CHILDREN taking part in the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign turned the tables on parents and staff to run their own event.

As part of Kidstock, a joint collaboration between the Kidlington Primary Schools, pupils from West Kidlington Primary School and Edward Feild Primary School took charge of a special ‘Microworld’ tent.

The youngsters were all identified as needing extra help with reading but have made leaps and bounds by taking part in the reading intervention programme Project X Code, set in the fictional Microworld.

Julie Holland, pictured right, assistant headteacher at West Kidlington, said: “At the end of the project, because it was so successful and the children had made so much progress, we decided as part of the Kidstock philosophy which was turning things on its head, we would have children start teaching parents their new reading skills.

“They would come to the Project X tent and they would be able to absorb themselves in Microworld and it was also to advertise it to other schools that weren’t part of it.”

Entry was by exclusive wristband only, and of the 2,000 wristbands created, only 100 were left at the end of the day.

Mrs Holland said: “In terms of being able to involve parents it was really successful.

“For the children, to be part of a tent where your reading has come on so well you are able to teach others has boosted their confidence enormously.”

Eight children at West Kidlington have undergone the 12-week programme and one youngster made 27 months progress in reading age in that period, while even those who did not see as big an impact saw reading ages grow by 16 months.

Alison Cook, higher level teaching assistant, has been leading the intervention in school.

She said the Kidstock event was hugely successful.

She said: “They were bringing along friends and explaining to them what it was and reading stories to them.

“These are children who were a bit disengaged from reading, so it was a pleasure to see them voluntarily reading and sharing the books with friends and parents.”

In terms of the project’s goal of raising reading standards, she said it had a 100 per cent success rate with the pupils she had worked with.

She said: “The ultimate aim was to get children in Key Stage 1 to meet the required levels, and they have all done that now and a lot is down to the intervention.”

In all 54 schools are taking part in the project, which is open to all Oxfordshire primary schools, and it is hoped a third wave of schools will sign up to take part in the new school year.