Sudbury: Teacher on a mission to help every child to read

Leila Copping with some of her pupils

Leila Copping with some of her pupils - Credit: Archant

TEACHER Leila Copping is on a personal mission to improve the reading skills of children.

The reception class teacher at St Gregory’s Primary School in Sudbury believes good literacy, or a lack of it, can make or break a young person’s life. This conviction has been formed through experience of working with youngsters of all ages and has led to her championing an innovative approach to teaching reading in her current role.

Mrs Copping’s journey began more than a decade ago when she worked as a youth outreach worker in Stowmarket.

“I noticed that many of the young people who were making negative choices in their lives were doing so because they couldn’t read and write very well,” said the 39-year-old mother-of-two.

“Without good literacy they were shut out from school activities. This was leading to frustration, truancy and low self-esteem, and ultimately to them taking the wrong path in life.”

Mrs Copping says she became convinced she could make the biggest impact on people’s lives by catching them young. She now teaches four to five year-olds and has been put in charge of rolling out an innovative reading learning scheme called Read Write Inc. across the whole school.

The Read Write Inc. approach has so far only been adopted by a handful of schools in Suffolk. It emphasises the sounds of letters, praise for learners and on-going assessment, so children are always at the right teaching level. It is also a learning framework for the whole school, so reading groups can be organised by ability rather than age.

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“I may be idealistic but I will do everyting in my power to ensure that no child leaves this class unable to read,” added Mrs Copping.

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