ASPIRATION CHALLENGE ENGAGEMENT COLLABORATION
Just Imagine’s Reading Gladiators™ challenges are annual school-based reading programmes designed to challenge and motivate the highest-attaining readers in the year 2, year 4 and year 6.
Reading Gladiators is a flexible programme and schools organise it in different ways, while sticking to the principles which underpin it as these short case studies show:
Holcombe Primary School, Bury
Felsted Primary School, Essex
Albert Pye School, Suffolk
Requirements of the reading framework are now much more rigorous, requiring deeper engagement and response to texts. Reading Gladiators™ can help prepare pupils for these demands in an engaging way, within the context of reading for pleasure. Immersing children in quality, demanding and varied books, and participation in high level discussion helps develop deeper reading skills, builds reading stamina and helps to nurture adventurous readers.
Reading Gladiators targets higher attaining readers (top 25%) because these readers are often under-challenged by self-selection of texts. Furthermore, it creates reading advocates within a school who go on to inspire other children to become more aspirational readers via a trickle-down effect. This peer influence and the impact on a culture of reading has been observed within many of our Reading Gladiators™ schools.
Each of our Reading Gladiators™ programmes presents children with challenging texts at a crucial stage; when children are becoming fluent and independent readers (year 2 programme), as they develop their reading identity (year 4 programme), and as they move up to new challenges (year 6 programme).
Gladiators read 8 books across the year. Each book has been carefully selected to extend the reading repertories of the children, with a range of genres represented. The curated collection is designed to move the readers from familiar reading material to more thoughtful, reflective reading. Gladiators encounter books by established and recently published authors.
The guide provides everything you need to know about Reading Gladiators™, providing the support that group leaders need to make the programme a success. It includes ideas on running the group, creating a positive reading atmosphere and structuring the sessions. There are introductions to each author and text, discussion points, plus suggested activities for before, during and after reading each book.
The Reading Gladiators™ website which is the main communication channel. This interactive website, is a vibrant online space where groups showcase their work and share ideas. The website houses additional password protected content for group leaders including resources and competitions.
Our easy-access webinars are an opportunity to participate in free CPD related to the Reading Gladiator books or themes. They take place at convenient times for teachers and are recorded and uploaded to the website so they can be accessed as needed. Although optional (Reading Gladiators works well independently of the webinars) they are a valued added aspect of the programme.
Children respond to the competitive aspect of this reading programme. The model is a sporting one in which teams collaborate to enter mini-challenges and take part in a final challenge at the end of the year. The challenges are designed to deepen responses and the prizes are book or reading related. Recent prizes have included sets of books, signed copies, artwork and even the chance to have afternoon tea with a featured author.
For the final challenge teams work together and go head to head against other teams in a good natured virtual gladiatorial contest in a bid to win a Reading Gladiators trophy. All participating children receive certificates of achievement.
In regions where there are a sufficient number of schools/pupils participating, there is the additional possibility of a face to face challenge. These challenges are hosted by a participating school. Where approved (subject to participating numbers) Just Imagine provides a format for the event, certificates and a winner’s trophy. Schools are responsible for their own travel arrangements and lunch arrangements.
Three Reading Gladiator Programmes are running September 2017 – June 2018.
Year 2 (Deeper Reading)
Year 4 (Adventurous Reading)
Year 6 (Moving Up, Moving On)
For each of the Reading Gladiators ™ programmes you will receive,
8 books for every pupil taking part in the challenge
A free teacher copy for every 8 children booked onto the programme. Additional copies can be purchased.
2 free copies of our teacher guide packed with ideas for discussion and activities
E-newsletters with updates, competition and quiz news
Monthly mini-challenges with the chance to win prizes
Access to password-protected website content
Access to free webinars
Cost per pupil (1-8 pupils)
£75 (ex VAT)
Cost per additional pupil (9+ pupils)
per each year group programme
£65 (ex VAT)
For further information, or to book
Telephone 01621 855862
Reading Gladiators Team
Nikki Gamble – programme director
Caroline Bradley – programme manager
Vicky Edge-Baron – programme marketing, recruitment and monitoring manager
Sam Keeley – programme consultant