Ashley Down Infants achieve reading Gold Standard

It was fantastic to hear from acting head Susie Weaver that Ashley Down Infants were one of six Bristol schools to be awarded reading ‘gold standard’ in the recently published, European Centre for Reading Recovery’s annual monitoring report (2009/10). This status means they are now able to support other schools in the city that are running the programme.

The Every Child a Reader programme identifies children struggling to get to grips with reading and offers intensive one-to-one support to help them get back on track.

Reading Recovery Teacher Anna Welsh has worked extremely hard for the Ashley Down Infants, she is also the ECaR (Every Child a Reader) manager that oversees the training of volunteers to become a ‘Better Reader Partner’. The children involved read with supervision every school day for one hundred lessons. This has resulted in 90% of the children in Year 1 being at the correct level of reading for their age.

Better Reader Partners work with the children in forty minutes slots one to three times a week. This additional help has had a huge, positive impact on the school. Ashley Down would welcome further volunteers, it is a rewarding way to spend any free time and you will be supported with full training. If you are interested please do get in touch on 0117 377 2179.

The project has resulted in the participating children gaining confidence and developing skills in reading at a crucial time in their learning. In view of the current economic climate Ashley Down just hope this scheme will continue to receive funding so children will benefit in future years and replicate these wonderful results.

Susie told me the success of achieving Gold Standard was due to the winning combination of the school reviewing how to improve as a whole, the dedication of their ECaR manager and the support of the volunteers that makes the whole project possible. She is keen to extend her thanks to all those involved and looks forward to sharing their good codes of practice with other Bristol schools.

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