Year Three pupils from St Brigid’s Primary School in Ballymena recently celebrated completing a Barnardo’s NI Ready To Learn Literacy Club programme.
The pupils attended the after-school club over the course of two years receiving an extra 180 hours of intensive literacy classes through extra one hour sessions held after class three days a week.
St Brigid’s Principal Jim Brady said: “Over 300 children have taken part in Barnardo’s NI Ready To Learn programme in St. Brigid’s since it was introduced in 2010 and we can really see the benefits. The programme supports the on-going literacy work of the school and has as its central aim the promotion of literacy rich activities in a relaxed yet purposeful environment after school. Involving parents in their children’s work is also central to the pupil learning experience and this is achieved by inviting the parents into the school to share their children’s literacy work and by organising parental workshop activities during the year covering areas such as reading and phonics. There is no doubt that the children are enjoying the additional story-telling, rhyming and listening skills that they are learning which in turn, combined with delivery of the school’s literacy curriculum, supports their overall literacy level.”
Cherith McConnell from Barnardo’s said: “We know how effective three extra hours a week of literacy learning can be for children in raising their reading, writing, comprehension and vocabulary skills. The classes are designed to be fun and engaging so it doesn’t seem like extra school and we also encourage parents to become involved. The fact we had such high attendance throughout the programme also means the children were enjoying it which is the best way to learn.”