VOLUNTEERS will be crucial to help maintain the enthusiasm these Kidlington children now have for reading.

West Kidlington Primary School, which is one of 45 schools signed up to the Oxford Mail-backed Oxfordshire Reading Campaign, is in the final stages of running reading intervention Project X Code with pupils.

But now the school is keen to move on to the next phase of the programme, and is looking to recruit members of the community to come in and read one to one with the youngsters.

Assistant headteacher Julie Holland, who is leading the project in school, said: “The books initially attracted me because they were such good quality books and the children liked them so much.

“It is also one of our ambitions as a school to bring parents on board an awful lot more so we were particularly interested in running the volunteer reading part.

“Project X Code is brilliant. The data has already shown they are improving, now we are looking to start the volunteer reading after Easter.”

There are already parents who are keen to take part.

Mrs Holland said the scheme had spread excitement throughout the year group, and the literacy co-ordinator training she attended provided a useful overview of the project.

The school is hoping the proportion of children achieving Level 2b at the end of Year 2, aged seven, will rise from 76 per cent last summer to at least 81 per cent this year.

Mrs Holland said: “We are very lucky in this school. We already have outstanding teachers in Year 1 and 2.

“To have something like this which focuses on a group of children who need something extra special will come together with all the other things we have got going on with reading.”

Higher level teaching assistant Alison Cook, who has been working with a group of four children, described the scheme as “well thought through and put together”.

She said: “It comes at reading from all sorts of angles.

“It’s early days, but the interim assessments I have done have definitely shown progression and the teachers say they have seen a change in attitude towards books and reading.”

Headteacher Eugene Symonds described the programme as “too good an opportunity to miss”.

He said: “The early signs are that it is having an impact.

“We are very optimistic and all the signs are that the challenging targets we set ourselves are more likely to be met doing this than without the support of the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign.”

There are 380 pupils at the school.

Amelia Mossop, six, from Kidlington, said: “I like reading. It’s because I like it when it’s really cool and Project X Code is cool.

“I like the characters, and I love Horrid Henry books too.

“I like to read on the sofa with my mum and sometimes I read with my big sister.”

Jake Shepherd, seven, from Kidlington, said: “I like all the stories and I read all the books in my house – I like fact books. I do find it easier since doing this.”


LAST month, the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign – run in conjunction with the National Literacy Trust – announced it was particularly keen to recruit volunteers in central Oxford, Botley, Carterton, Abingdon and Didcot.

Organisers are hoping to recruit about 30 volunteers from the Abingdon and Didcot area, 10 from Carterton, and another five to 10 from Oxford and Botley.

Those taking part need to be prepared to receive about half a day’s training, then spend two 30-minute sessions with a child each week for 10 weeks.

To find out about taking part, email volunteering.oxfordshire@literacytrust.org.uk