“LitKits” are launched: Huxlow students raising literacy standards in our community

Huxlow Science College have recently launched their new community initiative, “LitKits”, funded through a grant from the Northamptonshire County Council “Race to the Top” strategy. We successfully bid for funds aimed at “boosting performance in schools and improving outcomes for young people, making Northamptonshire one of the highest performing counties for education by 2020”. Mrs K Isaksen, Deputy Headteacher and Miss V Sampson, Teacher of English and Literacy Co-ordinator, came up with the original “LitKits” concept and put forward the proposal.

Sixth Form students from Huxlow will read, play and learn one-to-one with children from Irthlingborough Nursery & Infant School, Irthlingborough Junior School and Finedon Mulso CEVA Junior School over the next six months, using our brand new “LitKits” resources. For the younger ones, it’s all about raising literacy standards, reading for pleasure and enjoying it. For the older ones, the key purpose is to develop their LORIC skills (Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Independence and Communication) and gain some valuable experience volunteering in our community. “This is great for developing my communication skills and good to add to my personal statement for UCAS, plus I’m really enjoying it” said India, a Year 12 student at Huxlow. “I want to go into primary teaching so this is a great opportunity for me to get some valuable experience” said Ashleigh, another Year 12 student.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to develop links with our feeder primary schools and foster a love of literacy throughout our local community” said Miss Sampson. The new “LitKits” resources are numerous kit-bags each containing: a fiction book, a non-fiction book, a toy or game, and some puzzles or quizzes on a particular theme. “It was really exciting opening the bag to find out what was inside and I liked the new books because they were very interesting” said one of the Year 2 students who took part.

The sixth-form students will help the younger ones to complete a questionnaire during their first and last sessions together, in order to measure the impact of the project. Mrs L Wright, Year 2 Team Leader and Literacy Co-ordinator at Irthlingborough Nursery & Infant School, said “This is a great opportunity for our children to do extra reading for pleasure with these exciting resources. They look up to the older students and for the boys in particular, it’s great to have good male role-models who enjoy and excel at literacy.” One of the Year 2 students affirmed “I loved it because we got to do extra reading and next week I’m looking forward to reading with Billy again. It’s brilliant!”