Aims of the project
The Reading Scheme was initiated to help children at the Vaughan Primary School in Harrow by helping them with the vital skills of reading, particularly by practising phonics.
Background and goals
A boy in Year 12 established the reading connection with Vaughan Primary School. Many of the same boys have enjoyed being part of the project and have participated over the past two years.
The programme takes place every Wednesday afternoon during term time from October to March. There are no costs involved or school facilities used in the project as the boys walk to the Vaughan Primary School after lunch.
The project has been a resounding success for both parties; the boys involved have an opportunity to be of service and helping others, which is always a rewarding process, whilst we are constantly being assured by the teachers and, most recently, the school headteacher, that the boys are having a considerable impact on the literary development of the children. As far as hard evidence is concerned, due to the fact that the boys tend to read with the same group of children each week, they can see how children are reading books that are progressively more challenging. The only limiting factor in the project is that it can only take place on the winter timetable. We are sure, however, that the project will continue to grow becauset, even in two years, we have seen an increase in the number of boys from Newlands participating in the initiative: this bodes well for the future.
From the perspective of Vaughan Primary School, the volunteers from Harrow School bring extra assistance to the classrooms, allowing teachers to focus on other areas in the knowledge that the children are practising phonics and reading. It is evident that the children’s reading skills have advanced, their pronunciation developed and their confidence improved. The teachers at the school noticed that both the most able and the weakest pupils were encouraged and inspired by the scheme. The Harrovians who took part found that the experience gave them a real insight into the lives of others people, as well as providing them with an enjoyable experience that they hope to repeat in the future.
Approximately 30 Harrow boys from Years 10, 11 and 12 take part each week, working with pupils in all years at the primary school.
Frequency and duration
Boys visited the school on a weekly basis from October to March. The boys hope to be able to repeat the scheme each year.