Schools give book-club thumbs-up

Actress Brenda Blethyn reading to Buster’s Book Club school Garlinge Primary School


A survey of schools taking part in reading-reward scheme Buster’s Book Club has revealed some impressive results.

A big majority of the 38 schools that took part in the survey reported significant increases in reading confidence, motivation and participation.

Schools also reported that the club’s competitive nature was very effective at inspiring children to read more for pleasure.

Inspire Schools’ survey found:

  • 73 per cent of participating schools had noticed an increase in children’s confidence in reading;
  • 76 per cent had seen a rise in children’s motivation to read for pleasure;
  • 86 per cent said they believed the competition element increased the number of children reading for the club.

Buster’s Book Club encourages children to read more at home on Wednesday evenings.

Participating schools’ classes compete internally for weekly trophies, and winners of monthly inter-school challenges are rewarded with tickets to leisure attractions or visits by celebrity storytellers.

Respondents to the survey made a number of glowing comments about the club’s impact at their schools.

One said: “There are a number of pupils across both key stages who have risen to the challenge of reading on a Wednesday who may not have read previously.

“Some of these devoured series of books across a term or two, having not finished or shown interest in texts for a long time.

“Some pupils even challenge the teachers to read, and are more widely discussing their texts around the school with adults and other pupils. Book recommendations have certainly soared.”

Another said: “Four years ago, our students could barely read and this year we have 60 students sitting their GCSE English and even one sitting A Level, which for a special needs academy is incredible.”

And a third reported: “Children in general are now coming to find me to tell they have read for Buster’s Bok Club.

“In the past there had been a bit of apathy around reading, and when we had an extreme reading completion only two children took part out of 220.

“Now, most classes are reading en masse, and three classes are nearly at 100 per cent on a weekly basis.”

Buster’s Book Club coordinator Kay Devine said: “It’s so gratifying to get such positive feedback from this survey.

“It feels like a real affirmation of the value of what we are doing, and I hope that schools that are considering joining Buster’s look at these results.

“It’s such a simple scheme to set up and administer, and its fun and competitive nature is so effective at motivating children – especially perhaps reluctant readers – to read more for pleasure.”

Buster’s Book Club is supported by the Ernest Cook Trust, Little Cheyne Court wind farm, the Kent Community Foundation, Golding Vision, Orbit, Medway and Kent councils, Specsavers, Leeds Castle, Diggerland, Hornby, Wildwood, Rotary, Acorns Read and Grow, the Crown Foundation, the Gibbons Trust, Westwood Cross, Sussex Newspapers, Summerfields Leisure, Brighton Sea Life Centre, 3D Recruit, Gatwick Airport, Drusillas and Source Park.

To find out more, visit or contact coordinator Kay Devine at or on 0844 264 0291.

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