A special offer from RM and a fantastic team of PTA fundraisers have contributed to a reading revolution at Little Aston Primary School in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.
With a motto of 'Achieving Together', this school prides themselves on their positive partnership with the parents of their over 200-plus children.
When Little Aston Primary School heard about RM’s “We’ll raise you £50…” offer (match-funding every £250 raised by PTAs to spend on RM Books), Little Aston’s PTA rose to the challenge magnificently, bringing in a total of over £2,000.
We wanted to encourage the children to read more widely outside of school. That's where RM Books came into play.
The decision to introduce RM’s ground-breaking ebook system, designed specifically for schools, came as part of a drive to raise reading attainment. It’s led to children enjoying reading anywhere, anytime (even at parties!) – and becoming discriminating critics, recommending books to others on the school’s blog.
“We were looking at our School Improvement Plan, and realising that we wanted to raise standards in reading even further, particularly for boys. As part of this we wanted to encourage the children to read more widely outside of school. That’s where RM Books came into play. We fundraised through the PTA, raised enough money to be able to purchase some books. Then we asked all of the children to have a look at what was available on the RM library. From the list they came up with we chose the books to buy.”
“Now the children are reading at home. They’re enjoying the fact that they can access the books at any time, whenever they feel like it and on any device. Some of the children are reading and sharing picture books with their younger brothers and sisters, which is a lovely aspect.”
“Within school we’re using RM books with our guided reading. So the children are reading for pleasure and also for researching new topics. Teachers are also using RM Books to source some of the material we’ll need for the new curriculum that will be introduced in September 2014.”
I’ve even seen great improvements in those who were reluctant to read.
Year 2 teacher, Charlotte Fletcher, has been using RM Books to help her plan a new batch of lessons.
“In the new curriculum there’s a topic about famous explorers. I couldn’t find any books that were right for Year 2, but there was one on RM Books which was really suitable.”
RM Books doesn’t only increase choice (with thousands of resources instantly on tap) – it also offers something that paper books can’t – the ability to interact with the material. This offers a huge boost to teachers aiming to get everyone in the class excited about reading and learning. For Charlotte’s class, the difference it’s made has been dramatic:
“They get excited to come up and read. I’ve even seen great improvements in those who were reluctant to read. I have seen a great improvement in their reading, not only as a whole class but also in small groups and independently.”
Pupils are not only reading more widely and in more places, they’re becoming skilled reviewers and recommending books to their friends via Little Aston’s blog. Elizabeth says:
“We try to incorporate RM Books into every aspect of our literacy teaching, and obviously part of that is improving writing standards. We use blogging a lot and we thought we could link RM Books with our blog. At the moment some of the children are posting on the blog, recommending books they’ve read to other children. We are also promoting RM Books through our after-school club, which runs until six o’clock every evening. A number of children say they are really enjoying relaxing after school and going onto the online library.”
“I read a book called ‘The Secret Diary of a Wolf’. It was by Felicia Law and Lesley Danson. I liked it because some parts are funny and it says the wolf wrote a diary about his life and that he wrapped his own birthday present!”
“I just read a book called ‘Pirate Planet’ it is by Roger Hush and Jane AC West. My favourite bit was when Wanda saved Jack and Captain T Underpants from a shark!”
See more at http://littleastonpri.primaryblogger.co.uk/
The RM offer came at just the right time for Little Aston, which is currently building a new library where RM Books will be shown on an interactive whiteboard as well as on individual devices.
Elizabeth Davies, Chair of Little Aston’s PTA, said: “We’re really looking forward to using RM Books in our new library. We are planning to have a whiteboard which will allow many children to look at the same time at the books online. The school already owns some laptops, but the PTA are also looking to raise money to buy some tablets so the children can sit and relax in the library and read the RM Books online on the tablets on their own.”
RM Books has definitely had an impact on attitudes to reading.
One of the school’s aims in introducing RM Books was to raise reading attainment even further. So what has the impact been? Elizabeth sums up:
“RM Books has definitely had an impact on attitudes to reading. The children are enjoying their
reading. They are very enthusiastic. Some of them, particularly the boys and some children with special needs, have found that they enjoy the simplicity and choice of RM Books. They can click in, choose a book and if they don’t like it they can put it back into the library and choose another one. It’s given them much wider access to books, stories and other materials that they enjoy.”