Chalk Talk: A trip to the palace spells an improvement in reading skills

 

For many children, visiting Buckingham Palace, the natural History Museum, picturesque Greenwich Naval College or Wembley Stadium during the summer holidays would just be a fun day out.

For a group of inner-city schoolchildren, this summer it will be a bit more than that – a chance to improve their reading skills before they start secondary school.

The scheme is the brainchild of Teach First Ambassadors, Nick Ovenden and Jill Krishnan, who felt that the sites visited during their "ReadLondon" initiative – as they have dubbed it – would open up the imaginations of the children and inspire them to read. Visits to each of the sites during the two-week summer-school "catch-up" will be accompanied by paired reading initiatives with sixth-form mentors, who will be accompanying them on their visits.

Nick is hopeful that this summer's pilot scheme will be accompanied by an expansion of the initiative in the months to come. Schools involved in the pilot are London Fields Primary School in Hackney and neighbouring St Paul's Trust School and St Thomas More in Wood Green, who provide the mentors.

The idea stems from a scheme in Harlem, New York, where regular and intensive reading sessions with struggling pupils enabled many "doomed" youngsters to reach or exceed the reading levels of some of their middle-class peers.

"The aim of this project is not only to raise the reading ability of participating pupils but also to have a less tangible effect on their reading careers by giving them an unforgettable reading experience," says a mission statement about the scheme.

It already has the backing of one urban writer, Emanuel Adelekun, but Nick is hoping to attract more famous names to back the project if it takes off after the pilot.

The scheme will also give some pupils who probably don't travel round the sites of London that much the chance to visit some of the capital's best-known historical sites.

For further details of the scheme, contact www.readlondon.org.uk

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Imperial College London: Safety Training Administrator

£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...

University College London: Client Platform Support Officer

£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...

Guru Careers: Instructional Designer / e-Learning Designer

£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...

Recruitment Genius: Schools Education & Careers Executive

£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat