A POETRY scheme that has boosted reading in four Bradford schools has proved so successful it will be made available to every school in the district.

The National Literacy Trust’s Bradford hub has announced that following a successful pilot, the Our Stories poetry programme will be rolled out to more schools.

The programme’s aim was to target low literacy levels in the city, and foster a love of creative writing, particularly with boys.

As part of the pilot scheme, pupils at Horton Park Primary School, Hanson School in Swain House, University Academy Keighley and Dixons Allerton Academy took part in workshops with local performance poets, who encouraged them to explore their identity, personality and ambitions through poetry.

Teachers were also provided with a resource pack containing a wide range of poetry activities they could expand on in the classroom. Local poets and spoken word artists including Joolz Denby and Dumi Senda donated their work to be included in the pack.

Data from Horton Park Primary showed that over the course of the programme the percentage of Year 6 pupils writing at the expected level doubled, from 46 per cent to 92 per cent. It also found that 36 per cent of pupils involved are now writing above the expected level and every pupil made good progress, with making outstanding progress.

Following the success, the Our Stories resource will now be provided free to all Bradford primary schools for teachers to use with their Key Stage 2 classes.

A training session will also be held in the new year for teachers who are interested in delivering the programme funded by the Bradford Primary Improvement Partnership.

Imran Hafeez, Bradford Hub Manager, says: “We’re very excited to be able to expand the Our Stories programme to all primary schools in Bradford.

“The success of the programme in the pilot schools shows the positive impact that a creative and fun approach to teaching poetry can have on pupils’ writing skills and enthusiasm.”

Shahnaz Bi, Assistant Headteacher and English Subject Lead at Horton Park Primary School said: “We thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the programme – the local poets inspired our pupils, building their confidence and developing their language acquisition in a collaborative and engaging forum.

“The programme had a significant impact on their writing attainment and progress as well as their intrinsic interest in creative writing, and I’m sure that fellow teachers will find the resource invaluable.”

The Bradford hub was set up two years ago as a response to poor reading standards in parts of the district.

Over the years there have been numerous workshops, school visits, competitions and events involving local sports stars.