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Downham Market pupils help publisher's book mission

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Badger Learning is a local educational book supplier and publisher, based in Lynn, with a mission to help schools fill their bookshelves with only the very best books.

So who better to help the Badger Learning book experts put together four new collections of books for Key Stage 2 pupils than the children themselves!

Hillcrest Primary at Downham, is a school with a deep-rooted love of books and reading.

Hillcrest pupils with Mrs White (assistant head and (back row, second from the right: Miss Fox (member of the production team at Badger Learning).
Hillcrest pupils with Mrs White (assistant head and (back row, second from the right: Miss Fox (member of the production team at Badger Learning).

Head teacher, Matthew Try, said: “We believe that reading is the key to learning! The gift of reading allows all knowledge to be sought and opens the mind up to a world of infinite possibilities, where anything is possible, and learning is limitless."

Book specialists from Badger Learning visited Hillcrest to distribute nearly £2,000 worth of books between their twelve Key Stage 2 classes. There was an instant buzz and excitement from the children at the prospect of getting their hands on these books and the company was not let down by the quality of feedback received when it visited again four weeks later.

Children from across year’s 3 to 6 said: “The books were all amazing! The best book I read was about robots — it was exciting and taught me things about robots I didn’t even know!”

“I loved the non-fiction books best. The Colours of History was so interesting. The pictures made me want to know more and I went home to do some research on where the colour brown came from! You won’t believe it!”

“There was this really funny book about superpowers, and it made me laugh, like out loud. I gave it four and a half stars out of five - because I never give five!”

“My favourite book was about football. It was a story, but it taught you things about football as well. My favourite parts were the ‘pull your team aside’ pages. It told you to turn to another page so you could find out how to take a penalty or something like that.”

As well as reading and reviewing the books, the children in each year group were tasked with coming up with a final list of their absolute favourite reads, giving Badger Learning direct access to what young readers say about books and an invaluable insight into which books children truly enjoy and want to read.

Lisa Fysh taught at Hillcrest for 14 years and now works for Badger Learning, bringing her passion for education and reading to her new job in publishing.

She said: “It is this delicious tipping point between reading for necessity and finding that emotional engagement that transports the reader into a life-long love of reading that we want to tap into. We are sure children of all ages in KS2 will love dipping into these collections which guarantee laugh-out-loud moments, adrenaline fuelled storylines, thought provoking perspectives and relatable characters.”

The books were a hit with staff too. One Year 4 teacher said, “The books sparked so much discussion. The breadth of high-quality texts on offer meant there was something of interest for everyone. It was very difficult for them to choose their final list!”

As well as donating all the books used in this project, Badger Learning is looking forward to visiting Hillcrest again towards the end of term, to award a prize to one pupil from each year group, who completed the most, high-quality book reviews.

The new catalogue is being published September: or visit https://www.badgerlearning.co.uk/

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