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Sturton by Stow Primary School

Patron of Reading

We are delighted that the author Matt Beighton is working with us over the next year as our Patron of Reading. 

I am delighted to be working with Sturton by Stow this year, as your Patron of Reading. It’s a role which I am new to, but which I am excited to get to grips with. We all know just how important reading is, not just for a child’s development but for their mental wellbeing. We all love to belong to our own tribes, whether it is the football team that we support or the music we listen to; the authors that we keep going back to are no different.

It's only appropriate that I start this with a confession. As a child in primary school, I didn’t like reading. I don’t know if it was down to the limited selection of books that were available in a 1980s primary school, or if I just hadn’t found the ones that I liked. Either way, I could take it or leave it. Throughout my years as a teacher and now that I’m a full-time author and have the privilege of working with children all over the country, I feel a sense of duty to try to help others in that situation.

When I visited Sturton in September, I had a lovely conversation with the pupil librarians. One of their concerns matched one of my own – how can we encourage children to read more than the books that they already gravitate towards? When I moved up to High School, my dad gave me a graphic novel copy of The Hobbit, and I was hooked. In epic fantasy novels, I’d found my book tribe.

Some children might have already found the genre that they love, and that’s fantastic. However, there is still a lot of benefit to reading around different genres. It opens our minds to new ideas and opinions, and exposes us to different styles and forms of writing. For developing minds, this is incredibly important.

So, after all that, we came up with a new type of reading challenge. Instead of rewarding children for reading as many books as possible, the new challenge celebrates reading different genres. Each child will be given a card with a variety of genres on it. Every time they complete a book in that genre and talk to their teacher about it, they can mark it off like a game of Bingo. They will get ClassDojo points and stickers for completing different parts of the card. Hopefully, those children that already read a lot will discover new genres to explore and those who struggle to get excited about reading will find their own book tribe that hooks them in.

If you are interested in finding out more about my books, including my dyslexia-adapted Monstacademy series and my Pick Your Path Adventures gamebook series, head over to

I am really looking forward to working with all of the Sturton-By-Stow family this year; let’s get reading!

Matt Beighton

Sturton by Stow Primary School