Laycock School of Rhyme

Get Islington Reading is a three-year project to develop a community of happy, confident readers across the borough. In collaboration with Islington Libraries, The Reading Agency worked with poet Paul Lyalls, who has been delivering workshops with Year 4 and 5 students at Laycock Primary School, to learn about poetry and create some of their very own. Focussing on reading and writing, the work they created in their workshops has been published as a book of poetry.

For the students, it’s had a huge impact on them and their engagement with reading. Teachers at Laycock Primary School have seen a marked difference in their approach to reading, writing, and learning.

One teacher said: ‘Before the workshops, my class was a real mixed bag in terms of engagement with reading. I had some children who were avid readers and would read every night and submit their reading records, and in contrast, I had some children who were reluctant to read at home or at school. However, since the workshops, almost my entire class are keen to read and engagement with writing has improved massively.’

They also said: ‘Overall, my class really enjoyed the workshops. They often ask me whether they will have the opportunity to work with Paul again in the future. After they adjusted to the change in the timetable, working with Paul became a staple in their week that they took part in with great enthusiasm. As it was first up on a Monday morning, I also noticed an improvement in attendance, which is an area that I have been striving to improve since September.’

Another teacher said: ‘Several children are now regularly asking to read their work to the class. They are clearly proud of what they have done, and I think that Paul has helped them see being a writer as a fun and cool thing to do and be.’

They also said: ‘Children definitely enjoyed the workshops and working with Paul. It is quite special for them to have built a relationship over time with someone who has ‘celebrity’ status, who takes them seriously as writers and who is a fantastic role model for writing.’

Paul Lyalls has described the book as ‘a partnership initiative between the ‘dedicated’ Laycock teachers and kids, the ‘always welcoming’ Islington Libraries, the ‘can-do’ of The Reading Agency and the ‘vision’ of Get Islington Reading.’ The book of poetry will also be available to loan from all Islington Libraries.

Look through the book below:

Find out more about Get Islington Reading.

The Reading Agency

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