Heather Wright is a primary teacher and leader who has inspired thousands of primary teachers to look at reading in a new light.
Wright, Year 5 teacher and key stage 2 team leader at the District CE primary school in Merseyside, is the founder of Reading Rocks, a movement for teachers based on sharing the love of reading.
Through her blog, Twitter account and conferences, teachers have been brought together to share ideas on great books for their class, write teaching tips, advise on how to promote reading for pleasure – and even to suggest how to teach grammar through dance.
Reading Rocks grew from Wright’s whole-school project, called the Year of Reading, in 2014-15, which aimed to ignite a love of reading in all pupils. The project led to the school being shortlisted for English teacher or team of the year at the Tes Schools Awards 2016, and in October 2016, she hosted the first national Reading Rocks conference at District School.
The movement took off and a second conference was held at the school in October 2017. This year, three Reading Rocks conferences have been held in different parts of the country – a further two are already planned for next year.
Among the 19,000 followers of the Reading Rocks Twitter account are authors Michael Rosen, Tom Palmer and Christopher Edge – which goes to show that she is a woman who knows how to get people positively buzzing about reading.
Tes' people of the year 2018
- Jules White - headteacher and school funding campaigner
- Heather Wright - primary teacher and founder, Reading Rocks
- Jan Dubiel - head of national and international development, Early Excellence
- Meg Hillier - Labour MP and chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee
- Baroness Mary Warnock – life peer and SEND champion
- Professor Becky Francis – director, UCL Institute of Education
- Clare Sealy – headteacher, St Matthias Primary School, and education blogger
- Pepper the Robot – robot that gave evidence to Commons committee
- Shakira Martin – president, NUS students’ union
- The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida