About 20 Sixth Formers have received a certificate after training as reading leaders helping to boost the reading ages of some of our younger students by years. The students were trained in the techniques by the Reading Matters organisation and were each assigned a ‘reading buddy’ from Year 7 that they met with regularly to mentor and encourage.
The students, from Year 13, were given their certificates in assembly by Mrs Childs, who co-ordinates the scheme. She said: ‘Congratulations, well done and a big thank you to those students who did the reading leader course and supported the students.'
Younger students showed a marked improvement, typically boosting their reading ages by two years or more in the time they spent with their reading leaders.
Maria Mandic said: ‘I was really interested in helping younger children, it was a really rewarding experience and it also helped me for my university application as it looks good on your personal statement. It took about an hour a week. I had two mentees because my first one didn’t need many sessions. We became quite close and good friends and I got to know her quite well. As well as reading books we also did puzzles and word-searches.’
Ciaran King said: ‘I thought it would be a good opportunity to help people in younger years. I enjoyed planning the sessions and he seemed to enjoy them as well. I planned games and articles to bring in, it was fun and a very positive experience.’
Mrs Childs said: ‘It is good experience, particularly if they want to work with children. The whole system works quite well. It helps younger students to have a Sixth Former as a buddy and it is all about building their confidence. Staff have noticed a difference in the students who participate in this course. They are more willing to read out loud in class and participate in group sessions so the Reading Leaders scheme offers all-round tangible benefits to students from both ends of the age spectrum. I am very grateful to this group and a new cohort of Sixth Formers has recently been trained to carry on their good work.'