Corby primary school's rocketing reading results speak volumes

A Corby primary school, which has turned around its reading results, has started the next chapter of its story with the opening of its new school library.

By Alison Bagley
Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:00 am
l-r Tracey Husdon, Evan Cochrane, 11, Faith McFadyen, 11, Lily O'Hare,11, Faith McKinnon, 10.
l-r Tracey Husdon, Evan Cochrane, 11, Faith McFadyen, 11, Lily O'Hare,11, Faith McKinnon, 10.

Rockingham Primary School head teacher Tracey Hudson believes the improvement in reading results is down to staff training and a new approach to teaching children how to read.

Last academic year, 85 per cent of the school’s Year 6 pupils achieved the expected standard in reading – a 35 per cent increase from two years ago.

She said: "Reading is fundamental to everything. We put the emphasis on reading in everything we do.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Tracey Hudson has been head teacher of Rockingham Primary School for two years

"From the very moment they step through the doors we work with our children, with clarity of speaking, early phonics tuition and twice-daily story telling, using quality texts.

"We were second in Corby for pupil progress last year and we are well above the national score of 75 per cent for reading."

Mrs Hudson joined the school two years ago from a previous post in Daventry and found a school where there was 'no progression'.

She said: "People were doing their best. We have looked at teaching and learning, done lots of work on resilience, increased expectations and encouraged children to read for pleasure.

The new library has been opened to supplement the school's focus on reading

"This has been a key focus and along with staff training and a new approach to teaching reading, this has led to fantastic results.

"Combined with parental support with reading practice at home, the school promotes reading at every opportunity – parents are invited to stay and read with their child twice a week. "

Pupils have been further encouraged to read for pleasure using the books in the newly opened library funded by school operator The David Ross Education Trust

Newly-elected librarians are looking forward to recommending books for staff and pupils throughout the school.

Amy Harper, English lead, said: "Staff are avid readers and this means we can pass our passion for books to the children.

"Pupils ask for recommended reads and we can signpost them to find other books we know they will enjoy.

"Reading is part of our fabric at Rockingham – it is the single most important thing a child can learn to do and here, we give it the emphasis it deserves."

Mrs Hudson added: "It's not all about numbers. It's about giving children the life chances they deserve."