Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers. The Summer Reading Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while helping to prevent the dip in children’s reading levels during the long summer break from school.
The Summer Reading Challenge, a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK, last year got over 729,000 children borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.
This year’s theme is Animal Agents, based on a detective agency staffed by all kinds of clever animals – furry, scaly and slippery – who are out to crack a case with a little help from their friends. Tony Ross, the UK’s best-selling children’s illustrator (including creator of the Little Princess books, illustrator of the Horrid Henry series by Francesca Simon, and books by David Walliams and Claire Balding), has created this year’s exclusive artwork.
To take part in the Animal Agents Summer Reading Challenge, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given a collector folder to keep a record of their reading journey. As children read at least six library books over the summer, they collect stickers which will help them crack the clues and help the Animal Agents find out what's really been going on behind the scenes!
Mary Glindon MP said: “I hope parents, grandparents and carers in North Tyneside will take their children to the library over the summer to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. It’s free, inclusive and, most importantly, makes reading fun. Last year 1808 children in North Tyneside took part. I hope we can increase that number this year and remind local libraries what a valuable asset they are to us and our community.
Children can use the special website animal-agents.org.uk to create a profile, chat about books, and get help on what to read next, via the digital Book Sorter which already offers over 600,000 peer to peer children’s book recommendations in child-friendly categories.
The Summer Reading Challenge reaches children and young people of all ages. For pre-schoolers there is a mini-challenge while young people (aged 13 to 24) can volunteer and support younger children taking part, as part of The Reading Agency’s Reading Hack programme. Volunteering provides a quality workplace experience for young people in libraries, inspires them to think about their future career and increases their employability as they gain useful life skills and confidence. Last year over 7,500 young people across the UK volunteered.
Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said: “At The Reading Agency, we believe that everything changes when we read and we know from our research how much fun families and children have when taking part in the Challenge. This year we hope the wonderful characters created for us by Tony Ross will inspire more children than ever to take part and make use of their local library throughout the summer and beyond."
Neil MacInnes, President of the Society of Chief Librarians, said: "Public Libraries across the country are celebrating the joy of reading as part of the Summer Reading Challenge. There’s a brilliant range of free activities in libraries throughout the summer to bring the Animal Agents theme alive, and encourage children to read during the long break from school. Young people can also get involved in exciting volunteering opportunities, by supporting younger children taking part.”
For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge including how to get involved and resources for schools, go to www.readingagency.org.uk/summerreadingchallenge
Room for one more? Foster Carers needed in North Tyneside
Foster carers come from different walks of life just like the children and teenagers in need of a loving home.
Do you have room in your heart and your home for one more?
Foster care transforms lives
There are many different types of fostering and each foster carer chooses what is right for them and their family.
Fostering can be anything from taking a child into your home for one weekend a month, to looking after them on a full-time basis for a few months, or perhaps permanently.
You can contact the Fostering and Adoption Service on (0191) 643 2540 or email email@example.com.
For more information, visit the Fostering section of our website.
Coastal Land Train 'named' by Marine Park Pupil
A schoolgirl was ‘chuffed’ to bits after winning a competition to officially name North Tyneside’s new coastal land train.
Harriet Ellis, aged seven, a pupil at Marine Park First School, came up with the name ‘Spirit of the Bay’.
She chose the name because it will ‘make you feel the joy of Whitley Bay’.
The eagerly-anticipated new land train, which will be run by Cygnet Events in partnership with North Tyneside Council, will operate between St Mary’s Lighthouse and the Playhouse from Tuesday, 1 August, and throughout the rest of the summer.
There are plans to extend the route in future to the North Shields International Ferry Terminal, taking in stops in Tynemouth and the Fish Quay along the way.
North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn paid a special visit to Harriet at her school to present her with a certificate and vouchers for free ice creams from Mister Woods Coffee Shop for her and all her classmates.
Mayor Redfearn said: “Harriet was a worthy winner of the competition and I absolutely love the name she came up with – it’s far better than anything I could have thought of!
“There were hundreds of brilliant entries from schools all across the borough and I would like to say well done to everyone who took part and I hope to see you all on the land train soon.”
Leanne Nicholson, Managing Director of Cygnet Events, added: “The tradition of naming trains is as old as the railways - back to the 1820s and George Stephenson's Rocket.
“Cygnet Events ran the ‘Name the Train’competition in all North Tyneside’s first and primary schools giving students the opportunity to enter their suggestions, along with a small explanation of why they chose it – we were inundated with entries!
“Naming North Tyneside’s Land Train really gives it an extra sense of character, we wanted the name to be unique and memorable and ‘Spirit of the Bay’ certainly captures the essence of the area.”
The land train is part of the council’s Seafront Master Plan, which includes £36m of investment in the coast between St Mary’s Island and Cullercoats Bay.
Passengers will be able to see at first-hand the various changes underway along the seafront, including the restoration of the Spanish City Dome, work to reshape both the Central Lower Promenade and Northern Promenade as well as the newly-opened Premier Inn and Beefeater restaurant.
One-way adult tickets will cost £2, or £3 return, and one-way child’s tickets will be £1.50, or £2 return.
For more information visit www.cygnetevents.com or follow @cygneteventsltd on Twitter and search ‘Cygnet Events’ on Facebook. Find out more about coastal regeneration at http://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/642/coastal-regeneration
To view a map of the summer route the train will take visit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fbiTfTXuMe1t1xu52kPc5ZN5KAI&usp=sharing
To view a map of the proposed full route the train could eventually take visit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GUDQmbk-IgqtaHBYoupaOyeo4sc
Appletree and Rockcliffe Schools gain Dyslexia Friendly School award
Two more schools in North Tyneside have been presented with the North Tyneside ‘Inclusive Dyslexia Friendly Schools’ (IDFS) award.
It means a total of eight schools in the borough have now received the award.
North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn presented the award to the staff and pupils at Appletree Gardens First School in Monkseaton and Rockcliffe First School in Whitley Bay.
The award was designed by the North Tyneside Dyslexia Team which is made up of specialist teachers trained to assess and teach children who have specific difficulties with literacy skills. This year’s award winners have found the process to be beneficial for all of their pupils.
Norma Redfearn said: “I am delighted that two more schools in the borough have received this award.
“The North Tyneside Dyslexia Team does a lot of excellent work in helping children who struggle with literacy and it is really encouraging to see our schools embracing this important project.”
Mary MacKenzie, Team Leader of the North Tyneside Dyslexia Team, said: “Both schools lay solid foundations for developing literacy skills, starting with excellent practice in the Early Years Foundation Stages. They also have strong links and clear lines of communication with parents.”
Schools work hard for a year to gain the award and have to demonstrate that they have a ‘whole school’ approach to supporting pupils with literacy difficulties. They teach reading and spelling systematically at all stages.
In addition, they provide effective, targeted support when needed and help pupils to transfer their skills back into the classroom. In this way, they aim to help pupils achieve their potential. Lessons and homework are made accessible to all pupils and links with parents are strengthened.
Lynsey Wilson, Rockcliffe Assistant Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, said: “Applying for the IDFS award has been a supportive process. It has allowed us to refine good practice to make it even better.
“Staff have become more effective in early identification of dyslexia and more confident in providing a learning environment that is even more inclusive. Staff feel that small changes in day to day practice can make a big difference for all children, not just those with dyslexia. “
Tracey Johnson, Special Educational Needs Coordinator at Appletree Gardens, said: “The IDFS award is instrumental in ensuring that the learning environment in your school is both stimulating and inclusive. Working towards the award has resulted in a greater level of achievement, retention and engagement for all our learners."
Work begins in September with more North Tyneside schools which are aiming to achieve the award. They are keen to develop their skills in catering for pupils with literacy issues and providing a ‘dyslexia friendly’ approach.
Thrive Lead Practitioner Course - Childhood Years
An exciting new CPD Opportunity for teaching staff, with a discount to North Tyneside Schools. Usually this course is £1,500 however we are able to offer it for £1,350 to North Tyneside Schools. With a special offer for North Tyneside Learning Trust Schools of buy one place, get one place free for the first 10 schools to sign up.