SCHOOL’S BLANKET BOOK CHALLENGE HAS READING COVERED

READING has never been more fun for youngsters at a Sutton junior school, after staff created a pioneering new scheme to help pupils rediscover the joys of books.

Children at Town Junior School, in Ebrook Road, are being set all kinds of colourful book-based challenges, from reading with a torch under a blanket to trying classic texts.

Year Six teacher Liz Millidge, the school’s literacy lead, said the scheme aimed to encourage pupils to enjoy reading instead of seeing it as something they are expected to do.

Ralph Sullivan, eight and ten-year-old Jacey Lin prepare to unwrap new books for the reading challenge.
Ralph Sullivan, eight and ten-year-old Jacey Lin prepare to unwrap new books for the reading challenge.

“Every child has been given a challenge booklet to take home, which sets 20 different challenges – everything from reading in a tent or at breakfast time, to trying different genres of books,” she said.

“We found that the old ‘reading diaries’ that most schools use often result in pupils sticking to their favourite author or reading a set of books. This is about getting them to try something different, by reading books, newspapers, magazines and graphic novels.”

For every five challenges completed, pupils get a little reward, with a book token for any that finish all 20.

“We are encouraging parents to get involved too,” said Teaching Assistant Zara Kyrwood, “We want them to send us photos of the children reading in unusual places, and we are having a Mothers’ Day workshop as part of the scheme.

“There is also plan for a treasure hunt in the playground, where pupils will have to find quotes and match them to books, which will raise money for our new library.

“We found that the old ‘reading diaries’ that most schools use often result in pupils sticking to their favourite author or reading a set of books. This is about getting them to try something different, by reading books, newspapers, magazines and graphic novels.”

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