Termoncanice PS pupils celebrate literacy ‘lift off’

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Termoncanice Primary School recently celebrated the conclusion of what they describe as a “brilliant new literacy initiative”.

The ‘Lift Off’ programme not only got children reading, but it made them keen to read even more, according to Vice Principal, Leo McCloskey.

“Each time a child read a book they completed a book review in the special ‘Lift Off’ pack,” explained Mr. McCloskey.

“When the children’s rockets reached Planet 5, they got a special prize. Bigger prizes were awarded for reaching Planet 10 and Planet 15.

“On reaching Planet 15 pupil, books were placed inside a special rocket for the raffle at the end of the programme,” explained Mr. McCloskey.

The winners of the raffle received a £20 Tesco Voucher. All the pupils were tested in February and at the end of the programme in May.

“The results were incredible,” said Mr. McCloskey. “Scores in Comprehension rose dramatically and the overall literacy scores rose by a staggering 20 per cent. Using the SEL software. the school discovered that on average pupils can now read 25 more words a minute than they could in February.”

Mr. McCloskey said initial feedback from parents, teachers and pupils had been extremely positive.

“Parents loved reading to their children, and they also appreciated the opportunity to improve their child’s writing skills,” he said.

Lift Off was designed by Termoncanice teachers in a bid to raise literacy standards. and to prepare students for ‘accelerated reading’, which the school says is “a huge hit in the school already”.

“The school is one of the very few schools in the North to attain Champion School status in ‘accelerated reading’,” said Mr. McCloskey.

“As a special treat for reading 2,700 books in seven weeks, the pupils were treated to a magic act and a Punch and Judy show on the last day of Lift Off! Now that’s the way to do it!”