Wyke Regis – Whole School Reading Project

A Day out in Dorset

In January, a few of the GAB team visited Wyke Regis, our Whole School Reading Project for this year. We were first put in touch in the summer of 2022 by Chesil Reading Project who are part of a wider programme to enhance reading in the Weymouth and Portland areas.  

After speaking to Catherine Anders at Wyke Regis last summer, we realised that there was one year group in particular who would benefit from this project. The current year 2 cohort had missed out significantly on school over the pandemic – not only missing key years of learning in a classroom but the social aspect too.  

In September 2021, we began our relationship with Wyke Regis by sending in brand-new books for each of the new Year 2 cohort to welcome them back to school. With the help of FG Library and Learning Services who have been the crafting geniuses behind our school libraries over the years, we created not one but three mini classroom libraries for each of the year 2 forms. These were installed just before the Christmas break and Catherine and the teachers introduced the books as we sent them in. This allowed the children to pick up, flick through and read each new title, discovering new authors and widening their reading range.  

Three images of the original book corners at Wyke Regis, each looking a little worse-for-wear with book shelves buckling, dog-earned posters falling down, and outdated books piled too high for the children to reach.

Before… Wyke Regis reading corners needed a little TLC & fresh titles to get the kids excited about reading again.

Catherine (Wyke Regis) and Mima (Give a Book) sitting in one of the colourful new book corners, with big grins, each enjoying a shiny new book.

…After! FGL installed colourful new bookshelves & seating & we filled the book corners with all of our favourite titles. Special thanks to Walker for the posters which really brighten up the spaces!

Catherine welcomed us to Wyke Regis with open arms, a warm smile and a delicious spread of food. Before our tour we chatted with the year 2 teachers about the mini libraries, the charity, books and, of course, how much we all love reading.   

We were so excited finally to see the classroom libraries and even took part in the class’s afternoon illustration activity. We designed front covers for ‘flipped’ fairy tales (think Little Blue Wolf) which put our bubble writing skills to practise. This gave us time to talk to the children about books and their new classroom libraries.  

The year two classes at Wyke Regis, excitedly holding up their new books from Give a Book.

The Wyke Regis Year 2s with their brand new books from Give a Book, Christmas 2022

The visit flew by but our relationship with Wyke Regis is only starting to take off, with plans in place for more projects over the coming month including author visits and a creative book cover design project. We couldn’t have chosen a better school to partner with for our annual Whole School Reading Project, which wouldn’t have been possible without Catherine.   

We’d like specially to thank Catherine at Wyke Regis. From the first zoom we had with her last summer, her enthusiasm and love for books and reading has shone through immeasurably. It has been a seamless relationship from getting books to the school, liaising with FGL to fit the mini classroom libraries to making sure we were looked after at every point on our visit. We look forward to our continuing work with Wyke Regis sharing more books and a greater love of reading for pleasure.  

Wyke Regis pupils enjoying their new books before the shelves were even filled!


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