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Teachers certain to play their part
A MAJOR teaching union has put its weight behind the campaign to boost reading in schools.
The Oxfordshire branch of the National Union of Teachers, the NUT, which has pledged its support for the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign.
Gawain Little, from the NUT, said: “To us it’s important because we work in education, we are teachers and we want every Oxfordshire child to be a reader.
“Regardless of where the results are, we want to ensure every child gets the same opportunity and we are constantly looking to improve outcomes for our children.”
He said the NUT was hoping to be involved on a number of levels.
Many of the staff who will be receiving additional training and professional development support and actually delivering the lessons in the classroom will be members of the union.
Mr Little said the NUT, which regularly runs courses for its members, could tailor training to focus on reading and literacy.
It could also include information on the specific reading scheme, Project X Code, which is being used by the campaign.
The union also has links with other groups and charities which could support the campaign.
And its teachers on the ground will be able to report back on where the scheme is working and where problems are encountered.
Mr Little was also confident the NUT would be able to help recruit volunteers to come in to schools and read with children.
Mr Little – who teaches at St Ebbe’s Primary School in Whitehouse Road, South Oxford – said he would put himself forward as a volunteer.
He said: “I work quite closely with a number of schools so it may not be appropriate for me to volunteer in a school where I have a lot of close contact.
“But if I can support the campaign by being a volunteer reader I certainly will be signing up.”
Mr Little has a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Rosa, and said he regularly read with his daughter.
He enjoys sharing his childhood favourite book, Bathwater’s Hot by Shirley Hughes, and Rosa’s favourite, Michael Rosen’s We’re Going On a Bear Hunt with her.
He said: “There are a number of books Rosa can already ‘read’ – she can’t read the words but as you turn the pages she already knows what the words are.
“I hope it will contribute to her success as a reader in the future – but regardless of all the support we give parents there is a lot of work that’s done in schools and my daughter could be someone who benefits from something like this in the future.”
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