PUPILS scooped the prize of an ice cream van visiting their school for the day – to celebrate reading a million words.
Youngsters at Prospect School in Havant were given the treat as a reward for completing a reading scheme.
The students were tasked with collectively reading a million words after the launch of the Accelerated Reader Scheme in September.
This helps pupils to make rapid progress in improving their reading, especially if they are behind their age.
So when they reached the milestone, they were rewarded with ice cream.
It all links in to The News’ Read All About It campaign to boost literacy in schools across our area.
Marijke Miles, headteacher of Prospect School, which caters for boys with special educational needs, said: ‘For 20 minutes every day the whole school stops and we all read for 20 minutes. All staff were involved in it too.
‘After each book the boys sat tests. It checks that they have read and understood.
‘We set a challenge to see how many words we could read. I said that when we had read a million words we would do something special.
‘So we had a celebration assembly and the ice cream van was waiting outside.’
She added that it has been a successful scheme so far.
‘To reluctant readers a million words seemed like such an amazing figure,’ she said.
‘To have a collective target of the million words was really important. It was quite encouraging and inspiring for the boys.
‘They are now asking me what happens when we reach five million words.
‘It was a concrete way of making an event that stuck in their minds and hopefully offer them an opportunity for further reading adventures.’
The boys were given a variety of books to choose from as part of their reading challenge.
‘All our boys have literacy needs identified in their special educational needs,’ she added.
‘We set a target that by July all our pupils will be functionally literate. It really has helped with reluctant readers. It has created a new interest in exciting books and it’s got both staff and pupils talking about reading.
‘It’s been interesting to hear the boys talking at lunchtime and breaktimes about what they have read. They have been motivated by the tests that they have had.’