Lenny the Lion celebrates reading the game

Shrewsbury Town in the Community have been recognised by Ofsted for their work in helping schools improve pupil’s writing skills through the Reading the Game programme, as revealed in a recent report of a local school.

Ofsted are the checking body for schools, conducting regular visits to oversee the standards of schools in reading, writing and maths, as well as the pupil’s wellbeing.

One of the many schools that we work with, Christ Church Primary School, were visited by Ofsted back in July.

And it was our ‘Reading The Game’ programme that caught the eye, which was seen to have improved the enthusiasm of boys in their writing.

Mrs Tracey Cansdale, a teacher at the school, was delighted to see the work done in schools by Shrewsbury Town recognised in the report.

Speaking of the day of the inspection, she said: “The inspector will speak to pupils, teachers and parents to gauge a picture of what the school is like.

“He talked to a group of students about what they enjoyed about school, and one of the things they mentioned and were really enthusiastic about was Reading The Game.

“Reading The Game was in January and it still had an impact. They talked about how it had helped them see the relationship between sport and other areas of the curriculum.

“They loved the P.E aspect of the sessions and the specialist coaching, that there’s no way staff in school can do because we don’t have those skills.

“But they also loved the way that it related to their reading and writing, because they could see the point of it.”

Mrs Cansdale has been pleased to have seen a rise in the enthusiasm of boys writing in the classroom from the sessions, which she feels is a concern in education in the UK.

“There’s a particular issue across the whole country, not just in Shropshire, or our school but across the country, with boys writing,” she said.

“Across the country, boys reading and writing is not at the same standard as girls. Girls are achieving more.

“So schools have to try and look for things which are going to excite everybody, but particularly appeal to boys.

What I loved about Reading The Game is that it did just that. They could see the point of reading when you’re looking at football programmes and you’re doing reading comprehensions from them.

They also loved the multimedia side, with the little clips and the humour, and just the attitude of the staff which was really enthusiastic.

It was really good for motivating our boys, but an offshoot I didn’t expect was how much it appealed to the girls.

Shrewsbury Town were really good at emphasising to the girls that football was for them too, showing really good examples of women’s football but also coaching them separately.

I think that was really good for our girls because it meant that they had opportunities to develop, and they weren’t held back by feeling compared to the boys or anything like that.”

The work that Shrewsbury Town continue to do with schools is something that Mrs Cansdale believes is vitally important, as it helps to highlight the importance of pupils improving their academic skills.

“I think it’s fantastic. The football club in a place like Shrewsbury is a big part of the town and a big part of a lot of families’ lives.

“To have Shrewsbury Town as part of their school life, it raises their status of sport and P.E but it also raises the status that Shrewsbury Town think reading and writing are important.

“It’s also been good to have so many good role models coming into our school.”

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