Triumph for Portsmouth school as reading campaign leads to record results

BOOKWORMS Seven-year-olds Roxanne Bicknell Alfie Carter with their books. Picture: Sarah Standing (122313-7881)
BOOKWORMS Seven-year-olds Roxanne Bicknell Alfie Carter with their books. Picture: Sarah Standing (122313-7881)
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YOUNG bookworms at a Portsmouth school are reading all about it – and it’s paying off with great results.

Teachers at Northern Parade Infant School are celebrating record reading figures which have topped the national average.

A total of 70 per cent of Year 2 pupils from the school have reached level three reading at Key Stage 1 – which compares with just 26 per cent nationally.

It comes as the school launched new reading initiatives this school year, by investing into the Pearsons Bug Club scheme, which allowed pupils to access e-books and read at home on their computers or other devices. Figures showed that 97 per cent of children in Year 2 used the club and a further 76 per cent of the whole school used it.

It all links into the News Read All About It campaign to improve literacy in schools across the area.

Maria Gleed, assistant head and literacy manager, said: ‘I am amazed and so proud of them. They have worked hard this year. We have got a lot of new initiatives in place which have worked well. We are going to continue that next year.’

The children have been given reading records which parents and staff fill out every time they read.

Once the book is full, they can visit the headteacher and choose a new book to read.

And staff have been running extra book fairs, which have been popular.

‘That’s been successful,’ added Mrs Gleed.

‘We discovered that the children and the parents wanted it more. It really works. The children get the books that they are interested in, but we get commission too which means we can update and extend our reading range.’

And Mrs Gleed added that reading is vitally important. ‘Our reading enables us to write,’ she added.

‘If we can get reading at a young age that makes you a better writer.

‘Reading takes them to places you wouldn’t normally go to. The children always see us reading a lot.

‘They need to have good role models so see people around them reading.’