I've been visiting Seven Hills School a lot recently, which is great because it is such a fun and welcoming place.
Volunteer Reading Mentoring
As I mentioned previously, I have been covering for an existing volunteer, for a few weeks this term. It is my first experience of actual hands-on reading sessions. I may have been lucky with the pupils I have been reading with, and I am sure the previous volunteer has been very good, but the two pupils I have been reading with have be great.
I have only done a few sessions, but we seem to have fitted in a lot of activities. We have used fun sheets, games and resources from Reading Matters, but I am really pleased that the most successful thing has been reading books. One of the pupils really liked dogs, so we started with The Dog Top Trumps then moved on to Dog (DK Eyewitness Books). The other pupil is in to football and fishing and I have to recommend Starting Fishing (Usborne First Skills) which has a super range of picture, illustrations and different lengths of texts. Thanks to the Sheffield Schools Library Service for these, all Reading Matters Volunteers can access all the services the Schools Library Service, it is a super resource and the staff are really helpful and skilled a finding that perfect book. They are based in the Bannerdale Centre along with Reading Matters (Sheffield and Rotherham) so do call in.
Community reading morning
As well as the reading sessions, I was very pleased to be asked along to a reading morning at Seven Hills School. I partnered a pupils who's parents couldn't make it, and along with a room full of parents, carers, grandparents and members of the community, we took part in all sorts of activities based around reading. Expertly lead by Sophie (apologies for not catching her second name) we learnt how to do paired reading, played games, got sticky and glittery with some craft materials, and got even sticker making rice crispie cakes. All sneaky ways to engage young people in reading. Everyone got a lot out of it, not least a free book for each adult and child, but mainly an enthusiasm for reading together.
Seven Hills School staff are so on-the-ball with literacy activities that bring in people from the community to really support and develop the pupils. It is an inspiration, and I am sure Reading Matters will continue to support them as much as we can.