Tim Redgrave showing his school display of all the current Patrons of Reading
Tim Redgrave, headteacher at Ysgol Esgob Morgan and the creator of the Patron of Reading scheme, "Having a Patron of Reading has made a significant difference to all of our children and their approach to reading for pleasure. It has inspired all of them to visit libraries, explore a range of books and authors and is changing their lives - literally! We have a school full of confident readers and it doesn't take a genius to know how this is improving standards across the board at our school."
Jon Biddle, teacher at West Earlham Junior School, "Tim and Helena have come up with a brilliant way to get authors into schools and promoting reading. Our patron (John Dougherty) has not only been a massive hit with the children but also with the the parents. They really enjoyed coming in to hear him talk about books and reading. The project has added a whole new dimension to reading for pleasure in our school and we have already talked about future plans and visits."
Alexander Melton, pupil at West Earlham Junior School, "I was very excited to hear that John Dougherty was going to be our patron. When he came, he was really funny. We did lots of talking and asking questions about being an author, and I interviewed him as part of our school Book Club. I really like sending him messages on the blog about books I am reading and can't wait until he comes back."
Shania Hoban, pupil at West Earlham Junior School, "John read us a bit from his new book that isn't even out yet. It sounds even funnier than his other books. He talked to my mum about why I should read at home and she liked him."
Helena Pielichaty, the first Patron of Reading, "I am thoroughly enjoying being Patron of Reading at Ysgol Esgob Morgan. I’m in my second year now and the buzz the role has generated is wonderful; there is no doubt that this school is a school that reads for pleasure – the evidence is everywhere. When I visit, children can’t wait to tell me about the books they are reading; there are folders full of reviews, innovative displays and plays being rehearsed - not to mention the frequent amount of blogging going on. It’s all so inspiring. I’ve benefitted enormously, too. The role has enabled me to have a unique relationship with the staff and children that a one-off visit can’t provide. I am thrilled when I see a suggestion that I’ve made has been put into practise by the teachers and ecstatic when I’m told that a pupil has gone from being a reluctant reader to a keen one because of me. I love reading books the children and staff have recommended to me, too. So far I’ve discovered Malorie Blackman’s Cloud Busting, Gill Lewis’s Sky Hawk and next is David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny. Ofsted and Estyn (Wales) talk a lot about ‘enrichment’. I think the POR idea provides that in spades. I can’t wait for my next visit to the school."
John Dougherty, patron at West Earlham Junior School, "I'm really excited about my new role as a Patron of Reading. All the evidence suggests that reading for pleasure can make a huge difference to a child's life-chances, and the patron scheme is a simple, cost-efficient and potentially immensely rewarding way of promoting it. As a child, I would have been thrilled just to meet an author; a personal connection with one, of the kind the patron scheme provides, would have been utterly inspirational."
Nicola Morgan, patron at Larbert High School, "I'm loving the flexibility of working with 'my' school in a way that will work for both of us, outside my normal work and their normal work, and feeling that perhaps I can make a difference. I can test out ideas with them too, so it helps me."
Joe Craig, patron at Parkside Federation Academies, "The Patron of Reading scheme is such a fantastic opportunity and a huge boost for reading and writing. Authors can connect with schools, schools can connect with authors. It’s the best way for me to share my passion for stories. The joys of reading and writing can be infectious and when an author and a school build the kind of relationship that the Patron of Reading scheme allows, that buzz can become a lifetime habit of reading for pleasure. Now what could be more fun, or more valuable, than that?"
Dee Kirkby, patron at Beacon View Primary, "I am more excited about becoming a Patron of Reading than I am about signing my latest publishing contract!"
Councillor Neill Young, Cabinet Member for Children and Education, Portsmouth City Council, "Reading is a powerful tool for children to stretch their imagination. The Patron of Reading programme is very exciting and encourages them to develop their reading skills at home and at libraries across the city. I would like to encourage people across Portsmouth to support this important programme."
Tricia Adams, Director of SLA, "This innovative idea, a Headteacher with huge passion and a gifted author working together have proved, with the first school Ysgob Esgob Morgan, that this scheme really works - and now the extension of the Patrons of Reading countrywide can only be a huge positive benefit for so many schools and children in the future."
Helena Pielichaty, the first Patron of Reading