From Bookmark Reading Charity

Resource type: Reading support

Price band: £

Key stage: KS1, KS2

Region(s): England

Bookmark provides online volunteer reading support programmes for pupils in Years 1 – 5 who are at risk of not meeting the expected standard in reading.

A Bookmark programme lasts for six weeks, during which a trained volunteer will work one-to-one with a child for two x 30-minute sessions a week. Each session is carefully structured to provide a mixture of reading, book-based conversation, and literacy-based games and activities with the aim of improving the child’s confidence and enjoyment of reading.

The reading sessions take place online on a secure platform, or face-to-face in certain locations around the UK. For online sessions, schools will need to provide a PC, laptop or Chromebook that runs Google Chrome. The computers will also need to have a webcam installed and a headset. To find out if a face-to-face option is available in your area, please contact Bookmark directly.

All Bookmark volunteers undergo DBS checks and receive online training that covers:

  • Safeguarding responsibilities.
  • How to engage with children on a one-to-one basis.
  • How to listen and communicate in a positive manner.
  • How to adapt to the abilities and interests of each child.

There is no limit to the number of pupils a school can put forward and there is the option to extend a child’s programme to 12 weeks or more if required. Once registered on the secure Schools Hub, schools set the parameters for their reading programmes, including the start week, and the days and times for the reading sessions. Volunteers are then able to sign up to the programmes that match their availability.

 Cost: £12 per child per programme.

About Bookmark Reading Charity: Bookmark Reading Charity was set up in 2018  by Sharon Pindar, who experienced first-hand the impact that poor literacy skills had on her mother. Bookmark is committed to helping children fulfil their true potential by harnessing the power and support of the community.

Literacy Hive Likes:

  • The basic building block of a six-week reading programme with the option to extend provides schools with the flexibility to deliver quick reading ‘boosts’ as well as longer-term support.
  • Every school is assigned a dedicated Community Manager who will facilitate and provide administrative support throughout the programme.
  • Bookmark offers volunteers the flexibility of being able to volunteer from their desk, broadening the range of people who can offer schools their time and providing a more diverse range of role models for participating children.
  • Depending on the number of reading programmes purchased, Bookmark offers a range of packages that provide additional resources to support and promote a whole school reading culture. Resources include curated packs of books for the library, entry for two categories in the Spark! School Book Awards and access to grants for literacy CPD.
  • Bookmark publishes a free online magazine for children called The Story Corner. The magazine features stories, writing activities and games and is a useful resource for children who may struggle to access books at home.
  • An independent evaluation carried out by the National Literacy Trust for the 2019/20 school year found that Bookmark’s reading programmes are well designed and align well with existing evidence.

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Contact Details

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020 3995 7960

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