Parents have stepped in to help pupils build a real love of reading

Literacy manager Andi Hazelden with Mia Earley (6), Bobby-Lee Lashley-Neale (5) and parent Donna Nelson. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150219-6909)
Literacy manager Andi Hazelden with Mia Earley (6), Bobby-Lee Lashley-Neale (5) and parent Donna Nelson. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (150219-6909)
From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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At Manor Infant School, we recognise the importance of enthusing children to read so they have a lifelong love of reading, writes deputy headteacher Emma Cornish.

Children have already experienced this at the beginning of this term when a new, larger, brighter library, with a wide range of books, was built and opened.

Children are enjoying borrowing books and taking them home to share with parents.

They are enthusiastic about working towards completing their reading challenges at home and collecting their prizes in weekly celebration assemblies.

We believe that the ability to read and enjoy books can have a significant impact on children’s future life opportunities.

So we wanted to involve their parents and carers in encouraging this love of reading.

Therefore we decided to set up a volunteer reading project in school.

We wanted to boost identified groups of children who we believe would benefit from additional reading opportunities on a one-to-one basis to help them to make accelerated progress.

Our parents have received training from Andi Hazleden, the school’s literacy manager and Every Child a Reader teacher.

They were shown how to support the pupil’s reading.

This consisted of how to use prompts, questions to encourage children and how to support children in becoming independent in their reading.

We now have nine parents coming into school regularly teaching the children a range of strategies to support their reading.

They work with different groups of children across the school and have given up a lot of their time to do it.

The children enjoy this because it gives them an opportunity to share their love of reading with other people.

The parents who are taking part in the volunteer reading project are keen to inspire and encourage the children.

They want to be involved in their local community, supporting the school and helping the children’s learning.

It’s good to have people talk to them enthusiastically about reading. We believe it is not just about reading.

We want them to see that adults enjoy reading too.

It’s encouraging a love of reading. Part of the new curriculum talks about giving them a love of books.

This will also give the children a higher self-esteem as well as having an impact on their achievement within the rest of the curriculum.