Reading Champions – Lewannick CP School, Cornwall
Lewannick CP School, Launceston, Cornwall won Reading Champions Primary School of the Year award in 2006
Lewannick CP School, Launceston serves a small rural community in one of the poorest wards of Cornwall. Despite these challenges, their entry showed how they use the framework to engage and create a love of reading in all the boys. Jacqui Maynard, School Librarian, describes their success.
It became obvious quite early on that many boys only read because they had to and often resented spending time reading books they didn't enjoy. Many of the boys weren't too keen to join in with Reading Champions because they thought it would be really hard work, while others worried they weren't good enough at reading. To overcome this we ensured the framework was fun and achievable; we really want the boys to enjoy the concept of reading. They soon established that it wasn't that they didn't like reading, but they had yet to find books which suited them. Ultimately they have control of what they want to do and when they do it, and support is provided if needed. The most important thing to do is to make anything the Champions do visible - there's no point in them doing it if it isn't noticed. The key to success lies within the framework; it's so flexible that we can usually get most ideas to fit in somewhere. Once boys were engaged, they quickly came up with their own ideas of how to run the group.
Activities completed so far include:
- buddy reading with younger boys
- the Summer Reading Challenge
- a balloon debate about reading material
- graphic reviews in the library (using a comic style to describe a book)
- Champion themed displays
- a top 100 of favourite reads from staff and pupils
- a quiz on the top 100 reads
- a book group
- swap a book sessions
Evidence of success
We are proud that the SAT results show the boys to be above the national average in English. One boy in particular is a good example of how far some of our Champions have progressed. He has always really struggled with reading, had fallen behind and was worried about becoming a Reading Champion because of his reading level. He has now achieved his bronze award and is well on the way to getting his silver. His class teacher reports that he has made really good progress: "It's plain to see that his confidence has soared; I'm usually greeted by him grinning and yelling 'I've finished my book' or 'Can you find me another book like that other one?' His enthusiasm is heart warming to see."
One area being worked on is transfer to the local secondary school Launceston College. The Arts Award scheme would greatly complement Reading Champions: reading scripts would make the scheme available to a wider range of students, as well as taking the initiative to a new level. We have also begun to open the library after school to allow parents to come and see the work of the Reading Champions. Many parents have expressed delight at seeing the work of their sons displayed so prominently within the school. We are also aiming to start a 'Books for Breakfast' club for parents and children to have something to eat and discuss/read books. Mind you, the Reading Champions are working on persuading adults to read already.