Paired Reading Castlehead High School Introduction • Paired Reading scheme has been running for over 18 years now. • Castlehead High School have been recognised as the biggest Paired Reading group in the UK. • This year is the largest turn out Paired Reading has ever seen with over 100 participants and over 55 Senior Students Volunteers. Aims • Increase reading ages. • Encourage an interest in reading. • To provided a warm and friendly atmosphere for pupils. • To promote a successful transition from Primary 7 to S1 and tackle any issues of bullying that may arise. Aims • To improve confidence and social skills. • To offer a host of educational and other CV opportunities for Senior Students. Paired Reading also coheres with the new Curriculum for Excellence improving all round class performance. Outcomes Most, if not all, first years make significant progress in their reading skills: some children, indeed, have lifted their reading ages by up to three years within this initial year alone. A large proportion of the children also benefit in their personal lives through the improvement of their personal and social skills Management of the Club Being able to read fluently, understanding what we read and making few mistakes is important both at school and in everyday life. Like all skills, reading can be improved with practice: the Paired Reading Club meet twice weekly on a Wednesday and Friday Lunch time. Management Team • Before Paired reading begins, all S1 pupils are tested concerning their reading level. These results are analysed carefully, and senior student mentors are then assigned accordingly. The ability of both the senior and S1 students are taken into consideration during this process. Management Team • Every participant who comes to Paired Reading receives a box which includes a grading booklet, an incentive booklet and a Paired Reading pencil and bookmark. • The Student Readers select a novel from our very own library, or can bring any chosen book from home. • Then, the fun begins! Management Team • Every time the junior participants attend the club, their reading and behavioural grades are recorded into their grading booklets. • These are totalled at the end of each term, and a final grade is given for each at the end of the year. Incentives • In our Paired Reading Club, we have many incentives to encourage younger pupils to continue on with our scheme. These include: • Sticker Achievement Booklets • Badges and certificates • Chocolate bar raffle • Well known Christmas Party! Changes • Every year, with each new Management Team, there is the opportunity for positive changes within the club. • This year, one of the main changes is the introduction of Kindles. This ensures that pupils can find some interesting reading material that may not be available in our library. Changes This year, the management team have introduced a new award scheme. If the pupils attendance and participation in Paired Reading is of a high standard they may be put forward for an award by the management team. After achieving the Bronze Award they can be then put forward for the Silver and then Gold. Management Team • Above all, the club is now run by a core group of senior students. • This select group are entrusted with the day to day running of the scheme, the training of the new senior mentors, and the organisation of the ‘Paired Reading Club Christmas Party’. • Every year the management team decorate the Paired Reading room to make it unique and unlike any other room in the School. Feedback • Over the years, many parents, visitors and staff have been vocal in their overwhelming support of our Paired Reading Club. Twitter • Following the Herald Society Awards, many of the audience members showed their feedback via Twitter. • @childrens1st: Brill examples from Castlehead high on Paired Reading. Improving younger pupils’ reading age, confidence and relationship. Intergenerational Work • In previous years, the club has had many elderly volunteers who give up their time to read with the junior pupils. • Recently, however, there has been a decrease in elderly participants. • This year, we have restored this level of involvement from the elderly community. Volunteers • Not only do the children benefit from assistance from the Volunteers, but the Volunteers benefit from the experience too. • Many of our Senior Citizen Volunteers have participated in and/or have been involved in the club for over ten years. This has helped build strong relationships with the elderly community. Volunteers • When asked what the Volunteers thought of the experience, they said that helping the children learn the importance and advantages of reading were both interesting and informative. Volunteers • The most enjoyable part of the experience the volunteers said was reading books of the children's choice and getting to know their partner. • The Volunteers suggest that for new participants, getting to know the others in the group is both rewarding and a pleasure. Volunteers • One of our other volunteers has given the advice: “Go in with an open mind, your patience can be put to the test at times although seeing a child enjoying the experience is the main reward.” Social • The social aspect of Paired Reading is beneficial to the elderly community giving them someone to talk to whilst helping the younger generations achieve a better reading age. • Many of the elderly volunteers can see an improvement in the children's confidence and communication skills, while the management team and staff can see the effects the club has on the elderly volunteers. Society • Many of the senior citizens have no experience of working with children in large groups but with the assistance of the management team have gained the skills and qualities necessary for working in close proximity with children. • Others, before retirement worked with children and/or disadvantaged groups in working towards a target, therefore Paired Reading is the perfect opportunity to continue theses skills with age. Starts with a book and ends with a friendship!