Doncaster school launches ambitious home literacy project to boost reading and writing skills

A home literacy project aimed at school starters aims to help nursery age children with reading and writing skills.
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Kingfisher Academy which is under the Astrea Academy umbrella will benefit from a £100,000 grant funded by SHINE.

The fund will enable eight new nursery starters from the school to receive extra literacy support during their first year.

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Dr Helen Raffterty, interim CEO of SHINE, said: “SHINE are delighted to be supporting the development of this critically important work with children and families in Doncaster.

Pupils at Kingfisher Academy.Pupils at Kingfisher Academy.
Pupils at Kingfisher Academy.

“Supporting families at home will benefit children’s literacy for years to come, and we’re excited to learn about the expansion of this programme over the course of our partnership.”

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Specialist early years practitioners will work alongside families in their homes to give support with reading and writing.

Then, after the initial pilot, the programme will be rolled out to a further ten Astrea primary schools over the following three years.

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Deb Shorthouse, project lead, Astrea Academy Trust, said: “Giving children a strong start in reading and writing sets them up for success at school and in later life - and there’s no better place to build those foundations than in their homes, working alongside parents.

“We cannot wait to begin working in partnership with the families and to give our children the best possible start to their school journeys.”

During four home visits, children and their parents will engage in everyday family literacy activities such as writing shopping lists, sharing books and singing nursery rhymes together.

The project aims to increase the children’s enjoyment of books and engagement in mark making, leading to higher literacy skills when they start Reception next year.

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Rowena Hackwood, CEO of Astrea Academy Trust, said: “Literacy is an absolute priority across Astrea Academy Trust.

“We are committed to helping all our pupils develop the sound early skills in reading and writing that we know to be critical for a successful education.

“As the pandemic has shown, children’s experiences and opportunities differ greatly.

“That is why I am incredibly grateful to SHINE for supporting this project and our ambition to ensure high literacy achievement in our schools.”

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