Pixmore Junior School won an award to set up an innovative project to re-engage children and parents with reading. Sarah Inman (Deputy Head) explained:
“The Pizza Reading Challenge will run for the whole autumn term and will involve children taking part in a range of reading tasks and challenges (both at home and school) which will earn points for their classes. There will be competitions, optional extra challenges, mystery toppings worth more points and whole class treasure hunts along the way to earn extra points for their class. At the end of the term, the class with the most points will win a Pizza Party where we will buy in some pizzas from a local restaurant.
Each child will have a 'menu' of tasks to complete, which parents and teachers will sign when a child has completed. Each signed task will earn them a pizza topping which is worth points
… There will be an optional pizza-themed book report challenge over the half term holiday and then a one week speed-challenge for the whole class to complete to earn points.
Any and all reading counts!”
We are always impressed when there is staff training involved in a project, especially in techniques/ resources with proven results. This is certainly the case with Sarah’s project:
“As part of our training for staff, I will deliver a training session on reading fluency (based on a Reading Fluency project we were part of two years ago in which we successfully accelerated pupil progress in order for 6/9 pupils in the trial to achieve the expected standard in Yr6 SATs) and reciprocal reading techniques to best address gaps in reading and accelerate progress for our children.”
Sarah also strengthened her bid by explaining how parents would be brought into the scheme:
“I will also be recording a video for parents on how to read with their children which will model and include reading fluency and reciprocal techniques, which will appear on the school website and Facebook page to support parents throughout the whole year with reading at home.”
Competition/Challenge type projects, particularly short-term ones, are often difficult for us to pass through our criteria because of concerns about the longevity of the learning/motivation benefit after the prize-giving. Sarah’s project addressed these issues as it is a longer term project and the vast majority of the funds requested were for two sets of Rapid Reader Scheme books which will continue to be used after the challenge is finished (and no doubt used in future challenges).