one passion for books
Simon Knowles is Executive Headteacher of two London primary schools, St Paul's CE Primary School in Camden and Holy Trinity CE Primary School in Haringey. The two schools’ demographics are very different, but they both face the same challenge – getting their children to the next level, whether that means stretching the more able students or working with reluctant, struggling learners.
Replicate St Paul's fantastic results for your own students by first understanding their simple recipe. See their 5 easy steps to stretch your more able students!
|St Paul's CE
|Holy Trinity CE
|Number of pupils||207||219|
|Free School Meals||13%||32%|
|English as an Additional Language||34%||58%|
|Results for average ability pupils||100%||92%|
|Pupils achieving Level 5+ in both English and Maths||63%||13%|
Regardless of background, I want students in my schools to have access to the best ICT.
As a headteacher, Simon is extremely passionate about both the use of IT technology and the enjoyment of reading, and this can clearly be seen across the two schools. For Simon, introducing an ebooks solution was the obvious next step, but he was soon to be surprised by the additional teaching benefits it would deliver.
Simon needed a solution that would work for all students, from the ages of four to eleven, across the two schools. Both needed a supply of current books, spanning a range of abilities – a number of students reach level 6 before going on to secondary school. The books needed to inspire the children and capture their interest. Enter RM Books.
Students at St. Paul’s CE Primary School don’t need much encouragement to read. They enjoy books from a huge range of genres - from adventure to fantasy = and love to use their imagination to bring the books to life. This journey has been enhanced by the use of RM Books, which enables them to access a fantastic range of content from school and at home.
The school already had a strong reading culture, but the students tended to stick to books they knew. RM Books has given them access to books from a wide range of genres, and a more rounded reading experience.
I want to stretch my more able students using ICT.
At Holy Trinity CE Primary School, the challenge was to engage students who hadn’t so far found any enjoyment in physical books. Year 6 teacher Kat Allen once struggled to get her students talking and excited about the books they were using. Some even groaned at the idea of getting their books out! The enthusiasm she has seen since introducing RM Books is ten times greater. Students are now asking to get their ebooks out before the lesson starts.
Before we started using RM Books, my children were reluctant to start their lessons. Now they can’t wait to begin.
Students at Holy Trinity are enjoying RM Books not just in dedicated reading time. They have also found that the thousands of resources available mean literacy can be embedded across the curriculum. This, coupled with the rental options, enables teachers to use a vast range of resources they would not have previously been able to afford (or store).
RM Books has encouraged me to read more at home as I have a choice of thousands of books.
Both schools are using RM Books in school and at home. Students are set homework through RM Books and can then answer comprehension questions to test their understanding. Reading records are updated based on the RM Books reporting system, which allows teachers to see how long the children have been reading for and how many pages have been read over set time periods. The teachers are finding that the more information they have on the students’ reading habits, the better they are able to track their reading level and push them to the next.
The students themselves have also expressed a keen interest in RM Books. They are now reading from computers in class, something they already did at home. Finally, school has caught up!
I love reading on the computer as I use one at home, it’s what I’m used to.
Although in its early stages, the use of RM Books is already having a positive impact on both schools. The real test will be the children’s attainment levels at the end of the year. The schools have tracked students’ levels prior to using RM Books and are confident that they will find an uplift on the expected level of achievement.
In particular, Simon is expecting to see a positive impact on:
Both St Paul's CE Primary School and Holy Trinity CE Primary School have focused the RM Books pilot on their year 6 students. This has been such a success that the schools plan to introduce RM Books to their remaining students. In fact, they hope to continue using RM Books for years to come as the product grows and develops.
We have been extremely happy with the introduction of RM Books. It has given my teachers access to a wider range of books than we could previously have imagined. This has enabled them to provide inspiring, relevant content which is encouraging our children to read more regularly.