How do you get little boys interested in the magic of reading? Set them off on a superhero adventure...
National statistics in literacy show boys in primary schools have lower achievement than girls.
But staff at five Sheffield schools developed their own reading initiative that took boys out of the classroom - and into Crystal Peaks shopping mall.
The shopping centre was the setting for a special Superhero Treasure Hunt, created to encourage boys to have fun practising their reading, speaking and listening through a problem- solving approach.
Taking part were pupils from Waterthorpe nursery and infant school, Emmanuel junior school, Halfway nursery and infants, Halfway juniors and Shortbrook Primary.
After seeking out clues at shops across Crystal Peaks, the boys found their way to Crystal Peaks Library where there was a reading session with library staff - and with male volunteers who had accompanied them on their adventure.
“We have been looking at creative ways to engage and enthuse boys in school and in literacy activities and this was a marvellous opportunity,” said Helen Stokes, headteacher of Waterthorpe School.
“At Waterthorpe our boys’ book club on a Friday is run entirely by male volunteers.
“The boys absolutely love sitting and reading stories with these men who they clearly look up to.
“This helps to give the boys a love of books, a positive male role model and raises their aspirations for wanting to be good readers.”
Crystal Peaks centre manager Lee Greenwood said: “We already have close links with the primary schools around Crystal Peaks and were very pleased to be able to help.”