A BOOKWORM pupil from Weymouth has raced to the top in a race to read one million words.

Wey Valley pupil Lucy Turnbull, 12, has become a ‘millionaire reader’ after reading more than one million words in just 12 weeks thanks to the school’s new accelerated reading programme.

The programme was introduced in October 2014 as a result of a £10,000 grant from the Foyle Foundation and the Aspect Trust.

Champion reader Lucy, who is in Year 8, said: “I love reading books and have already read 21 books at school and at home over the last 12 weeks since the school started this new scheme.”

Students from Wey Valley and St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary school have read a total of 1,867 books and 39 million words between them since the programme began.

Lucy was congratulated by Eileen Glynn, learning resource manager at Wey Valley.

Eileen said: “It’s a real achievement for Lucy to reach the one million word milestone so soon, and we have a handful of other students who are nearly there too.

“However the programme is about more than just counting the number of words the students read.

“They’re also checking their personal progress with online quizzes and are able to choose from a much wider selection of books, so they’re always able to find something that appeals.”

Under the new programme, Wey Valley has established a dedicated timetable to promote reading, encouraging students to visit the learning resource centre at break-time, lunch-time and during after-school homework club.

Michelle Simpson, Wey Valley’s head of English said: “We are fast becoming “the reading school,” with the impact of this boost in our students’ reading becoming very evident not only in their English classes but in other literacy-based subjects as well.”

The response to the programme from students in Years 7 and 8 has been so positive that the school now plans to roll it on into Year 9 for the next academic year.