English hubs and phonics roadshows to improve literacy in schools

PUBLISHED: 06:55 13 February 2018

Golden Valley Primary School pupils reading books in reading area.

Golden Valley Primary School pupils reading books in reading area.

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New English hubs will be set up across the country as part of a Government initiative to improve literacy in schools.

Usborne has teamed up with the North Somerset Times to support our Books For Schools campaign.Usborne has teamed up with the North Somerset Times to support our Books For Schools campaign.

A new centre of excellence for literacy teaching will be created in the next couple of months, followed by a national network of 35 hubs across the UK by the autumn.

The centre will enable education professionals to share best practice, with a particular focus on language and literacy teaching in reception.

From April, new phonics and reading partnerships will be set up to drive improvements in teaching and phonics roadshows will also run across the country.

The Government is investing millions of pounds into the initiatives to try to raise standards and improve basic reading skills.

Kevin Lynch, headteacher at Golden Valley Primary School in Nailsea, said: “A significant factor in pupils’ early language development and engagement is early experiences of books and speaking/listening before they attend school. There has been a significant shift in the use of technology and tablets to ‘occupy’ children at the expense of visiting the local library every week and enjoying sharing books and reading stories, for example.

“So initiatives to encourage reading and a love of books with preschool children should, in my opinion, feature very highly in any Government plans.”

The hubs will be similar to the maths hubs which were launched in 2014 and bring together education professionals to develop best practice.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “The literacy investment will help make sure that not just most, but every child arrives at school with the vocabulary levels they need to learn.

“And our investment will mean once they are at school, every child will get the best literacy teaching. We’ve already seen what a difference our approach on phonics has made for children in England.”

The Times is running a Books For Schools campaign to help cash-strapped primary schools provide more books to children.

People can donate books and gift vouchers so we can give out 100 books to a school each month. Donations can be left with Portishead Town Council at Folk Hall or at Clevedon Community Bookshop, in Copse Road.

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