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A Ground-breaking Programme to Encourage Reading

The Hudson Expanded Adventure Reading Tournament (H.E.A.R.T.) is a groundbreaking programme for the extension and improvement of reading as an activity in and beyond the school. The programme is geared to encourage improvement in the amount of material read. It blends a detailed concern for individual child progress with a continuous emphasis on group activity. It enables an ongoing child participation without imposing an other-determined regime of reading material. It cultivates success at reading which then self-motivates the child to expand his or her reach into the world of literature.

This opens the door to further development of reading as a quality activity in Key Stage Four when most children are becoming focussed on career requirements, examinations and specialist interests. A child on the H.E.A.R.T. Programme should move forward winning with reading generally and possessed of a wide range of literary and cultural fundamentals with which to assess the surrounding world.

How does H.E.A.R.T. accomplish all these things?

In the first weeks of the year, extensive surveys and interviews are undertaken to develop each child’s individual reading situation and plan, including:

-the establishment of reading schedules at school and at home

-the devising of a graduated tailor-made programme including the child’s own choices of reading material

-aligning purposes for volume reading in a range of subjects, fiction and non-fiction

-the development of audio-visual aids to raise interest such as key literature-based films and/or programmes

-the setting up of reading partnerships with readers of comparable magnitude and outlining responsibilities regarding reading progress

-drawing up remedial programmes if required

The lack of a regular reading schedule is, from experience, the major point of failure in any attempt to boost reading. Reading time will be built into the school timetable this year, but time at home for reading is an essential part of the programme’s success.

Increasing the volume of reading for your child is a worthwhile goal. And the programme doesn’t stop there. The end product is ‘a happy and competent reader of English Literature’. If the steps of the programme are done correctly, that’s exactly what results!

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