Research shows that children can develop and improve their own understanding of their thoughts and feelings as well as those of others, through discussions about characters they encounter in books. Working out why a character in a book might be feeling or acting a certain way can help children empathise with others and, in turn, assist their emotional and social development.

“I was surprised at some of the insights she had that entirely came from her, and connections she made and the interest she took.”

Feedback from parent

Thinking Books is TrinityLearning’s emotional literacy mentoring scheme for Abingdon primary schools.

Our volunteer mentors go into schools regularly to meet children one-to-one, or in small groups, to share carefully selected books which start conversations about feelings and relationships. They use the books and specifically chosen activities to facilitate discussion about a character’s feelings, choices, and motivations.

Each Thinking Books programme is made up of 10 sessions, which usually take place one afternoon each week, term-time only. Mentors generally work with 1-3 children at a time for a half-hour session and usually complete two to three sessions (with different groups) per school visit. We offer the programme to primary schools in the Abingdon area.

“We had a lot of fun with the book… He particularly loved the clue spotting and even on the last day we found clues in the book we hadn’t seen before.”

Feedback from Thinking Books volunteer mentor

All volunteers are DSB checked, receive training, and are fully supported by TrinityLearning.

You can find details of our upcoming Thinking Books training on our website at

We also organise meet-ups for volunteers to share ideas and discuss, as well as to allow ongoing evaluation of the project.

If you are interested and would like to know more about Thinking Books volunteer opportunities, please email Nicola at nic.trinitv!