Born for Brilliant Books

Kath Saunders, Independent Usborne Organiser

School of the Term

6th November 2019

We are delighted to announce that Bewbush Primary Academy School are the winners of our School of the Term award for Autumn Term One.

Celebrated six times a year, School of the Term is a half-termly award that is given to one UK or EU school that has had a fantastic event with an Usborne Organiser. We are very keen to showcase the amazing things that schools have achieved through working with their Usborne Organiser - it isn't just about the amount of money raised, but the difference made to the positive reading culture of that school.

Nominated by Usborne Organiser, Amanda Saunders, Bewbush Academy really stood out to us for the buzz and excitement that they've created around reading, and the ingrained whole school culture they have of reading for pleasure:

"Bewbush Academy has a large number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds with 33% of the school on the Pupil Premium register. There are many children at the school for whom English is not their first language.

I have visited the school a number of times over the last two years and have always been delighted to see how excited the children (and staff!) are about books. Just walking down the corridor with teacher, Claire Farndon, there were children constantly coming up to her to let her know their reading achievements!

I've worked with the school for a couple of years, and this year ran a Ready Steady Read... with the school alongside a book fair on Sports Day. So many children and parents came to support the school and it was lovely to help the children find the perfect book! The school raised nearly £2,000 for books for their new library, which Usborne added to, giving the school over £2,500 to spend!

In addition to the books from Usborne, a number of teachers from the school have independently been running a campaign on social media called 'Book Share Sussex'. They wanted to provide every single child in the school with a book they could take home and keep for themselves, as many do not have access to books at home. Last week they were able to give over 600 children a book of their own to keep and said the atmosphere was 'truly magical'. The children were so excited!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the Bewbush Academy over the last two years and I’m over the moon that they have won this award. Every time I have visited there has been obvious excitement about new books, both from the children and staff. The school are really passionate about giving children the opportunity to develop a lifelong love of books and reading."

Claire Farndon, Accelerated Reader Lead Teacher and Head of Year Four, told us about how much the school enjoys working with Amanda, and how big a difference she has made to the school: 

"The Bewbush Academy has been working alongside Amanda and Usborne books for two years now and the children of the school have greatly benefited from this partnership.

Classroom book corners have now been updated with books the children are eager to read. Series such as Oliver Moon are incredibly popular and are picked off the shelf as soon as they are put back. It has sparked an interest in reading in some children where there was none before, and allowed those already excited by reading the opportunity to delve into new genres.

Class bookshelves have been updated with new and exciting genres that have transported the children to many different worlds. It is brilliant when a series of books really captures their attention and you can hear them talking between themselves about what they read last night. The range of books on offer is fantastic and has helped boost our non-fiction range of texts, which often appeals to our more reluctant boy readers. There is a real ethos in the school now of reading for pleasure, and it is lovely to see children literally hugging books to their chest as they walk down the corridor.

We were thrilled to have been selected as Usborne School of the Term as we feel the hard work the staff, children and Amanda have put in has been recognised. Here’s to even more books this year!"

Congratulations, Bewbush Academy! We are so proud of the amazing reading culture that you have at your school!

Here's what some of the students (aged 8) thought about their brand new books:

Ben – "There’s so many books, my mind’s blown!"

Isabella - "I saw that book in the book-shop and really wanted to read it. Now I can!"

Anokhi - "My mum and I really enjoyed reading the book together at home last night."

India -  "I can't decide which book to choose first, there are so many!"

Alicia – "We’re so lucky to have so many books. The books have helped our accelerated reader rocket fly!"