PDST WELLREAD NATIONAL AWARD

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 

How many improvements do we need to make?

 

 

Schools need to engage with at least three initiatives for each area of the awarding criteria; that is, at least three initiatives to promote reading for pleasure among students, at least three initiatives to promote reading for pleasure among school staff and at least three initiatives to promote reading for pleasure among parents. At least one improvement has to be made for each review area, (Step 3 of The Process). Schools need to assess their own needs for each of the review areas and to look at the support that is available to them to make improvements. The improvements that a school proposes to implement should of course take into consideration school context.  The strength of school provision prior to the review will also determine the number and type of improvements expected by the screening committee. All improvements must be tangible and result in a visible improvement for the students and school community. Schools have three years to complete the portfolio process and should only submit this when they have evidence of visibility improving reading for pleasure among parents, school staff and students.

 

 

If I work in a Special School, is my school subject to the same expectations as mainstream schools?

 

 

Each school will be considered according to its context and its initial starting point. It is essential that all schools engage with at least three initiatives among students, three initiatives among school staff and three initiatives among parents to promote reading for pleasure

 

 

What type of improvements have other schools put in place?

 

Some possible activities include:

 

 

Students

School Staff

Parents

Drop Everything and Read initiatives scheduled on a weekly or monthly basis

Staff book clubs (these can run virtually)

Parent book clubs (these can run virtually)

Book Clubs

Guess The Book: Staff members share the front cover of their favourite books. Students and fellow staff are encouraged to guess which book belongs to which staff member.

Encourage students to select books for their parents to read (this can also run virtually through online libraries).

Paired Reading

Engage with online libraries and discuss their reading regularly. Sora App is a free resource for teachers of JCSP or DEIS schools.

Have suggested book lists for parents, to include “Quick Reads” that parents can read quickly. Ask students to record their progress.

Author Visits

Encourage subject departments to create a ‘book wall’ display with suggested reading around their subject, which staff should engage with regularly.

Encourage parents to engage in paired reading with their children. Ask students to keep a record of this progress and celebrate successes!

Publication of student book reviews in school newsletters/ local newspapers

Staff book swaps, with regular monitoring of staff reading. This could be achieved through an online document where each staff member makes a note of books that they are reading for pleasure.

Invite parents to reading events, such as Christmas themed story evenings. These can also run virtually.

 

 

Other ideas include student/ teacher book groups, established reading spaces, creating links with local libraries, establishing ‘Book Weeks’, creating reading for pleasure links with local primary schools and encouraging students and teachers to dress up as their favourite book character.

 

 

Do we submit our planned improvements to the Wellread office for approval?

 

 

No. This is a self-review process. Schools decide upon the improvements that are possible and that will have a positive and tangible effect on their school community and then set about their implementation. Wellread applications should only be submitted at the point in time when all the planned actions and initiatives have been put in place/completed.

 

 

 

What do I need to include in the portfolio?

 

 

The purpose of the portfolio is to demonstrate the journey that your school has taken with regards to becoming a Wellread school. As such, it should demonstrate the involvement of the whole school community, including students, school staff and parents. This would be evidenced in a period of sustained promotion and development of reading for pleasure across the entire school and involving the whole school community. The portfolio should be submitted digitally and can be presented as a PowerPoint, Prezi, Animoto, PDF resource or viewed on the school website. This is entirely up to the school.  The portfolio could include photographs (activities, displays etc.), video, testimonials, interviews, etc. This list is by no means exhaustive and please feel free to be as creative as you would like.