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Sport reading plan on to a real winner

This year I have been working in partnership with my local Playing for Success Centre, the Cobblers Study Centre at Northampton Town Football Club. The biggest impact on the children has been through the Cobblers Reading Stars, a project in which the pupils are rewarded for their reading and writing.

The children choose a book from a selection provided by the Study Centre, ranging from significant authors like Michael Morpurgo and Anne Fine, plus many non-fiction texts which are brilliant for reluctant readers.

When they have finished reading the book, they write a review which is included either in a whole-class anthology or on the school website. For every review they write they are rewarded with two stickers: one for themselves and one for the class wallchart. When the class's target is reached they can exchange the wallchart for a reward.

Thanks to our partnership with the football club, the rewards can range from coaching to match tickets - sometimes a player can even join them in school for a lesson.

One of my main aims was to engage boys; but even though football wasn't popular with the girls at first they have now become as keen as the boys.

Since the scheme has been introduced children who had previously no interest in reading have begun choosing books and writing reviews to collect the stickers.

Antony Witheyman

Deputy headteacher, Milton Parochial Primary School, Northampton

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