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Press Release

07 October 2019

Children make smart investments in their learning

A Leeds primary school and an investment management and stockbroking firm are celebrating a 20-year partnership.

Since 1999, members of staff from the Leeds office of investment management and stockbroking firm Redmayne Bentley have been visiting children at Castleton Primary School in Armley to listen to them read as part of the Right to Read programme.

The partnership began when a former investment manager at the firm, who was also a governor at the school, helped set up the programme. Headteacher Alistair Darnell explained: “For a variety of reasons, children may not have the opportunity to read outside of lessons. Over the years we have had people from Redmayne Bentley visit us and encourage children from different year groups to sit and read with them.

 “It’s a hugely rewarding experience for them and develops their confidence as well as literacy skills.”

Redmayne Bentley Chairman Keith Loudon OBE, who has been involved with the programme from the outset, said: “If you cannot read you will miss so much in this day and age. Most people learn to read at school and the expectation is that they will become more fluent with practice. In many homes the routine is that children have a bedtime story. Gradually, children relate words to pictures and so move forward to reading by themselves – which is great.

“Sadly, some families, for a number of reasons, don’t have family reading. This can put their children at a disadvantage on the road to knowledge.

“It is most important to be aware this programme is not taking the place of normal school learning; it’s an addition.”

As part of the firm’s long-established student placement scheme, in which the firm works with the likes of Leeds University and Leeds Beckett University, students are required to take part in this exercise. Almost universally, they enjoy this aspect of the placement.”

Currently Compliance Officer Rikki Atkinson coordinates the programme, with placement students Vaidas Audickas, Michael Newsholme and Roberto Farrington visiting the school every week.

Rikki said: “It’s very rewarding seeing the children improve their reading skills. I’ve been going to the school to listen to them read for four years and it’s nice to have seen them grow in confidence during that time through developing the ability to read to other people.”

Compliance Officer Rachel Scarf said she also enjoyed participating in the Right to Read scheme. She said: “Seeing the children benefit from the time you give is really rewarding. You know that you are helping them to develop their reading skills, along with experiencing the enjoyment of books.”

Ends

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Children make smart investments in their learning
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