Reading Together® Feedback from Blenheim School

Feedback received from the Principal of Blenheim School:

We are thoroughly enjoying the Reading Together programme with our families. We are running our second series at present.
We had some families that were hard to engage and as a result the school had embraced any initiative that would help in this area. Hearing that this was one of the desired outcomes of the Reading Together programme we decided it would be important for the school to run a series of workshops for our parents and students.
We identified a team (principal, DP/SENCO and junior teacher) who firstly read the St Josephs School’s successful implementation story and analysed this in light of our context and quickly made the decisions that were needed to begin planning.
The community librarian was contacted and was delighted to be involved and welcomed us into the public library for all the final workshops of each series.
The selection of the families was very important as we had identified some families that would really benefit from the programme but had no way of getting to school. We decided that we would collect whoever needed transport and were able to organise a bus at no cost for each workshop. We did need to clean this and return it the following morning but this was a real bonus for our families.
A key consideration when inviting the families was to consider the group dynamics. For discussions to flow freely it was important to have some parents who were confident speakers, willing to share experiences and give input throughout each workshop. We found the group we had selected was excellent as we had many robust discussions with all members feeling comfortable with sharing and taking part.

Feedback from teachers included:

  • From the discussions held, idea sharing and the questions asked by parents during the workshops, it was evident that parents were trying new things and getting a better understanding of how reading is taught and what is involved in learning to read.
  • From the parents' feedback it was evident that there had been changes to their behaviour in relation to what they did when listening to their children read, eg quiet place, TV off, reading with their child, using wait time when their child did not know a word. Talking about the book before and after reading etc.
  • More of our families are accessing the public library.
  • The impact on students reading improvement may not be instant but the improved relationship and understanding of home reading should have an effect over time.

Feedback from parents/whānau included:

  • There is a change of attitude towards reading, the boys now want to read and learn.
  • Reading and homework is more fun now, it is not a chore - I used to walk away.
  • I think we are a lot more patient as parents now than what we were.
  • ... the networking with other parents [is helpful], I have got to know more families at the school.
  • We are excited about coming to the town library, I have never been here before. I did not realise the amount of things they have for children.
  • I am a lot more interested and wanting to be more part of the school and learn more about what the school is doing.
  • The course directors (teachers) were amazing, nothing was too much for them - superb!
  • It has created a changed attitude in our family towards reading and homework.
  • It is really helpful to know how reading is taught at school so that we do the same things.
  • Families from other schools have asked if they could come along and if all schools would be doing the Reading Together workshops because they could see the change in our boys.

Acknowledgement: Our thanks to Dina Ahradsen, Principal of Blenheim School for sharing this feedback.

Tags: Marlborough  

Posted: Thursday 15 November 2012