Examples of how Reading Pals has supported individual children in different ways:
LIAM – READING CONFIDENCE AND ENJOYMENT
Liam was a Year 5 boy who was struggling with reading compared to his peers. As a result of finding reading difficult he had lost confidence, causing a reluctance to read in class or at home. When Liam was chosen to be the Older Pal to a Year 2 child, it was found he was easily able to read and ask questions about the Level 2 book that the Younger Pal was reading. Being put in a position of being a ‘better’ reader, and being ‘looked up to’ by the Younger Pal, gave Liam a much needed confidence boost. He fully engaged in the scheme and was given much needed reading practice with the scripts and books.
AARON – BEHAVIOUR AND EMPATHY
Aaron was a Year 5 boy chosen to be an older Reading Pal in a group ran by a School Home Support practitioner. Aaron was becoming increasingly disruptive in the mainstream class. He was often unkind, and could also be physically and verbally aggressive to his peers. In the first session the SHS practitioner was concerned at Aaron’s negative response to his younger peer. She explained to him the importance of helping his Younger Pal to feel safe and happy with his support and positive feedback. Over the next sessions Aaron’s responses to the Younger Pal became increasingly positive and the two formed a strong bond. Aaron’s teacher also noticed his behaviour towards his peers in the class improved significantly.
AYSHA – COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND EAL
Aysha was one of many children in the school who came from a family with English as a Second Language. Aysha had already been trained as a Young Interpreter providing peer support to other children learning English as an additional language. Aysha said that Reading Pals helped her in this role as she gained experience of more in-depth questions to facilitate interesting discussions. She also said she was able to use her experience supporting reading to help her younger siblings with their reading homework. This was something her parents weren’t able to do because they did not have enough knowledge of English themselves.