Twelve-year-old Lucy Turnbull of The Wey Valley School has raced into first place as the quickest student to read one million words on the school’s new accelerated reading programme. 

Introduced in October 2014 as the result of a £10,000 grant from the Foyle Foundation and the Aspect Trust, the scheme has resulted in students from Wey Valley and St Nicholas & St Laurence Primary School reading an impressive total of 1867 books and 39millionwords between them in just 12 weeks.

Lucy was congratulated by Eileen Glynn, learning resource manager at Wey Valley.

Eileen said: “It’s a real achievement for Lucy to reach the one million word milestone so soon, and we have a handful of other students who are nearly there too.

“However the programme is about so much more than just counting the number of words the students read. They’re enthusiastically checking their personal progress with on-line quizzes and are able to choose from a much wider selection of books, so they’re always able to find something that appeals.”

Under the new programme, The Wey Valley School has established a dedicated timetable to promote reading, encouraging students to visit the learning resource centre at break-time, lunch-time and during after-school homework club.

Champion reader Lucy Turnbull, who is in Year 8, said: “I love reading books and have already read 21 books at school and at home over the last 12 weeks since the school started this new scheme. My friends are so on board and everyone is enjoying it.”



Michelle Simpson, Wey Valley’s head of English said: “We are fast becoming “the reading school,” with the impact of this boost in our students’ reading becoming very evident not only in their English classes but in other literacy-based subjects as well.”

The response to the programme from students in Years 7 and 8 has been so overwhelmingly positive that the school now plans to roll it on into Year 9 for the next academic year.