Four Shropshire Primary Schools gain Accreditation

Rushbury CE, Longden CE, Greenacres and Castlefields (Bridgnorth) primary schools have each been awarded a Leading in Reading accreditation award for their outstanding commitment to developing a reading for pleasure culture in their schools.

Chair of Trustees, Sophie Peach, says:

Shrewsbury Bookfest has been facilitating literacy based activities for Shropshire primary schools for over 21 years. During this time we have worked alongside many inspiring, dedicated teachers committed to engaging all their pupils with a love of reading.”

Launched at Shrewsbury Bookfest’s conference for teachers on 20th November, the Leading in Reading accreditation scheme has been developed by Shrewsbury Bookfest in partnership with the University Centre Shrewsbury to recognise the real commitment shown by schools across the county in promoting reading for pleasure.

The four schools initially identified as contenders for Leading in Reading accreditation were assessed against a list of criteria, including evidence of strategies such as promoting reading for pleasure as central to the school’s policy and reading, celebration and advocacy involving all groups in the wider school community and providing ideas for promoting reading integrated into the school CPD programme.

This commitment by the four schools has been evidenced through their active and continual participation in reading development initiatives delivered by Shrewsbury Bookfest as well as the delivery of reading activities personal to their own schools.

The University Centre Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury Bookfest recently visited each of the schools to assess and see first hand the impressive work and commitment by the teachers.  Their report findings were fed back to the Trustees at Shrewsbury Bookfest for consideration and the accreditation awards were presented to the schools today at Shrewsbury Bookfest’s conference for teachers. 

Chris Tay, Head Teacher of Longden CE Primary school says of the accreditation award:

“In a situation where curriculum is constantly under pressure, the Leading in Reading award represents a timely recognition for those courageous schools where good test results are the unintended by-product, and not the intended purpose, of a good education. Where traditional sources of support for good education have sadly been reduced to an agenda of compliance, partnerships with organisations like Shrewsbury Bookfest become vital to schools seeking inspiring and sustaining means of improving teaching and learning.”

Diane Pye, Head Teacher of Rushbury CE Primary school said in her acceptance speech at the Conference:

“As a teacher, I have found taking part in Shrewsbury Bookfest’s projects an absolute must for all the children I teach. In fact, I think I’d have a rebellion on my hands if I ever suggested not taking part.

Because, as we all know, reading – and reading for pleasure - is its own reward.  Quite rightly, in schools and in our homes, we are concerned about the pressures on our children. There is pressure to succeed, to fit in, to keep up. Social media, exams, tests... And what schools do to promote a love of reading is receiving a refreshed focus in school inspections. So, when we look at how we promote a love a reading in our schools, how we promote pupils’ well-being, personal development and mental health - I know that being involved in Shrewsbury Bookfest projects hits every one of those things. 

And this is why this Leading in Reading accreditation award is so valuable. It recognises the commitment and enthusiasm of so many people who work in our schools promoting reading, coming up with great ideas to get children into books, and to get them involved in events like this. Surely, we cannot be far away from a time when children from every school in Shropshire take part in Shrewsbury Bookfest projects. Wouldn’t that be great for Shropshire and, most importantly, great for our children.”

All four winners were presented with certificates and plaques to be displayed in their schools.