Pleasure practice in their schools over this academic year. Many teachers said that the time to talk and share practice was what they valued most highly.” Charlotte Raby – Programme Facilitator

Secondary Subject Networks – “I really enjoy the content and the supportive group of fellow geography leaders discussing ideas in a non-judgmental, relatively informal way. The group certainly helps each other and fundamentally discusses relevant topics which are benefiting me.”

Get Hounslow Reading – "Very informative and helpful. A lovely chance to reflect. Excellent, enthusiastic delivery which would inspire anyone! You are very knowledgeable and sessions are well-organised. Thank you!”

Challenging Behaviour Training – “Great training, thank you for all your expertise and advice. I learnt lots of things about different ways that can affect pupils’ behaviour and how to deal with different situations."

Deep Dive Subject Leader Training – “Thank you for the very detailed and thorough subject leader checklist. It is an extremely useful and much necessary exercise. It's been an eye opener. Thank you”

Develop your A Level Teaching – “A much appreciated forum to apply pedagogy to a subject specific domain, with such rich professional talk after the keynotes in the Economics breakout session.”

Contact us

The success of the Hounslow Education Partnership depends, in part, on good communication so please do get in touch to give us your feedback or about anything else you would like to discuss.


Our member schools