Reading Leaders is our secondary school programme where we train older students to work one-to-one with younger pupils within their school. We equip them with the skills and confidence to support the younger student’s reading skills, confidence and self-esteem.

Since September 2023 our training team has delivered over 40 courses in secondary schools across the country and we have been delighted with the feedback from both the students and the school staff. And we've just had news of a glowing mention from Ofsted! 

Melanie Wilson from Corpus Christi Catholic High School in Lancashire recently reported: 
"Ofsted visited our school recently to complete an ungraded (section 8) inspection and happened to observe the Reading Leaders intervention in action. It was fantastic, all the pupils were sat quietly reading with their partners - Ofsted asked lots of questions about the programme and were very impressed. So much so that the following was mentioned in the report: 'Pupils embrace the school’s motto of, ‘Together as one body’. They forge exceedingly positive relationships with each other. They have utmost care and respect for each other. Older pupils strive to be strong role models for younger pupils. For instance, they enthusiastically take up roles such as ‘reading leaders’ to support other pupils with their reading.' Even better was their judgement: 'the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might be outstanding if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now.' We are continuing the programme until the end of this school year and I can't wait to start next year with new reading leaders and partners."

More feedback

Honley High School near Huddersfield uses the Reading Leaders programme as part of its approach to building a reading culture in school. The reading ages of students are assessed before and after Reading Leaders begin their work. Last year’s reading partners were tested and all but two made 18 months progress in ten weeks. One student made a staggering four years improvement!

After the most recent training session the coordinator, Claire Ackroyd said it was:
“Really informative as always. The training got the students enthused and ready to start”. The students said “It was a great experience” and “I really enjoyed the training and am excited to help out”.

Penwortham Girls School in Lancashire is another school where the Readers Leaders programme has been in place since September so they have been able to see the results of the reading partnerships over the course of two terms.

Grace Starkie at Penwortham told us:
"We have tried to run Peer Reading programs in the past - but we have never had such a positive reception as we have with the Coram Beanstalk program. The Y7 students didn't see the program as 'extra work', but rather as a treat that they had been especially selected for. We really feel the positive impact that this has had on their confidence and their attitudes towards reading and school are astounding."
Our Coram Beanstalk trainer, Anna Robinson has delivered many of the sessions this year so we asked her about her experience:
"I deliver two 2 hour sessions with the schools’ chosen cohort developing their knowledge and understanding with reading; making the invisible act of reading visible using questions and comments to deepen understanding and further thinking. The interactive sessions combine learning and practical skills so they are fully prepared to plan and deliver individualised sessions for their Reading Partners. The Reading Leaders I have the privilege of training are enthusiastic to pass on their love and passion for reading; knowing it can unlock doors for future success. Reading Leaders take an active part in the sessions: it is more than just about listening to their partner read. Modelling and sharing reading aloud allows for both students to become fully immersed in the programme. Thoughtful discussions between Reading leaders and Reading partners using the ‘Book Talk’ model opens their eyes that reading is more than just the words on the page, allowing discussion and thinking to flow about what they are reading together. Reading Leaders comment how they feel they are making a real difference to their peers and encouraging them to be more confident in reading. I always leave the trainings buzzing with excitement; knowing how much difference they will make to their partners and how much of a positive influence they are within their school communities. It makes me proud to know that the next generation love reading as much as I do!" 

Find out more about our Reading Leaders programme for secondary schools.