Senior School Librarian Wins National Reading Award

Henrietta Englefield has been awarded the Harper Collins School Reading Champion Award 2024.

The Hamp Library librarian, Henrietta Englefield, has won a prestigious HarperCollins Reading for Pleasure Award. Mrs Englefield was joint winner of the School Reading Champion Award, which recognises and celebrates teachers and members of the community who work to inspire children to read in new and exciting ways.

The panel of judges for these awards included representatives from Open University, the National Literacy Trust and the UK Literacy Association, as well as the children’s author, Hannah Gold. Prize-winning author Michael Morpurgo is a patron of the awards. Run by esteemed publishers, HarperCollins, it aims to champion teachers to build communities of readers.

Mrs Englefield’s submission highlights the importance of school libraries in encouraging and providing a range of books for reading for pleasure, and as ‘third spaces’, supported by the research of Ray Oldenburg. This provides a place where pupils can find a ‘sense of belonging’. The submission also set out the focus of the school library on giving children a choice of what to read, maximising access to books and introducing them to new authors, periods, regions and genres.

Mrs Englefield was commended by the judges:

‘You had clear aims and your approach is thoughtful and strategic. There is so much to admire in your work and we especially enjoyed your insightful and thoughtful approach to creating a welcoming space[…]. You have given children agency and made reading appealing and widely accessible.’

That the dedication and talent of Mrs Englefield to the library and children’s reading has been recognised by such an esteemed group does not come as a surprise to those at Colfe’s – her commitment to helping children develop of a love of reading is seen across the senior school and pupils from Years 7 to 13 love and appreciate the library hugely, participating in events organised by Mrs Englefield such as ‘Battle of the Books’ (the House reading competition), Reading Around the World and Reading Through Time challenges, and national book quizzes. In UK-wide competitions, Colfe’s has placed in the top three nationally for the previous five UK wide competitions, and has placed first in the past two years, a testament to the school’s commitment to reading. Mrs Englefield has also hosted several authors for school visits and talks, including the Carnegie Medal winning author, Anthony McGowan.

Encouraging reading for pleasure at Colfe’s is a collaboration between the English Department and the Library, and Mrs Englefield is hugely appreciative of her colleague Tracy Carter and all the English staff.

A key takeaway from the award conference for Mrs Englefield was that, when encouraging children to read, ‘you have got to be relentlessly positive’. Those who are familiar with Mrs Englefield know that this idea embodies the diligence and enthusiasm with which the Colfe’s library is run.

I love the library. I love books and the opportunities that come from just walking past the shelves’ – Leila (Year 9)

Click here for the full submission


How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for Colfe's School. Our main entry points are at ages 3, 4, 11 and 16.