1 March 2018

To mark World Book Day, a primary school in Trafford has been recognised for its continued dedication to developing its pupils’ reading attainment and enjoyment across the school.

Kings Road Primary School in Trafford was this week presented with a special plaque by Christine Braithwaite from national literacy charity Beanstalk which has been working with the school for almost five years to support reading. The charity works with the school to recruit, train and place reading helpers who go in to the setting each week and provide regular one-to-one support to children that would benefit from extra help.

Christine said: “Having a positive attitude to reading is key to improving children’s literacy and Kings Road Primary School have continued to implement strategies that ensure learning to read is fun and enjoyable for the children. We are so delighted to present the plaque which represents the staff and children’s continued hard work and we hope that it can take pride of place so the whole school can be proud of its achievements!”

Head teacher Darren Morgan was presented with the plaque on behalf of the school:

“Reading has been an area we’ve struggled with, so I was looking for a strategy to help the children develop in this area. Beanstalk was already in place when I started at the school but we asked to increase the number of volunteers that could come and support children. We’re quite careful to direct children who we think would benefit from the one-to-one reading with the reading helpers and in most cases its children who are step behind where you would like them to be. What I like about Beanstalk is that the adults who come and work with the children are really engaging and build up trust with the children. As a result the children make accelerated progress.”

Noel has been a Beanstalk reading helper at the school for over two years:

“One of my happiest memories as a parent is the absolute joy and excitement in my own children's eyes when reading at bedtime, especially reading together when, even though they didn't know the words themselves, they were so familiar with their favourite stories that they were confident enough to try. It was these memories that drew me to Beanstalk and I have had many similar experiences since I became a volunteer.  

“I think the thing I've learned is that it's OK as a volunteer not to teach reading. Reading to a young person is as valuable as reading together and listening to them read. I think I was surprised that many children work so hard at sounding out the phonics of a word that they don't take in what they've read or the storyline. You need to take breaks, go back and talk about the story. I would most definitely strongly recommend volunteering. Not just to see the young people making progress, no matter how small that may be, but what better excuse can you find to spend an hour or two a week reading kids’ books!”

Beanstalk currently works with 260 schools in the North West, of which 110 are in the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.

The charity is actively recruiting more people in the area to volunteer in schools across the region so if you would like to find out more about more about becoming a Beanstalk reading helper please visit our volunteering page.