Urgent Call for More Books

Thistley Hough Academy young readers have placed an urgent call to get even more books.

The Penkhull school has seen an astonishing 500% per cent increase in library use since the start of their accelerated reading programme and now teachers have placed a red telephone box, full of brand new titles in the school dining hall so the word hungry bookworms can even pick up a tome during their breaks.

Basic Skills coordinators Katie Pointon and Rebecca Jones launched the accelerated reader programme last October. First every child in the school has their reading age assessed and then allocated a suitable book. On completion the children are tested on what they have read, with awards handed out for faultless comprehension.

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Katie Pointon said: “We have an honours board in the library that is already chock-a-block and we have been handing out house points like confetti, such has been the positive reaction. We have even seen our first word millionaire with a pupil that has read over 1,000,000 words since the programme started.”

Rebecca Jones added: “The beauty of the accelerated reader programme is that pupils are continually reassessed and move up from one level to the next as their literacy improves. I think it’s fair to say that the scheme is making reading addictive.”

Pictured from left to right are some of Thistley Hough’s finest wordsmiths grabbing their latest reading material from the new telephone box mini library. Nathan Harley, 15, from Stoke; Nasifah Begum 12, from Shelton; Cory Stone, 12, from Stoke; Amy Nichols, 14, from Stoke; Jazmine Heslop, 12, from Penkhull; Peirce Proctor, 15, from Hartshill and Emily Robertson, 15, from Stoke.

The children seemed to be most attracted by the weird and the wonderful.

Peirce Proctor said: “I love Dan Brown and couldn’t put down the Da Vinci code. I love the conspiracy theory and how an extraordinary plot unravels stage by stage.”

Emily Robertson picked out The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom, “It’s so sinister and deliciously mysterious.”

Thistley Hough Academy Principal Holly Hartley said: “When I was appointed Principal one of our most urgent priorities was to improve literacy and from day one we have been encouraging pupils to read, read and read more.”

Mrs Hartley added: “However, once they are hooked they really need little encouragement because reading a good book offers so much more that sitting in front of a TV screen or fiddling with a Playstation control.

“As it has done for thousands of years, reading opens up the world of the imagination and allows you to think, feel and react as another person.”

(Stoke Sentinel)