A Very Good Read Indeed!
This year one of our School Improvement Priorities has been to develop a strong reading culture at Whitmore. In November, we introduced a Staff/Student Paired Reading Scheme, in which 70 members of staff volunteered to meet with a student every week for a 10 minute 1:1 reading session.
Mrs Leigh, Student Services, (left, with Jamie Y10) explains:
"I have been really lucky to have had a love of reading from an early age. This is something I want for all our students at Whitmore. The scheme has enabled staff to connect with students that they may never have come across before. I have really enjoyed hearing students read and it is a privilege to see and hear them grow in confidence. As Roald Dahl says (slightly amended):
'So please, oh please, I beg and pray, please put your PS4 away,
and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall!'
Receptionist Mrs Meshvania (top), has come in early twice a week to meet with Mousa Y7, while School Secretary Mrs Hartley (bottom left) managed to find a few minutes in her hectic schedule to read with David Y9 each week. "I like to think that all students like to have that one to one time when people are giving them encouragement and showing an interest in them."
All staff, students and parents have been very positive about the scheme: Somali Parent Advisor, Mr Adam (left below), who reads with Mahamad Y9, reports that "his mother is very happy he has these reading sessions to support with his reading."
Mrs Zachopoulos-Butler, our Attendance Officer, has been reading with Emma Y10 since November (below): "It has been an absolute pleasure to be able to share my love of reading with Emma and see her enjoyment of books develop. I’m looking forward to September so we can continue!"
No Whitmore reading initiative could ever thrive without the enthusiasm of The Library team: Mrs Russo, Library Manager) has been reading with Rheanah Y8, who has just won a Jack Petchey award: " After several months of reading aloud with me, it was apparent that the experience had transformed both her reading level and her feelings towards her own ability and potential. Teachers throughout the school were noticing positive change."
Several students have already asked to be put on our waiting list for next year – roll on 2019-20!