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Award-winning children's author officially opens new Learning Hub – University of Reading

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Award-winning children's author officially opens new Learning Hub

Release Date 04 March 2015

Peter Pan cover designed by Ian Beck

A unique resource that gives trainee teachers and schools the tools to provide children with the very best in literacy teaching and development has opened at the University of Reading.

The Learning Hub, part of the University's Institute of Education, was officially opened by bestselling children's author and illustrator Ian Beck on Friday 27 February.

The Hub incorporates the existing Teaching Resource Base and the National Centre for Language and Literacy. It provides teachers with access to a wealth of materiel, including an education reference library, and the opportunity to view a huge range of children's publications before they are purchased for the school. It also houses a comprehensive range of reading schemes and resources for a wide range of curriculum areas.

The Hub also offers teacher trainees a variety of useful resources to aid teaching and lesson planning, including a broad selection of children's literature, Big Books, puppets, games and posters, all of which are available for short-term loan

Karen Goulding, Learning Hub Director, said: "It's wonderful to have two fantastic resources now under one roof, and in a new facility. The Institute of Education is one of the leading teacher trainers in the country. Our students now have access to top-class facilities which will support them in their journey to become outstanding teachers. The Hub will stimulate ideas that student teachers can use in their future classrooms, boosting academic success for not only trainee teachers, but also for the children under their care.

"Schools can ensure they are investing wisely by viewing books and packages of teaching resources, as well as receiving professional advice. Investing in materials is an important decision - not only financially but also because these decisions have a big impact on how literacy is taught. This ‘try before you buy' system ensures schools are picking the right books for their institution."

During the opening event, Ian Beck took part in a wide-ranging Q&A session. The audience also had the chance to view some original artwork of Ian's Peter Pan, authored by Rose Impey.

Ian's work includes Round and Round the Garden and gold award winners in the Best Toy Awards. Home Before Dark, Alone in the Woods and The Happy Bee. He also designed the cover illustration for Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album.

Ian Beck said: "I believe we are living through a Golden Age for Children's Books at the moment. This despite the regrettable and short sighted Library Services cuts and the price cutting power of the behemoths of commercial book selling. Publishing has long realised the importance of stories for children. The publishers are of course operating for the benefit of their shareholders and for profit but the energy and commitment of the staff however within those commercial restraints is admirable.

"The individual imagination still triumphs and wonderful stories are still being told and drawn. They may have to struggle a bit harder to grow into the light, but grow they do. This is why a learning hub is so important. A place that is run with expertise and delight in literature. A place that carries the stock and resources to guide enthuse, explain, and recommend."







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