Oak View Academy, in Cheshire, has been commended by a national charity for ensuring all pupils are fully supported as they learn to read.
Beanstalk, an organisation which recruits, trains and assists volunteers to give one-on-one support to children who need extra help with their reading, have been working alongside the Winsford school for six years.
Now they have presented a special partnership plaque to recognise the hard work the primary does to promote children’s literacy.
In the latest Government School Performance Tables, the school was named as the most improved primary in Cheshire West and Chester, for progress in reading.
Oak View Principal Fiona Whittaker said:
“We are very lucky to have a strong support team of staff and volunteers who really engage with the children and build up their trust. As a result we’ve seen vast changes in behaviour and attitude to learning, and it’s lovely to be recognised in the Government’s performance tables, and now by Beanstalk. As a school we are improving in all areas, but we couldn’t do it without our volunteers who give up so much of their time to help.”
Beanstalk volunteers Barbara Pendery, Catherine Helm, Eira Cotterill and Wendy Baynes are just some of the school’s helpers who give their time to support children.
Barbara began a placement with the Whitby’s Lane school, which was the first in Cheshire to link up with the charity, in 2012.
The longest serving volunteer at the school, she said:
“I was recently retired and I saw an advert in the local paper offering training to volunteers and it went from there. I get a lot of pleasure from working with the children and a sense of achievement, because I can see them making improvements.”
Beanstalk focuses on children in early years settings and primary schools, and is credited with transforming struggling readers into confident, passionate and able book-lovers.
Sally Chenery, Beanstalk’s Cheshire Coordinator, said:
“Our Reading Helpers take time to get to know the children they are working with so they can offer them individual support to maximise their reading potential. The children’s sessions are always fun and relaxed with lots of interaction and discussion. It’s great to see them develop a real enthusiasm for reading.”