Read with SEED Helping children learn to read in Manchester's most deprived areas

Read with SEED is one of our most important projects. Professional Services staff from across the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) at the University of Manchester go out to local schools to help pupils learn to read. This is an extremely rewarding activity for our team, but also a valuable chance for children from some of the most deprived areas in Manchester to engage with additional adults, gain confidence and practice vital reading skills such as comprehension and decoding.

“It made my reading age go up. I read a lot of books, I finished the big books quick” - Pir Talal
One of our team reading with a child at a local school

The Read with SEED team goes to schools that face numerous challenges, meaning that their pupils can sometimes struggle to achieve the best that they can. Typically, our team work with schools that have very large numbers of pupils (over 600 in some cases), a large proportion of students in reciept of the pupil premium, and many for whom English is not their first language.

Teachers have reported that the scheme (which normally runs for 8 weeks per school) has significantly improved the children's reading abilities (in some cases progressing the average reading age of the children by more than 6 months over 8 weeks), as well as giving them the opportunity for one-to-one interaction, which can be extremely difficult to achieve in very large schools. They also report that the children very much enjoy the chance to read with an adult, that they are always keen to go out to read and come back into class settled and calm.

Stickers always help to encourage readers, and reward them for their progress!

As well as listening to the children read, our team provide schools with books and equipment, allowing them to continue to support the children with their learning long after they leave. This can be of great benefit to children in large schools where budgets are often tight, and extra equipment can make a big difference!

The Read with SEED team deliver books and equipment to one of our schools
“ It was good because they helped me understand how to do comprehension and read and they shared their thoughts about the books … I had fun reading”. - Emmanuel

As if that wasn't enough, the team even demonstrate their commmitment to sustainability, by travelling to schools using our fleet of electric vehicles, helping to minimise their environmental impact, whilst providing this valuable service to the children in our local communities who need it the most.

Our team is sustainable too - they travel to schools using our fleet of electic vehicles!
“ Can we have them back please? They are helpful, do you know the reading level now? I just need two more to pass the reading test” – Ann

We hope that one day we might even see some of these children come to study at Manchester University!

Created By
Jonny Huck


The Read with SEED Team