Pupils at three Redbridge primary schools raise literacy levels by taking part in news reading project

Pupils from Aldersbrook Primary School reading newspapers. Picture Aldersbrook Primary School

Pupils from Aldersbrook Primary School reading newspapers. Picture Aldersbrook Primary School - Credit: Archant

A newspaper dedicated to young people, has helped children improve their reading skills and confidence through a project called the ‘Reading Package’.

Pupils from Aldersbrook Primary School, along with Newbury Park Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School took part in the project.

Emily Warrick-Baker, Year 3 Teacher and Reading Leader, Aldersbrook Primary said the project was well received by the children.

She said: “I’ve seen so many positives from using the newspapers and resources during our Guided Reading sessions.

“Particularly with reluctant readers who enjoyed being able to be in control of what, and where, they started reading the newspaper from.


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“The stories became great conversation starters and really supported the children in developing their justification and opinion giving skills.”

Aimed at seven to 14-year-olds, First News, created the project which included quizzes, puzzles and topical issues.

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Nicky Cox MBE, editor in chief of First News described the important of youngsters being kept up to date on current events.

Nicky said: “By reading about national and international events through a weekly newspaper written especially for them, young people are growing up with an understanding of the world and their place in it.”

The project lasted for eight weeks and was evaluated afterwards by the National Literacy Trust.

The trust is a national charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK and used a tool called the ‘new group reading test’ to carry out the assessment.

The test assesses literacy and comprehension in a single go and the results showed that pupils made positive changes in both reading attitudes and attainment.

The trust’s director, Jonathan Douglas said that news does not have to be limited to adults.

He said: “A newspaper dedicated to children shows how children can really engage with newspapers and enjoy reading about current affairs.

“It is also really encouraging to see increases in reading attainment.”

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