NATS launches literacy mentoring at local school

17 February 2014

Leading air traffic services provider NATS, has partnered with Portsmouth-based King Richard’s School to offer literacy mentoring to 11 year old students in Year 7.

Launched in January, the scheme will move students to a graded system following the February half term. This will allow the school to track and monitor the participants reading progress throughout the year.

NATS volunteers from various departments in the company hold weekly sessions with 18 students in the school library with a teacher and library manager on hand to assist. As well as improving basic reading skills, the mentoring project also aims to grow confidence in accessing and comprehending the written word, broadening general knowledge and developing individuals on a personal and academic level.

It is hoped that the literacy scheme will emulate the success of the award-winning NATS maths mentoring project, which saw the King Richard school’s Grade A* to C Maths pass rate significantly increase  from 21% to 58% from 2008 to 2012 compared to the average national rate, which went from 55% to 58% in the same period.

students & NATS pics 016

Chantel Way, Ibs Isiaka, Deputy Project Manager and Kane Padley.

Richard Scott, NATS Programme Manager and founder of the mentoring project said: “Not all students grow up with a love of literature or enjoyment for reading so the school’s teachers believed that promoting literacy would be a valuable contribution. We at NATS are delighted to be able to work with students in this way and enable them confidently to discuss the themes and ideas raised in the books and encourage their thoughts on them. Hopefully, this will ignite a lifelong appreciation for literature and underpin their other academic studies.”

Liz Nutland, Head of English at the King Richard School, also commented: “Since the collaborative initiative began between the NATS mentors and the students of King Richard School, we have already seen a rapid increase in student’s attitudes towards reading for pleasure.

“Students are more eager to read both in and out of class, and confidence in reading aloud is growing among those students who have built a positive relationship with their Reading Mentor.

“Students are beginning to understand the wider impact of being able to read fluently and expressively, in relation to their school work, and are being encouraged and supported to enhance their private reading habits.

“With the introduction of the Accelerated Reader programme, which launches next half term, this progress will become measurable; students will be able to identify weaknesses in their reading and address them through further structured sessions. We cannot thank the NATS team enough for their invaluable support and hope that this partnership will continue to flourish for many more years to come.”

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Richard Scott, Programme Manager, and Phoebe Howell.


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