Aims of the project
The project aims to improve the reading of primary school children. The gifted and talented and those who find reading more challenging benefit from the scheme. It also allows Welldon Park to carry out group work with the rest of the class.
The Harrow boys gain a great deal from giving their time to help others. The scheme helps them to be more grounded characters. It sows the seed that with their privileged education comes a responsibility to help others. They also learn the importance of honouring a commitment to another person over a long period of time.
Background and goals
There has been no contact for many years between the two schools, although Welldon Park is named after a past Harrow Head Master.
Monika Clifford-Varley approached Harrow School for help, having met the Director of Shaftesbury Enterprise at the reception held at Harrow School after the Civic Ceremony at St Mary's Church in May 2014.
Boys help out on a weekly basis (while on winter timetable). Boys helped on alternate weeks (week A or B). 20 boys helped on a regular basis and all Year 9 boys helped on one occasion to give them a taste of volunteering.
One member of staff accompanies the boys and participates in the reading programme.
Welldon Park feel that their main benefits have been that the 43 Year 6 boys who participated have shown an increased enjoyment of reading and a boost in their confidence, through the opportunity to participate in non-judgemental shoulder-to-shoulder reading. There have also been improvements in reading comprehension for some of them. The second benefit has been the social and emotional impact on our WPP boys from the social contact with older Harrow boys who are good role models.
The member of Harrow staff involved in the project feels that it is of great benefit to both schools. More boys would have liked to have been involved, but there are often clashes with other activities.
Harrow boys from all years are involved in the project. 20 boys helped on a regular basis and all Year 9 boys helped on one occasion to give them a taste of volunteering.
Frequency and duration
The programme takes place every week. Boys involved helped on alternate weeks (week A or B) during winter timetable. The programme is ongoing.