The Magic of Reading

Staff and students at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester have been delighted by the support offered by BW3’s team of reading mentors who have been visiting the school each week. 

Saint Paul’s worked with the charity BW3 to pair young people with mentors from companies in the area, with them working together on a dedicated programme until the students become confident, able readers. 

BW3 reached out to its 260 member businesses in the area to find employees who would like to volunteer, teaming-up with the Shannon Trust for the project, which it says can have a “marked effect” on a young person’s prospects.  

Saint Paul’s literacy coordinator Jamie Sharrock said: We believe that reading is integral to pupils’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them; it is a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences, and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. 

Research shows that pupils’ literacy and reading skills have a major impact on their futures, and we recognise the importance of children engaging with reading and read regularly; when reading opportunities increase, so does fluency and stamina, which in turn often increases their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between pupils’ motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal. 

We feel incredibly fortunate to be working with BW3 and the reading mentors. All of the students taking part in this initiative thoroughly enjoy the sessions and many have made rapid progress in such a short period of time. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside businesses in our local community, and we would like to thank BW3 and all the reading mentors for the support they give to our readers at St Paul’s.” 

Adam Jupp, chair of BW3, said: “BW3 is committed to delivering programmes that tackle the most important issues in the Wythenshawe area. 

“There is clear evidence that improving literacy levels in young people goes a long way to boosting their career opportunities in the future and it has been inspirational to see the impact our team of mentors has had. 

“I would like to thank everyone involved in the launch of this successful mentoring programme for their hard work and dedication, and we look forward to working with Saint Paul’s again in the new school year.” 

“To highlight the importance of reading in our school community and encourage our students to read for pleasure, we tell our students to put aside all distractions and enjoy books,” said Mr Alex Hren, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “We are extremely grateful to BW3 and their team of reading mentors, the sessions have been very successful with some students complaining when their reading time was over – we certainly sparked their enthusiasm for reading and books.”