Best Books for Children

Kate L'argent, Independent Usborne Organiser

School of the Term

5th February 2019

We are delighted to announce that Millbrook Primary School are the winners of our School of the Term award for Autumn Term Two.

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.

The work of Millbrook Primary School is a wonderful example of how a series of successful events can have a real and lasting impact - not only in the short term, by strengthening a fantastic home-school relationship between staff and parents, but in the long term by helping nurture whole classrooms of lifelong readers.

Usborne Organiser, Christina Taylor, explains just why these events were so inspiring:

"We started with a school book fair. The pupils came in class by class with their teachers to browse through all of the lovely titles - it was so nice to see the enthusiasm on their faces as they flicked through the books! They filled out little request slips to share with their parents and, at the end of each session, we had either a chat about their favourite books or a little story time.

A few weeks after the book fair, the children took part in sponsored reading and listening events. The whole school was involved - everyone was very engaged and having lots of fun! The parents were also so supportive of the event, which was reflected in the fact that the total amount of funds raised was a phenomenal £1,710.10. It was wonderful to see how excited the staff were when compiling their wish list!

Millbrook Primary School deserves to be School of the Term because the love of reading emanating from both the staff and pupils was truly inspiring. Every single pupil I met on the day was polite, kind and bursting with enthusiasm - it reminded me why I love working with schools so much! It was lovely to see so many parents in attendance at the book fair at the end of the school day too, which just evidences the fantastic home-school relationship that the staff and parents have developed. The way the parents supported this event was just outstanding. There was a real community feel.

What is truly remarkable is the excellent inclusive provision for the pupils demonstrated after the event. After having restocked the reading room, the school reports that even their more reluctant readers have developed a new enthusiasm - there's a book for every child to enjoy!"

As a result of these brilliant events, Christina is now discussing developing a borrowing service from the children's reading room with Jenny Dixon, the school's Literacy Lead, so that parents and guardians can also benefit from the selection of beautiful books - a great idea!

We asked Jenny for her thoughts on the event, and the school's experience of working with their Usborne Organiser:

"Ready Steady Read' has been a huge success in our school. We originally set ourselves a target of £600, which we surpassed by an astonishing £1,100. With the 60% in extra books from Usborne, we had over £2,736 to spend.

During the week of our event, all the children were counting how many minutes they had read in school and at home, both independently and with their parents. The parents were also recording minutes in the children's planners, which was great to see. After our event had finished the children continued to record their minutes - even our more reluctant readers were motivated to read, especially with all the new books we received!

This was a brilliant event and our Usborne Organiser, Christina Taylor, was very supportive throughout - the event was so successful due to her fantastic guidance. Being named 'School of the Term' is the icing on the cake!"

Congratulations, Millbrook Primary! Your certificate will be on its way to you very soon.