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National award-winners: the school that took over a hotel and ran it for a day - plus case studies of the six other winners



Winning Company:

East Anglian Daily Times


Improving reading skills

The success:

Reading ages for four out of ten pupils at Leiston Middle School, Suffolk, improved dramatically under the Reading Together project in partnership with the newspaper. One boy's estimated reading age rose by 21 months after the six-week intensive programme. One girl's rose by 17 months.

The project: Reading together is a joint home-school effort to improve literacy skills by persuading parents to encourage children's reading. The newspaper also gave workbooks with activities parents and pupils could do together.

Pupils in school were monitored and given more time on work under teacher supervision. Children received three newspapers a week to use with their workbooks and reading tests were done before and after the programme to test scores.

Relevance to the curriculum: Basic literacy skills relevant across the curriculum have been improved and were seen to have a lasting effect.

What the newspaper said: "Some parents had given up reading with their children but have now started again."

What headteacher Richard Nichols said: "All children are benefitting through improving reading skills which enhance learning in all areas of the curriculum. "

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