What the programme consists of: -
Each school is invited to select a cohort of around 15 learners to access the programme. They receive a resource box which contains a selection of books, Top Trumps, Scunthorpe United match programmes, motivational posters and other football related reading materials. There will also be certificates, posters and access to lesson ideas. The project the strategy group have approved has five strands:
Strand One - Participating schools receive a football themed reading workshop, delivered at Glanford Park, home of Scunthorpe United Football Club, by renowned children’s author Tom Palmer. Tom is the author of a number of books for children including his latest trilogy, ‘Defenders’, spine-tingling historical adventures with a football twist. We are delighted to have secured his services for this strand of the programme. Tom has also developed a set of resources aimed at schools who wish to further engage reluctant readers through sport. He is a motivational speaker who has an excellent track record of successfully engaging the children in a positive conversation about reading and writing.
Also as part of Strand One, we are joined by children’s poet and performer, Ian Bland. Ian worked with our Reading Stars project in our 2nd year, teaching the children how to perform, and inspiring many of our reluctant writers to write some fabulous poems.
Strand Two - Participating schools are registered with the National Literacy Trust and can access Premier League English activities, created by the National Literacy Trust. These activities form part of the Premier League Primary Stars offer of free PE, PSHE, English, Maths and Enterprise resources. Training is available to support schools in the use of online resources with a focus on literacy.
Strand Three - Participating schools are entitled to 2 visits to the Study Parks’ study centre at Glanford Park throughout the duration of the programme. These half day visits will be to access a football themed literacy lesson delivered at the stadium.
Strand Four - All participating schools receive a visit in school from a local sports personality and Reading Stars ambassador. During these visits he will talk about his experience and enjoyment of reading and the children will have the opportunity to take part in a question and answer session.
Strand Five - Finally, children and families are invited to attend an ‘end of season’ celebration which acknowledges and celebrates the hard work of the targeted learners and the engagement of the schools. The participants take part in a Graduation Ceremony which takes place at Glanford Park.
The Words Count ‘Scunthorpe United Reading Stars’ Project is aimed at both primary and secondary schools and works well for participants from Years 5, 6 and 7. We recommend that schools select a group of up to 15 participants based upon greatest need – some schools may choose more 'reluctant’ readers who are football fans, with a lack of motivation rather than lack of comprehension. Other groups selected may be those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds or boys.
Our aspiration for the programme is that is assists schools in achieving their goals of narrowing the reading attainment gap between those who are reading at the expected level for their age and those who are underachieving. We would also expect the programme to help make positive steps in transforming attitudes towards literacy by engaging those who have a passion for football and using this passion to inspire a love of reading.