Paired Reading Castlehead High School

Paired Reading
Castlehead High School
• 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
• 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.
• 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.
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
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
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
• These are totalled at the end of each term,
and a final grade is given for each at the
end of the year.
• 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!
• 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
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.
• Over the years, many parents, visitors and
staff have been vocal in their
overwhelming support of our Paired
Reading Club.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• One of our other volunteers has given the
“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
• 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.
• 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!