West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council logo
Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

New online Reading Project

Special online reading project to address lockdown learning deficits

2020 Stock Image Child learning on computer

Issued on: 15 Oct 2020


West Berkshire Council is providing a special online reading project to address learning deficits caused by the lockdown.

In total, 21 schools have signed up to the £53,000 project which the Council will fund for the next 15 months. The package to accelerate reading progress includes remote access to an online library of 1,000 books.

Councillor Dominic Boeck, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Education said:

"All of our schools have made a successful return following lockdown. I'd like to thank parents for getting children back to school and I'm pleased to see that attendance levels are high, at around 95%. All schools are now teaching using their 'recovery' curriculum which aims to address any gaps in children's learning that may have built up during the absence of specific skills teaching.

"The main deficits we're seeing are in reading and writing. This new project builds on the success of the remote learning plans that worked well for families during lockdown. I'm confident that it will help to provide the necessary boost to bring children back up to speed with this essential learning."

Caroline Johnson, Headteacher, Bradfield C.E. Primary School said:

"We believe that this programme will help to drive our children's love for reading and their ability to decode and decipher increasingly sophisticated texts. Following the long period of lockdown it will serve to revitalise our reading culture across the school and particularly for those disadvantaged pupils who have fallen even further behind."

Mrs K. Ayres, Headteacher, Downsway Primary School said:

"We are very much looking forward to being part of this project. It will give us an additional resource to develop our children's confidence so that they can become independent readers, with a love of reading."   

John Micklewhite, Headteacher, Birch Copse Primary School said:

"In our cohort of 60 children there are some who have additional needs that have been heightened by the disruption caused by Coronavirus. This project will help all our children catch up in a fundamental skill and foster a love of reading."