A SCHOOL could bag a national award for teaching parents to become better storytellers.

Shadsworth Infant School is one of just three schools in the country to be shortlisted after implementing a parent and child reading scheme.

Parents are given specialist coaching at the school on how to make reading as fun as possible and develop a love of books with their child.

The school has helped dozens of children stay on target by making sure no child falls behind with their reading.

Heateacher Gillian Crompton said the secret is in making sure they work with parents to provide encouragement and popular books.

The scheme has already helped 85 children over the past year who were struggling to read, across the first few years of the school.

Mrs Crompton said the most important part of the scheme is making sure they encourage parents and children to have fun with storybooks so reading is not a chore.

Now they could become the top school in the UK to implement the ‘Every Child a Reader’ initiative.

Mrs Crompton said: “We run a programme where every child is encouraged to find reading and learning with books to be a fun experience.

“When it comes to getting children started with books it just has to be a very positive experience for them. You will get so much further with praise and with making it a special time within the home than you will by making it a stressful or worrying thing for them.

“One of the things we do is we encourage and help parents to get this set up started in their own homes. We send home books that is the right level for the child, and also one we know they have been enjoying in school and which they are familiar with.

“Another thing we can do is invite the parent into school so they can watch one of the teachers read with their child. From this, the parent can pick up their own tips of how to help and encourage the child to read, and to make it fun.”

The school beat 8000 other entrants to make it into the final three of the national Every Child a Reader School of the Year. The awards, which will be announced this summer, were founded by the Every Child a Chance Trust in London in 2007.

Schools who have won the award have had to demonstrate an increase in children at the school achieving and exceeding national expectations.