22 November 2021

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The Birkenhead Park School came runner-up at a prestigious North West education awards ceremony recognising the school’s outstanding commitment to improving young people’s literacy.

Educate Awards hosted their 2021 ceremony at Liverpool Cathedral on Friday 19th November, which brought together schools and colleges from across the North West region to honour achievements in 21 different categories.

The Birkenhead Park School’s Big Read programme was spotlighted in the Innovative and Creative Literacy Award section, and the measurable impact that the initiative has had upon the school’s students meant that we were awarded the runner-up prize.

Five members of the school’s English department who have all played key roles in implementing the Big Read programme were in attendance at the glamorous event, which was celebrating its ten year anniversary in 2021.

The Big Read involves improving the reading ages of students particularly in the first three years of high school by getting young people to actively participate and enjoy reading, with dedicated time each morning to collectively read alongside their teachers.

Books are specially selected for each year group and each term, with a wide variety of modern and classic novels opening up new styles of writing to students and allows them access to vocabulary that helps them achieve success across all subjects, not just English.

The results of the scheme have seen reading ages across the board for students rising, with some in later years going well beyond their actual age in terms of reading and literacy abilities. 

Leader of the school’s Big Read programme and Assistant Headteacher, Miss Dawes, said: “It’s fantastic for all the hard work of our staff and students to be honoured in this way. The programme makes a real difference to the lives of our students, both inside the classroom and out, with the skills that they learn helping them with academic work and just enjoying reading in their own time. 

“It’s a unique programme based upon serious research and clearly has had a major effect. My thanks go to the wonderful team of teachers delivering the programme, but also to the students for their effort and commitment to making the programme and themselves a great success.”

Founder of the Educate Awards, Kim O’Brien, said: “A huge well done to the runners-up, those who were shortlisted and everyone who took the time to enter this year. The past two years have not been easy and your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“Senior leadership teams, teachers and staff have really gone the extra mile for their pupils, colleagues and wider community, and we can’t thank you enough for all the hard work and dedication.”