Since November, a group of helpful Year 10s have been giving up their time two mornings a week to read with a group of lucky Year 7 students. Each Tuesday and Thursday, pairs of students buddy up, discuss their favourite books, decide on a signal to use if someone mispronounces a word, and they’re off into a world of reading!
Not everyone starts Year 7 with a love of reading, much less the confidence to step into an unfamiliar library to find the perfect book for them. One of the most valuable things our Year 10 reading partners do is be a role model to our Year 7 students. They help them to find the right books, to pronounce and understand the words they read, and often show them how to love the books they read.
It’s a great experience for the Year 10s, too. Many of them participate to fulfil their Duke of Edinburgh volunteering requirements, while others know they want a career working with children, making Paired Reading valuable work experience. Still others applied to take part because, in one student’s words, she wanted the “chance to help other people see how great books and reading can be.” Another student said, “I want to make Year 7 friends and help them settle into secondary school.” Our Year 10s have been so enthusiastic throughout; fifty-four applied to take part and they regularly offer ideas for how to make Paired Reading an even more beneficial experience for our Year 7s.
Some of the Year 10s even take on extra responsibilities, working as leaders. Our leaders – Eva, Hannah, Mary and Alyssa – keep everyone on track and help students whose partners aren’t able to attend for the day to find a substitute partner. Paired Reading would not be what it is without them and they deserve a special thank you.
Well done, Year 10 and Year 7 Paired Readers!