"The programme works brilliantly in the school and the results are inspiring" 27 September 2018 Earlier this month, Beanstalk rolled out Reading Leaders - a leadership programme which partners students with their younger peers to help improve reading skills, confidence and enjoyment. Longsands Academy in Cambridgeshire has trained a new group of Reading Leaders each year since 2014. According to Assistant Head Teacher Mark Seymour, the programme works brilliantly in the school and the results are inspiring, with reading ages improving, in some cases, by five or six years. Mark Seymour, the Assistant Head Teacher with a special responsibility for literacy and interventions, explains how the programme works at Longsands: “We select Year Eight pupils who have been through other reading interventions during Year Seven but still require additional support,” he explains. "Reading Leaders is then used as the sole literacy intervention undertaken by these children in Year Eight. The school selects volunteers from Year 12 to be the Reading Leaders and pairs them with Year Eight pupils who struggle with reading. Due to the school timetable, the reading sessions between the peer mentors and their partners take place once a week for around 45 minutes, from November through to Easter." Mark believes that the success of the Reading Leaders scheme is due to the ease of communication between peers and the bond which develops through working in a partnership. Beanstalk is aiming to train more than 3,500 students across the country to become Reading Leaders by the end of the next academic year. Reading Leaders training for secondary schools costs £85 per Reading Leader trained (minimum course costs £995). Beanstalk can run the programme in secondary schools (state and private) located anywhere in England. To find out more, teaching and school staff can click here or call Beanstalk on 0845 450 0301.