Reading Pals Community Interest Company

Reading Pals uses a simple but effective, structured reading strategy that supports paired reading. The strategy includes introductory training for staff, parents and the older Reading Pals, together with the use of books with accompanying scripts that help develop the readers comprehension skills and encourage meaningful discussion.

The aim of the CIC is to increase children’s enjoyment and engagement with reading, while improving their reading comprehension and speaking and listening skills. It is also to contribute to children’s emotional literacy and mental well-being; helping them develop the necessary language and communication skills to support good mental health.

Parent workshops can be set up alongside the children’s groups to increase parental confidence in supporting their child’s reading at home.

Discounted rates are available for schools situated in areas of high levels of social deprivation. (For costings please see Contact page)

Reading Pals has a number of potential uses:

1. Cross-Age

Cross – age learning has been proven to be an extremely effective intervention, particularly when a scaffolding is provided for the older tutor. Reading Pals provides that scaffolding, giving the older children a bridge into independently supporting the reading of their younger peers. The children taking part and the adults presenting the scheme have really enjoyed using the scheme. They have reported significant improvements in the children’s engagement with reading and in their emotional well-being and behaviour.

‘Breakfast Pals is a big part of our Breakfast Club.  The older children always ask to read even on days they are not expected to.  They love having the responsibility of helping the younger children and in return the younger children prefer to read with a child rather than an adult.’ Inclusion Manager – St Aloysius Primary Camden

2. Emotional and Social

The motto for Reading Pals is, ‘Make Friends With Books,’ this is because the paired reading gives children the opportunity to form friendships with their peers and form stronger connections with books.

3. Parents

The question scripts develop the parents‘ understanding and experience in asking four levels of comprehension questions. This will enhance the parents ability to support their child’s reading development at home. Once they have become familiar with the four levels of questioning the parents are able to create their own comprehension questions. With familiarity the parents can apply the question forms when engaged in activities with their children, to encourage stimulating discussions.

The use of the scripts could be particularly useful for parents who are lacking in confidence when supporting their child’s learning at home. The scripts could be used by parents who are reluctant to engage with staff at the school directly.

4. Volunteers

Many children now benefit from the support of reading volunteers in schools. With short introductory training, supported by the use of the questions scripts, volunteers will quickly become effective and confident in supporting the reading of children in schools. This will enhance the quality of the volunteers’ support while reducing the amount of support school staff will need to give to the volunteers.

5. English as an Additional Language 

After using the scaffolding scripts for only a short time several children reported having used the skills they had learned through Reading Pals with their younger siblings at home. Some of these children were from homes where English was a second language so the support provided by the older sibling was particularly valuable.


Reading Pals Community Interest Company


The primary social objective of Reading Pals is to support the development of literacy skills and increase social and emotional well-being of children in socially deprived areas.