On average pupils in secondary schools only borrow one book each per term. So how can we encourage teenagers and particularly teenage boys to read more? Booktrust has been trying to remedy the situation with the launch of the Booktrust Teenage Prize which “recognizes and celebrates the best contemporary fiction for teenagers”. There are five teenage judges who won their place on the judging panel by entering a short story competition entitled Time Travel.
Libby Purves is joined by Matthew Sawyer from Cambridge who is one of the teenage judges, and also by Viv Bird, the director of Booktrust.
School libraries are under-funded and under-used. Amazingly, there is no statutory duty for a school to have a library. A study for Booktrust, the independent charity dedicated to promoting books and reading to people of all ages has revealed that 92 percent of secondary schools are spending far below the recommended figure per head on books for their libraries. So just what is being done to change this and improve the situation?
Joining Libby Purves to discuss the issues are Viv Bird from Booktrust and Beverly Jervis a school library service coordinator from Hillingdon.
UNDERGRADUATE AMBASSADORS SCHEME
The Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme provides university departments with a framework for a classroom-based degree module, in which science graduates work alongside classroom teachers. As part of the UK initiative, a new module has been launched at the University of St. Andrews, and it is the largest model operating in Scotland. The scheme gives students experience of communicating with school pupils and providing useful assistance to schools by sharing their current knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for their science, technology or mathematical subject.
Joining Libby from Scotland to talk about the scheme is Dr. Alyson Tobin a Reader in Plant Science at the School of Biology at St Andrew’s University and co-ordinator of the module, ‘communicating and teaching in Science’.
EASTSIDE YOUNG LEADERS' ACADEMY
Eastside Young Leaders' Academy is an educational project based in Newham in East London, and was established five years ago to work with disruptive African Caribbean males, at risk of exclusion. Its aim is to produce a new generation of black leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and businessmen, by taking referrals from Head-teachers of bright, creative boys with leadership potential who are nevertheless heading down the wrong path. Based on a strict regime with clear boundaries the boys are taught leadership skills, and given opportunities to raise their aspirations and academic attainment. Two of the boys have just started at Rugby school on full bursaries, with more lined up for next year.
Libby Purves is joined by Ray Lewis, the academy’s founder and a former prison Governor, to discuss what gave him the idea for the programme and how it works.
Reporter, Sara Parker, went along to the academy to meet some of the boys to get their views on the academy.