PARENTS are playing a key role in improving the reading skills of their children at a local primary school.

Calverley CE Primary School recently held a parents "Stay And Read" event at the school, where they spent time listening to their children reading and talking about stories and new books to read.

The event is one of a number of ways parents are helping to improve reading skills at the school. Parents recently raised money through the Friends of Calverley CE Primary to turn a room into a library and reading space and provide new books.

Parents have also attended a workshop to help them understand how best they can help their children with reading, especially with the school’s new Accelerated Reading Programme.

The Accelerated Reading Programme aims to challenge pupils to read more appropriate books as they progress through school. It was trialled in Years 5 and 6 last year and now includes Year 4.

The Programme gives the children access to an iPad to get them online. They do a reading test, obtain an Accelerated Reading Score which is linked to a range of books. They choose a book from that range, do comprehension tests and move on to more challenging books.

The school has also held reciprocal reading coaching sessions involving staff members coaching small groups of children in helping each other with their reading skills.

The timetable at the school has also been re-designed to allow pupils solid blocks of time to focus on reading and grammar.

Reading Leader and Teacher Caroline Kirk said: “The Accelerated Reading Programme has already had an impact on reading skills in school. Children are now reading more and talking about books and stories more.”

Headteacher Bob Curran said: “The Parents Stay and Read event was a big success. The parents spent a whole morning with their children, reading, chatting about stories and looking at new books. We were very pleased with it and will certainly do it again.”