Blackburn pupils aiming to be reading ‘millionaires’

Pleckgate High reading stars (from left) Sadia Ali, Rhiannon Fielding, Saniya Ali and Alya Irfan

Pleckgate High reading stars (from left) Sadia Ali, Rhiannon Fielding, Saniya Ali and Alya Irfan

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

A HIGH school is trialling an accelerated reading scheme to encourage pupils to read a million words in six months.

Pleckgate High School in Blackburn has already created four ‘reading millionaires’.

But it said some students were managing only 20,000 words over the same period.

An average novel is 60,000 so children who hit the target are reading two books a month, as well as completing interactive questionnaires on the topics they have been reading about.

The accelerated reader scheme makes more than 25,000 books available electronically for every child who can select books which interest them.

Students take fun, motivational quizzes to test their comprehension of the books they have read, aiming for benchmarks and targets set by their teachers. The scheme was launched in October and already four students have read more than one million words.

Catch-up literacy co-ordinator Barbara Huddleston said: “The accelerated reader scheme is in Years 7, 8 and 9 and it encourages students to read more, and then once a book is completed there are quizzes to show that the book has been understood.

“When a student has read one million words they join our ‘millionaire club’ and we have our first four members.”

Sadia Ali, Alya Irfan and Saniya Ali from Year 7 along with Rhiannon Fielding from Year 8 have all received certificates for their achievement and will be given a reward for their hard work with a presentation in school.

Mrs Huddleston said: “We have some students who have read about 20,000 words so that puts into perspective how well these four have done in just over six months.

“We do a reading test at the start to assess what level the students are at and then they read books that are appropriate to their reading skills.

“They choose books that are of interest to them and read in literacy lessons and tutor group time, and they are encouraged to also read at home.”

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