RM Education’s ground-breaking ebook solution for schools has seen children at Victoria Park Primary Academy in the West Midlands running into school in the morning, desperate to talk about the books they have been reading at home.
Headteacher Andrew Morrish explains how they got there.
“For us, deciding to go for RM Books was about looking ahead to the next step for us as a school. We had been on a long journey from Special Measures to Outstanding, and we wanted to put something in place that would keep that up but that would also be long term and sustainable."
For a school with children speaking over 40 different languages and many reluctant readers, it’s a big transformation.
Watch the video to see how RM Books is being used across all ages ranges at Victoria Park Primary Academy to insprie and build confidence with their students.
Andrew continues “The impact has been staggering. What it’s done is capture the imaginations of children who, in the past, have been very reluctant readers. But also it’s done the same thing with the parents. It’s not just the child reading at home, it’s the child reading with mum and even grandma, who get so excited by it. So it’s been quite transformational in that sense.”
From the tiniest reception pupils increasing their speaking skills, to reluctant Year 6 readers competing to see who has read the most, RM Books – the first e-books solution designed especially for schools - is helping children across the age range at Victoria Park.
The 450-pupil primary academy in Smethwick is a place where new ideas and the imaginative use of technology have helped transform its Ofsted rating. So using the thousands of learning resources available from RM Books as part of a ‘flip-learning’ transformation of the whole curriculum, was a natural step forward.
‘Flip-learning’ means that children do a lot of background reading at home, coming to class prepared for more investigative learning. It frees teachers up to give one-to-one attention to the learners who need it most.
Mark Atkinson explains how it works with his Year 6 class. “I’m assigning them books, they’re going away and doing a pre-read and then I can save time because I’m not having to give them that input. It’s just made my life easier.”
RM Books makes light work of differentiation, and helps Mark spur on the more reluctant readers.
“I’m able to assign different levels of books according to ability. RM Books also really helps with reluctant readers. There’s such a wonderful wealth of knowledge and such a great collection of books that I’m able to assign books that get children more interested in reading.”
It’s even helping develop the next generation of entrepreneurs, says Matthew Wynne, also a Year 6 teacher as well as Assistant Head.
“RM Books has helped develop reading ability within our class. We have done a topic about soap recently where the children have had their own companies and developed their own areas of expertise. We’ve only been able to do this because of ‘The Soap Story’, a title from RM Books.”
“They have been able to totally immerse themselves within their projects because they have had that freedom from RM Books.”
They have been able to totally immerse themselves within their projects because they have had that freedom from RM Books
Matthew has also found the reporting and tracking features very useful. “It’s really useful having the feature that shows the amount of pages being read and also the amount of time that’s been spent. It’s also really fun for the children to track their own reading. We have a weekly competition which works especially well with the more reluctant readers, to see who can clock up the most pages in a week.”
Using RM Books has also helped the school’s youngest children, as Reception teacher Michelle Harrison has found. “It’s allowed the children to be more confident in speaking in front of others, encouraged them to speak in sentences and also gain experience in speaking to larger groups.”
“RM Books has added an extra dimension to our reading,” says Michelle. “We can use it in guided reading sessions and the children can access the books independently on the computers in the class.”
It’s very entertaining and it makes me want to read more. It makes me more confident in reading in front of the class as well.
The school is thinking ahead to how RM Books can be used to continue its journey. Claire Upton, Early Years Foundation Stage Leader, explains:
“The next stage will be getting the children involved in setting up an RM Books fiction library. We are in the process of getting the Parent Teacher Association involved in that as well, so it will be a whole-school venture, trying to raise funds to get the vast range of RM Books available for all the children to borrow.”
RM Books is the best!
Andrew Morrish sums up the impact of injecting RM Books into the school’s curriculum:
“We’re always looking to find the next big thing, either in technology or in literacy or in learning. RM Books ticks so many boxes. It engages the children, ensures that the book stocks are always kept up to date, and that the children always have a smile on their faces when they come into school.
You see them running into school with their devices, desperate to talk about what they’ve done at home using their new reading book. It’s just such a great way to bring the family together, to bring teaching and learning together. I just think it’s fabulous.”
I just think it’s fabulous