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East Point named as UK's only Master Reader school

Published on 15/11/15

Lowestoft's East Point Academy has been named as the only school in the country to be recognised as a "master school" for improving reading skills.

East Point has been using a special approach to reading - known as Accelerated Reader - for the last three years. The system is used by around 4000 schools across the country.

It had already been designated a "model school" for its successful use of the scheme, but has now become the only school in the UK to reach the top 'master' level.

Literacy co-ordinator Mary-Jane King has also been given a "master project manager" award for her efforts in spearheading the school's approach.

"The pupils can choose to read fiction or non-fiction, and have to read every day and do a quiz on what they have read. It shows that they have not only read it but understood it," said Ms King.

"We have run the programme for three years and the transformation in the pupils has been amazing. Some pupils were originally reluctant to go the library, disliked reading and barely read at all. Now they are actively participating, reading for pleasure and sharing book recommendations with staff and pupils.

"To be a master school we've had to show that pupils have a really high level of commitment over 25 weeks. To be the only master school out of 4000 is great."

The changes have also been shown in the school's results, with around three-quarters of students now making the nationally expected progress in English - up from around half just two years ago.

Principal Kevin Blakey said: "I am really proud of the effort that our students and staff have put into this, and improving standards and behaviour right across the academy.

"It is fantastic to be recognised as a national leader in education, not just for us but for the difference it can make to the lives of children in Lowestoft. Getting reading right opens up every other subject."

The school marked the achievement with a special assembly, where the school and Ms King received their awards from Inspiration Trust chairman Sir Theodore Agnew and Lauren Shapiro from the Accelerated Reader programme.