Year 10 students at one Portland school have ‘buddied up’ with primary school pupils to help boost their reading skills.

The initiative at Atlantic Academy, which is an all-through school, is run by the Chesil Reading Partnership in conjunction with Bournemouth University.

The Year 10 students will be given online training by academics to become ambassadors of the university’s Books & Stories programme.

Explaining the aim of the scheme, Chris Wadley, Deputy Head of English at Atlantic, said: "Our Year 10 students will be trained to target fluency, comprehension and vocabulary and will be paired up with key stage 2 primary students in an attempt to close the reading gap.’’

As an all-through school, the scheme will be easy to implement as the Year 10 students will simply walk across the site for a reading session.

It is also hoped the buddy scheme will prove to be aspirational for all the students involved.

Said Mr Wadley: "The younger children will be mentored by their older peers and be able to enjoy their reading skills. It also encourages the older students to develop leadership and oracy skills. Everyone benefits in a symbiotic way.’’

The ten-week programme will see all the students involved attend a graduation celebration at Bournemouth University upon completion of the scheme.

Year 10 student Felix Barkham said, “It is an excellent opportunity to not only expand my own skills but also those of others around me.”

Places are currently available for Year 7 & Reception, September 2022 start at Atlantic Academy Portland. To find out more, please email: or visit the school’s website: