A BRADFORD school is on a mission to drive up reading standards.

St Oswald’s Primary Academy, Cross Lane, Great Horton, has introduced a raft of initiatives to inspire a new generation of readers in its pupils.

Headteacher Gillian Wilson took the reins in April and says the school is already seeing a positive impact in pupils after reading was pinpointed as one of the school's weaker areas.

She said: “I think it’s so important they become readers for life.

“It runs throughout the school curriculum.

"For me, reading is the spine of the school - it gives them confidence.”

From developing a solid reading strategy for pupils in all year groups and equipping them with a book bag and reading record, to including a lesson dedicated to reading and putting ‘reading corners’ in classrooms, a mindset shift has taken place in the school, Miss Wilson said.

She added that pupils are beginning to value books and there has been a "massive" impact on the quality of their writing.

As part of this, the school’s library has also been relaunched, putting it at the heart of the school.

Now in a new location, it has been given a facelift and includes murals depicting different books.

“This last week when the children have been walking through, they were looking around and couldn’t wait to get started with it,” Miss Wilson said.

The school has also funded a reading scheme to the cost of more than £20,000 to help raise the school reach its goal.

'Bug Club', designed by Pearson School Publishing, allows children to work through a range of colour-coded levels which include fiction and non-fiction books.

The school's vision is that all children, regardless of their starting points, become confident and independent readers.

As a way to raise the profile of reading across the school, children, teachers and parents will also sign a 'reading promise'.

It encourages children to take home a book to read every day and to spend a certain amount of time reading at home.

It asks parents to listen to and encourage their children to read, while teachers pledge to select age-appropriate books which reflect pupils' interests, to promote a love of reading and to help equip them with the skills to become lifelong readers.

St Oswald's, which is run by the Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust was placed in special measures in September 2016 after it was judged to be inadequate by education watchdog Ofsted.

However an interim report published in July said leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures and was given the go-ahead to appoint newly-qualified teachers.

Miss Wilson stressed the dedication of teachers and said: "They have moved forwards bravely and with great determination - they won't stop until we get the school back to where it needs to be."

Bradford's next Public Forum for Education will take a look at how The Literacy Hub and Literature Festival are supporting pupils across the district.