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Town duo support reading programme

28 March 2013

Connor and Dave Mc help to deliver 'Boyzone' programme

Shrewsbury Town players Dave McAllister and Connor Goldson paid a visit to Shrewsbury's Sundorne Infants School to support their 'Boyzone' reading programme.
It has been reported that a large percentage of children are leaving school unable to read to the required standard for their age group. 
There is an ever increasing demand on primary schools to provide additional support to pupils to lower this percentage. Many teachers look to introduce intervention methods within their teaching to help raise the levels for reading, writing and spelling. 

Sundorne Infant and Nursery School have created a reading intervention programme called ‘Boyzone’ targeted at boys between the ages of six and seven who are identified as reluctant readers.
The idea is to first and foremost engage boys of this age into reading and to improve their interest within different genres – picture books, traditional literature, fiction and poetry to name just a few.
Hayley Smith, a teacher at the school, says that ‘Boyzone' is made up of 15 boys between the ages of six and seven who meet up on a weekly basis.
Each pupil chooses a book which they would like to read and they are then encouraged to read it and discuss it within the lesson to the teacher and to the other boys. They are also encouraged to go home and read their chosen book with parents.

Town defender Connor Goldson and midfielder Dave McAllister were pleased to visit the Sundorne Infants School along with with Jenny Daniel, Shrewsbury Town's  community development officer, to offer support to the programme. 
The session started with Connor and Dave answering questions from the youngsters, with teacher Hayley pleased with the interaction.
"The boys were really excited about the players coming to visit them," she said. "It encouraged them to think about questions that they wanted to ask which is a very important skill to develop alongside reading."
The pupils then split into two groups and Connor and Dave participated in some shared reading.
Both groups had selected books linked to sport – something that really engaged Connor and Dave as well as the boys!
"This has been a fantastic opportunity for the Community Trust to get involved in," said Jenny Daniel. "Education is one of the key areas that we are continually looking to develop by creating new initiatives.
"Within the Trust we have many links with local primary schools through coaching and it is great to be able to offer additional support in other curricular areas. 
"The visit of the players to Sundorne Infants School seemed to have a very positive effect on the pupils involved and really raised the motivation levels to want to read more."  
At the end of the session the boys were set a challenge. After each book read, the boys have been asked to write a reading review.
"We have challenged them to read and complete 15 different reviews as a group," added Jenny. "Once they have done this we are going to invite them to Greenhous Meadow to meet with Connor and Dave to review how their reading is going.
"It's a great incentive to really help these youngsters develop in their reading."
For further information on what the club's Community Sports Trust can offer within Education Development, please contact Jenny Daniel on or by phoning(01743) 289177 ext 239.

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