LitKits: celebrating excellent progress in community literacy project

In November 2015, Huxlow Science College 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.

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

On Tuesday 9th February 2016, Huxlow welcomed Cllr Matthew Golby, Cabinet Member for Learning Skills and Education, to find out more about the "LitKits" project. We received the following letter, commending the project for its positive impact on literacy and confidence levels at Huxlow and the feeder primary schools involved:

Letter from Cllr Matthew Golby re. "LitKits"

On Thursday 11th February 2016, a celebration event was held at Huxlow for all the young people who have been involved in the LitKits project over the past six months. We were delighted to welcome our Patron of Reading, author Steve Bowkett, who worked with the Huxlow sixth-form mentors to host a story-telling workshop. Children attended the event from all four of the primary schools involved: Finedon Infant School, Finedon Mulso CofE Junior School, Irthlingborough Nursery and Infant School and Irthlingborough Junior School. 

"The best thing about the project is seeing the children get so excited about books. It has given me a lot more confidence as I had never been in a situation where I had to help children on a one to one basis"
A Massingham, Sixth Form student

The mentors and mentees have been reading, playing and learning together one-to-one . For the younger ones ir'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, Initiative and Communication) and gain some valuable experience volunteering in our community.

"At the start a lot of the children did struggle with the vocabulary but once they got to know us we have been able to help them develop. I volunteered for the scheme as I would like to work with young children in the future and I thought it would be very helpful." 
G Forton, Sixth Form student

News of the LitKits celebration event featured in a special 'Literacy' themed morning programme on BBC Radio Northampton and was covered by the local press:

Northants Herald & Post: "Huxlow Science College in Irthlingborough is leading its Race To The Top in literacy skills"