Hayling Island mums trained to help other children on reading journey

LEARNING Front from left, Annabel Plater and Arthur Soares-Caldas. Back, from left, Jan Allgood, Imogen Rowlands, Sarah Brownlie, and William Terry.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (120725-1)
LEARNING Front from left, Annabel Plater and Arthur Soares-Caldas. Back, from left, Jan Allgood, Imogen Rowlands, Sarah Brownlie, and William Terry. Picture: Paul Jacobs (120725-1)
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TEAM effort is the name of the game at a school where parents are giving children an extra push to achieve their full reading potential.

Mums at Mill Rythe Infants in Hayling Island are volunteering for one-to-one reading sessions every week with ‘adopted’ Year 2 boys and girls, to get them up to their reading ages.

Crucially, they have all been trained in reading techniques like phonics – which breaks words down through sounds – which ensure they are having a big impact.

And in less than two months since its launch, the Mill Rythe Infants’ Reading Partnership has already worked its magic on five youngsters who read as well as they should – or better.

Arthur Soares-Caldas, seven, whose first language is Portugese, looks forward to reading with Annabel Plater, who has a five-year-old at the school and has already helped two children reach their reading age.

He said: ‘I love to read books that make me laugh, but I also find the word games we play fun – like the pirate game where we put the fake words in a bin and the real words in a treasure box.’

Imogen Rowlands, six, has been paired up with Jan Allgood, the mum of a child in reception.

She said: ‘I read a lot at home but it’s different here because we talk about the books and the authors, and I get to play reading games.’

Mrs Allgood, who is also a governor at the school, added: ‘It’s incredibly rewarding because I get to find out more about how children learn to read, and at the same time I get the satisfaction of seeing them make fantastic progress.’

Wendy Gell, mum of Owen, six, who has been taking regular sessions with grandma Mary Earp, said: ‘Owen has made huge progress in such a short time.

‘He used to struggle with his phonics – but now his confidence and ability has improved beyond recognition.

‘I’m delighted.’

The scheme is still in its infancy, but parents are queuing up to get training and the school is about to make an appeal for volunteers from the community.

Sarah Court, headteacher, who has signed up to our literacy campaign Read All About It, to boost reading across the area, said: ‘Hearing your children read is important but what we’re doing here is something a bit more structured to accelerate their reading progress.

‘I’m delighted with the results so far.’

For more details on our campaign visit portsmouth.co.uk/news/campaigns/read-all-about-it.

Or email aline.nassif@thenews.co.uk.