EVEN if your child can’t read a book by themselves, it is still worth sharing it with them, according to the latest school to support the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign.

Stephen Freeman Primary School, Didcot, already has good reading results, with 86 per cent achieving Level 2 or above and 74 per cent at Level 2b or higher this year.

Now staff hope to foster a real love of reading.

Special needs coordinator Penny Blow said: “We are keen to take any opportunity to join any scheme which will promote reading to our families.

“We do have some families who don’t have access to lots of books, and we felt it would also help the boys that struggle.”

The campaign is an Oxfordshire County Council initiative which is being run by the National Literacy Trust and backed by the Oxford Mail.

County Hall has set aside £500,000 to improve children’s literacy and youngsters’ enjoyment and confidence in reading.

Nearly a third of pupils at the school are eligible for free school meals – a key deprivation indicator – 28 per cent have special needs and five per cent are from service families. About three per cent speak English as an additional language.

The school, in Freeman Road, encourages parents to get involved in reading, joining their children to read at the beginning of the day, and helping select books from the school library to take home and read together.

There are also guided reading workshops where children read with a teacher and then carry out independent activities about their books.

Mrs Blow said: “The majority of our children are keen readers, even those that don’t have access to books.

“They love to sit on a sofa sharing a book, not just with an adult but also with their friends.

“We encourage parents to choose books that the children can’t necessarily read on their own but can share with an adult because it’s nice for them to have a chance to share a different type of book with an adult.”

Last year the school held a big book swap, with the idea being everyone brought in a book they no longer wanted and took home a new one.

Deputy headteacher Lyn Moore said: “Some children didn’t bring a book but others took the opportunity to pass on a large number.

“That meant every child was able to take two to three books home.”

Headteacher Ruth Bennie said the school was involved not so much to gain measurable improvements in children reaching expected reading levels, but to generate more passion for reading.

She said: “Our reading is good and getting better but anything that can help and push it a little bit further is welcome.

“Particularly for the children who don’t get to read at home, it is nice for them to have someone who comes in for them to chat to and read to.

“I’m keen to develop that even more and make it easier for those people to feel valued and continue to be involved.”

Governor Debbie Lewington, who already comes in to work with children, will act as the school’s volunteer co-ordinator.