CILIP Update magazine features innovative library initiatives at The Boulevard Academy
By Ruth Atkinson
The latest edition of CILIP Update, the magazine for members of the professional body for librarians, carries an in-depth article about the reading initiatives at The Boulevard Academy in Hull. The principal, Andy Grace, has structured the curriculum firmly around literacy and numeracy, using Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader (AR) and Accelerated Maths (AM) programmes.
The article explains how Andy has used AR to establish a culture of reading that is already seeing results:
[Andy] said his students were set challenging targets for every academic year: ‘Because we use AR to establish every child’s starting point and the reading quizzes measure their progress, I find that our children become very motivated to beat their target. It is not unusual to hear youngsters cheer when they get their results and parents become very involved too. Last year all our students had reached their end of year target by Easter.’
Crucial to his plans has been a strong relationship with the Hull Schools Library Service, which provides access to a large number of books that students can read as part of the AR programme. It has also reinforced links between the school and the community through frequent use of the local library.
While the library service was able to help the school make a start on its AR and literacy agenda, the proximity of the physical library was also valuable. Andy said: ‘We intend that all our youngsters get into a library habit and that they can go on their own or with their families… I want this school to play a significant part in the community. The library is part of that community and if there’s anywhere that has a literacy deficit the one thing it definitely needs is a library.’
Read the full article in PDF format, or visit CILIP website to find out more about the CILIP Update magazine. Find out more about how The Boulevard Academy’s similar approach to mathematics, read their Accelerated Maths success story.