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Case Study on ‘Reading Bridge’ – Chryston High School

The following case study was provided by Lee-Anne Connor, Librarian at Chryston High School, North Lanarkshire

As school librarian I have been involved in developing and running The Reading Bridge, a project run with money from the Scottish Attainment Fund. I am working alongside a deputy head, head of Support for Learning, an English teacher and our Home School Partnership Officer.

The Reading Bridge is a project which works with primary 7 pupils who have been identified by their schools as either having a below average reading age or a lower level of comprehension. We are encouraging reading for pleasure and using it as a way of raising pupil’s attainment in relation to literacy across the curriculum. We aim to have the pupil’s start first year as confident young people who enjoy reading and have the literacy skills necessary to access all subjects across the curriculum. We are also working with parents to help them support and encourage their child to read at home. Parents are also being invited up to the high school to take part in some practical lessons alongside their child. This will help parents to understand the different literacy expectation in different subjects and enable them to discuss their child’s learning at home with them.

I think the Reading Bridge has been so important to the primary 7 pupils, they are so much more confident now not only in reading with their paired reader and at home, but in choosing books that they are interested in. This has been one of the most important aspects of the project, giving the pupils choice in what they read has meant that they are engaging more and reading independently at home.

This project is most definitely raising the pupil’s attainment as it is giving them the opportunity to further develop the literacy skills that they will need to succeed in high school and beyond. By encouraging the pupils to read for pleasure we are helping to; build their confidence, develop their vocabulary, widen their horizons, promote discussion and communication through talking about what is happening in the books they are reading, this in turn is helping the pupils to empathise and start to understand more about relationships and the world we live in. All skills that they need throughout high school and beyond.”

We have had our first lesson with parents and pupils in Home Economics. This gave them a chance to see how much is involved in a lesson and how they need to be able to concentrate on the instructions and read them carefully.

 

“Great cooking session. Got the kids thinking and realising how quick they have to listen, react, read and learn for high school. Thank you. Nice scones too”.

“Brilliant! Really enjoyed working with the class – didn’t realise how many things going on at one time or how much reading would be involved. Great preparation for high school. Thank you.”

Quotes from parents after the cooking lesson.

 

“The Reading Bridge is a huge help to me. I find it hard to read and I know that this will help me with my future. And I am so glad that I have the chance to do this.” –

Lillie, Pupil

 

“My mum says that it has improved my reading and I am now reading more fluently thanks to everyone who is working with me.”

Caroline, Pupil

 

“It is improving my concentration as I am now able to sit for longer and read, because I am getting advice on books that I would enjoy and am getting to pick what I want to read.”    

Cameron, Pupil

 

“I had never been to a bookshop before to pick my own books. I liked all the choices of books especially the YA books. The visit was fantastic.” 

Lillie, Pupil (about Waterstones trip)

 

”It is fun to help the kids and watch them progress, It is quite fulfilling when they get a tricky work – it makes us feel really proud of them.” 

Hayley, Kirstie and Hannah, Paired Readers

 

“Lee-Anne’s contribution to the success of The Reading Bridge has been invaluable. As school librarian her knowledge of teen/YA fiction as well as her experience of working with young readers have been vital to the project’s success. In addition Lee-Anne has taken on important leadership roles including the organsiation of multiple trips and taking responsibility for the timeline of the project. Her warm and encouraging demeanour has brought out the best in the pupils involved and this in turn has led to increased motivation and attainment.”

English Teacher

 

 

Extra Information

 

The Reading Bridge has 2 main strands

 

1 – Each pupil has an IPad and access to RM books, they are involved in selecting books to read helped with the professional knowledge of the school librarian. They then read every week with a senior paired reader. The other part of the session includes a catch up with the pupils over what they have been reading and a literacy based activity.

 

2 – To experience reading strategies in action, parents and pupils are taking part in lessons taught by secondary school teachers in different areas of the curriculum.

 

The pupils have been really engaged with the project and have just had a trip to Waterstones were they picked books for them to read at home and a book to promote for the school library.