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Friday, 05 March 2021
HUNDREDS of students at Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge School have received a new book after the school launched an appeal.
The secondary in Reades Lane, Sonning Common, set up an Amazon wish list and asked people to purchase books for children who may not have access to them at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Since its launch in early January, a total of 350 students have received a book, which was delivered to their homes by staff.
Deputy headteacher Emma Bliss said: “We have been incredibly fortunate to receive a generous donation of £250 from the Chiltern Edge Community Association, whose mission is to support local education projects for school-aged children.
“We’ve also had wonderful donations from current parents, local residents, ex-colleagues and the friends and family of our staff.
“We are now in a position to provide a book to almost all of our students who are currently not able to come to school and access the library.
“We are acutely aware of the importance of regular reading in terms of building vocabulary, broadening cultural understanding and providing an opportunity, away from a screen, to take a break and unwind.
“We have been working hard to promote reading for pleasure through tutor reading schemes, a revamp of our on-site library, incorporating reading across the curriculum as well as staff sharing and discussing their favourite reads.”
Headteacher Andy Hartley added: “We didn’t want the momentum we had built up in the autumn term to falter so we tried to think outside the box a little bit.
“We have always been lucky to have great support from our community and once again they have come through fantastically.”
Staff have also launched an online book club classroom where students can leave book reviews and discuss books they’ve read.
There is also a podcast for parents, called Parent Bites, which focuses on the importance of reading and offers them some tips on how to engage children who are reluctant to read.
Once the school is allowed to re-open, students will be encouraged to swap books with each other and consider donating them back to the library.
To donate, visit
Meanwhile, some students have received treat boxes for their work.
Staff nominated two pupils from each tutor group for high quality work and being engaged in lessons.
The treat boxes from @thegrazetable included hot chocolate bombs, doughnuts and brownies.
Mr Hartley said: “We have been delighted by our hard-working students during the last few weeks.
“Our live lessons have gone down well with students and parents alike and as a result very few students have fallen behind, which should help us when they return.
“I am delighted that the rewards led to such a positive reaction from the winners.”
22 February 2021
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