Chapter One – Online Reading Volunteers

From Chapter One

Resource type: Reading support

Price band: Free

Key stage: KS1

Region(s): England - Greater London, England - East, England - South East, England - North West, England - Yorkshire and the Humber, Scotland.

Chapter One (formerly TutorMateUK) runs an online reading volunteer programme that pairs corporate volunteers from all over the UK with disadvantaged children in KS1 who need reading practice and are at risk of not meeting the expected standard in reading.

Chapter One is currently available to primary schools that have a higher than national average number of Free School Meals and/or English as an Additional Language in Bradford, Doncaster, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Middlesborough, Peterborough and West Cumbria.

Volunteers link directly from their workplace to a dedicated classroom laptop using a bespoke internet platform and a voice connection. Volunteers and their reading partners ‘meet’ for 30-minutes every week through the academic year to read decodable stories and play literacy-related games that improve fluency and comprehension and build reading confidence.

All volunteers are subject to an Enhanced DBS check and undergo online training that covers

  • Safeguarding.
  • How children learn to read.
  • How to listen and communicate in a positive and encouraging way.
  • How to engage reluctant readers.

The Chapter One programme can be used to support up to 10 pupils per participating KS1 class (P2/3 in Scotland). Chapter One provides a dedicated and secure laptop and headset for pupils to use that can be set up easily in a corner of the classroom. The platform provides a library of more than 200 stories, all fully decodable, alongside word and literacy games to reinforce key skills in an engaging way.

Cost: Free in the first year, £250 per class per year thereafter. All equipment provided.

About Chapter One: Chapter One (formerly Innovations for Learning) is a US technology charity that has been developing innovative software to advance early literacy since 1996. The UK-based sister charity was registered in 2018. The aim of Chapter One is to create a world where all children have the literacy skills they need to thrive. The Chapter One Online Reading Volunteer programme works with volunteers from over 200 global corporations to provide technology-enabled, one-to-one reading support to disadvantaged children at the time they need it most.

Literacy Hive Likes:

  • Watch this introductory video to find out more about how the programme works and the benefits to your school.
  • Teachers create an online timetable of suitable times for volunteers to choose from and the platform also includes a messaging function that allows teachers and volunteers to communicate and share relevant information.
  • The programme offers volunteers the flexibility of being able to volunteer from their desk, broadening the range of people who can offer schools their time.
  • Pupils can access the platform independently while the teacher works with the rest of the class and there is no need for access to outside space as pupils can work with their volunteer inside the classroom.
  • Teachers report an increase in engagement and an improvement in attitudes to learning across the curriculum among participating pupils.
  • A 2021-2022 impact report found that participating pupils had a higher percentage change in reading enjoyment, confidence and motivation in comparison to a group of higher achieving peers, and 95% of teachers believed the programme had been beneficial or very beneficial for participating pupils.

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Chapter One provides an online reading volunteer programme to support struggling readers in KS1.