Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
School makes use of hi-tech teaching
ONE school is using the latest technology to get children enthused about reading.
Bure Park Primary School, in Bicester, is among the latest to sign up to take part in the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign.
The school has been using a range of methods to help children, including e-books and iPads, smart boards, CDs with attached books and stories you can read on a computer and interact with.
Literacy coordinator Tina Woodgate said: “Children love to tell stories, it’s giving them the opportunity to do that and making it not just the book, but finding other ways to do storytelling.”
Each teacher has an iPad which they use for teaching, and the school uses the interactive Bug Club reading scheme.
Children have a book on one of the iPads and use it during guided reading sessions.
At the end of the book, there are games which test their understanding of the text, and the results are fed back to staff.
Headteacher Rob Pearson said: “It’s sparking their interest.”
This year, 85 per cent of children achieved Level 2 or above in reading at Key Stage 1, and 73 per cent achieved the higher Level 2b.
More than one in four, 28 per cent, managed Level 3.
The school already uses volunteer readers, with at least one volunteer for each year group, and has been using Project X Code books for the past year.
Mrs Woodgate, who will lead the reading intervention programme in school, said: “We know it really does engage readers, especially boys with the adventure side of it.
“We have lots of relatives, not necessarily mum or dad but sometimes grandparents, and we have one lady who is a nursery nurse who comes in and helps with readers. They can give more time than we can as teachers, and this project will give us more opportunities to do that.”
The school engages children with books through activities such as book weeks and character days to bring books alive.
Mr Pearson said the focus was not so much an improvement in grades, but a noticeable impact on how children read.
He said: “We want children to continue to familiarise themselves more closely with books, enjoy books and enjoy reading and feel more confident about reading. There are so many other areas of interest outside school, it is important books play an integral part.
“As you move around the school, you see a lot of children reading either to themselves or using it for research or reading alongside an adult.
“It’s a fundamental life skill and it’s our duty to ensure they fully comprehend and understand the key reading skills.”
Mrs Woodgate described it as a “eureka moment” when children finally mastered reading skills.
She said: “It’s like the sun is finally shining, it is a huge boost to their confidence and self-esteem.
“And once you have got children enthusiastic about reading, they share it with the rest of the class.
“Last week somebody chose a Julia Donaldson book from home, they brought it in and enjoyed it and then they were all bringing them in.”
As well as a whole school library, each classroom has a ‘browse box’ and books line the shelves of the communal corridors.
About six children from each class currently benefit from reading interventions, some of which is one-to-one.