Reading initiative hailed a success

Eyemouth High School has revealed that its Shared Reading programme has produced some major improvements.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 3:54 pm
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 2:02 pm
Eyemouth High School is delighted with the success of its Shared Reading programme.
Eyemouth High School is delighted with the success of its Shared Reading programme.

Twenty volunteers from the local community - ranging from retired teachers to ex-military personnel - volunteer to read with more than 20 pupils in S1 to S3.

The initiative has been running for a year and data within the school shows that pupils’ reading ages have improved by at least 18 months.

Research suggests this method can drastically improve reading ages and comprehension.

Anne Renstead, librarian who manages the programme alongside the English department, said: “We had seen how powerful this type of programme has been in other schools and since we have such a supportive community in Eyemouth, we knew we wanted to give it a try.

“Our volunteers can now help students choose books, read and then supervise while they take a quiz on their book.

“The scheme uses the Accelerated Reading software that not only allows us to check comprehension, but gives us a range of reading data we can analyse.”

Headteacher Robin Chapman expressed his delight that so many volunteers have remained on the programme.

Jim Hettrick, one of the Rotary Eyemouth volunteers, said: “The programme has been amazing, challenging and rewarding.

“Perhaps the high spot for me was after completing one book that finished on a cliffhanger, I asked the pupil, who claimed to have no interest in books, ‘do you want to know what happens next’?

“Her eyes lit up and she said, ‘yes’. To my mind that’s progress, her reading had improved dramatically and maybe, just maybe, she will become a regular reader.”