Last year we started a whole school reading project at Manorfield Primary in Tower Hamlets, an area with a high level of deprivation.
To help encourage more reading across the school, as well as setting up a Breakfast Book Club, we worked with specialist reading trainer Anne Harding to train a group of parent reading volunteers at the school. The aim of the training was to ensure that the volunteers had knowledge, practical tips and confidence to help them as they embarked on their new role.
We recently went back to the school to review the project and were delighted with the feedback we got. The school has now got 12 regular parent reading volunteers who come in for an hour or two per week helping children from reception to Year 2. We spoke with a few of them to find out how it was going as well as to share concerns and good practice.
“The children are so keen, when I go in the classroom and ask who wants to read, so many hands go up, I don’t know who to choose.”
“I feel a sense of pride that the children know my name, I am a part of the school”
We were delighted to hear what an impact on the children’s reading the sessions have had. Not only are the children enthusiastic to read, their reading has improved with teachers seeing a noticeable rise in reading levels at Key Stage 1. The children were not the only ones to gain. The volunteers spoke about their own increase in confidence too, how they felt a sense of pride when the children improved and were keen on reading. This is also leading to them gaining vital skills for future employability.
The school is really focused on reading! As well as the reading in class, there is a thriving breakfast book club and a Golden Book club where children read the same book and then discuss their thoughts on it or write reviews. Well done Manorfield, we look forward to seeing how it progresses!