In the Classroom: St John’s Primary School, Gosport

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Here at St John’s Primary School in Gosport, we have found an innovative way of encouraging children to enjoy a story at bedtime, writes headteacher Joy Squibb.

The school has opened a YouTube account which now shows our teaching staff reading a whole range of fantastic bedtime stories which children and parents can access from their phones, tablets and PCs.

143512_ST_JOHNS_15/12/14''(l-r) Polly Evison, Millie Cull, Joshua Thompson, Katie Oldham and Fiorella Caraccio. ''Staff at  St John's Primary School, Grove Rd, Gosport have made a youtube video for children who don't get bedtime stories.''Picture Allan Hutchings (143512-096) PPP-141215-145134001

143512_ST_JOHNS_15/12/14''(l-r) Polly Evison, Millie Cull, Joshua Thompson, Katie Oldham and Fiorella Caraccio. ''Staff at St John's Primary School, Grove Rd, Gosport have made a youtube video for children who don't get bedtime stories.''Picture Allan Hutchings (143512-096) PPP-141215-145134001

The staff have all enjoyed reading their favourite stories, although there is some competition as to who is the most popular!

Currently, Mr Mills, our PE specialist, seems to be the most popular with his reading of The Tunnel, closely followed by the school site manager, Pete Hole reading Hit the Ball Duck.

This is just one of the many exciting projects the school has run to encourage a love of reading.

A few weeks ago the school ran an ‘Extreme Reading’ competition where pupils submitted photographs of themselves reading in the most unlikely places.

Winners included an underwater reading session, reading amongst the poppies with a beefeater and reading about farmyard animals – to farmyard animals.

English manager Gemma Havey said: ‘We just want to show the children how exciting reading can be, the more children love books and stories the better their reading and writing becomes.

‘We are always trying to think up new and exciting ideas to keep the children motivated.’

This emphasis on reading being fun has helped the school to see a year-on-year increase in children’s reading scores for the past three years.

Children at the school now make better progress in reading than children nationally and more children reach the higher levels every year.

We are so proud of the achievements of our pupils, we want our children to be excited by learning and encouraging a love of books and of reading is a major part of that.

The staff also had fun making the recordings, it was a good excuse for us all to read our favourite stories.

The school also runs a successful paired reading scheme where some of the older children have a younger child who they support with reading.

The older children were trained by Miss Havey in how to be a good reading mentor and are now highly skilled and giving great support to others.

If you would like to hear our stories the link is http://bit.ly/1zobvCt or you can follow the link through our Facebook page.

What the pupils say...

Fiorella Caraccio, seven, Year 2

‘The stories are interesting.

‘If your mum is busy you can listen to a story on YouTube.

‘My favourite is Room Broom read by Miss Havey.’

Katie Oldham, eight, Year 4

‘My favourite story is Winnie the Witch, read by Mr Wealthy.

‘I think it’s funny.’

Polly Evison, seven, Year 3

‘When my mum and dad are working late I like to get the stories up on my own.

‘I listen to them in bed.

‘It helps me fall asleep.’

Joshua Thompson, seven, Year 3

‘When I listen to a story on YouTube it helps to relax me.’

Millie Cull, eight, Year 3

‘If my mum can’t read me a story I use YouTube to listen to a story. It’s as if someone is reading right next to me. It’s quite funny hearing the teachers voices at home.’