THE NATIONAL Literacy Trust has called on families across Oxfordshire to get behind the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign to ensure it has the best chance of success.
With a background of campaigning success, the National Literacy Trust, NLT, has been chosen to lead and co-ordinate the campaign, which is supported by the Oxford Mail.
NLT campaign manager Clare Bolton, mum to three young children herself, said: “We are absolutely passionate about the campaign because it is very targeted, working in schools and alongside professionals but also involving the whole community within the volunteering strand.
“What will make it really work is if parents get involved too.”
The NLT has lined up a team of professionals to help drive forward improvements in results and an increased love of reading.
They are: public facing campaign manager Ms Bolton; volunteering project manager Bianca Bailey; schools project manager Wendy Tyrell; co-ordinator Samantha Pope – who will be the main point of contact for the schools taking part; and overall programme manager Leena O’Hara.
In addition to the NLT staff, two school improvement consultants, Ruth Dollner and Claire Warner, have been employed.
Ms O’Hara said: “There is a quantifiable target and there are also targets around increasing the enjoyment and confidence and the whole reading experience for the young person.”
One of the key parts of the campaign is a reading ‘intervention’ called Project X Code.
Year 2 pupils will work with a teaching assistant two hours a week, either one to one or in small groups no larger than four, working through a series of books produced by Oxford University Press which help struggling readers use phonics to improve their reading skills.
All Oxfordshire schools will receive a 20 per cent discount on the books and resource materials, while the schools that sign up to the campaign will also receive special training for the teaching assistant chosen to work with youngsters on the scheme.
In addition to that training, professional development opportunities will be offered for other Key Stage 1 teaching staff, literacy co-ordinators and headteachers, which will be provided by Edge Hill University at locations in Oxfordshire.
Ms O’Hara said: “The idea is to ensure not only that the teaching assistant is supported with professional development, but the whole school.”
The two school improvement consultants will provide email and telephone support throughout the year, and potentially school visits where required.
Ms O’Hara said: “Where schools are accelerating through the programme, we will be looking at sharing good practice and making sure there is a community of learning.
“The idea is where they are finding barriers or challenges, where they overcame those, the solutions they found will be shared with other schools.”