READY STEADY READ WITH ROTARY
For the second year running, Saltram Rotary Club has provided support to local schools by sponsoring an experienced consultant to teach very young children to improve their reading skills during an intensive course of one to one instruction. Last year, Hooe Primary Academy was supported, whilst this year a course is underway at Wembury Primary School.
The most basic skills that an adult requires to function independently in our modern society are the ability to read and write effectively. We all need to be functionally literate and the majority are. However, it is generally agreed that 15 to 20% of young people leave school at sixteen functionally illiterate. The majority of them were also far behind the majority of their peers between the ages of seven and eleven. The Ready Steady Read with Rotary (RSRR) programme is designed to provide a springboard for those children, identified by their school, who have fallen behind the age-related literacy levels of their classmates and who are deemed to have the potential to respond well to a short intensive boost within one term. It is not designed for children with identified special learning needs.
RSRR is an intensive eight week literacy support programme targeting children of between 5 and 7 years of age. A RSRR consultant works with a maximum of 4 children each day, working on a one to one basis, with the full backing of the school and class teacher. Parental involvement in positively supporting their child by following up their reading and with help with take-home practice is hugely beneficial, but not always available. School sessions are based on a thorough assessment of what each child can do, to determine the correct starting point for each child. The consultant can then plan what to cover, tailored to the child’s individual needs.
The course underway at Wembury is currently at the halfway point and the consultant, Mrs Nicola Ridge, is well known at the school having been a class teacher there for 12 years and more recently a visiting supply teacher. The Headteacher, Mrs Evans, is very supportive of the programme and invited Saltram Rotary Club to run the course in her school. Achievements are not all quantifiable – in other schools significant improvements in perseverance and focus, and gains in confidence and raised self-esteem are evident in the class as well as in the sessions.
There is no Rotary presence in the school and the consultant, paid by Rotary, is self employed but keeps the Rotary administrator informed of progress and any problems that may arise. There are none so far!
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