Published: 10:10, 14 December 2020
| Updated: 10:12, 14 December 2020
The Kent Literacy Awards showcased the county’s top 23 school initiatives securing child wellbeing and future prospects.
Accolades were presented to schools for innovative and exciting methods of inspiring young people to read, write, speak and listen with confidence.
And none other than best-selling children’s author David Walliams made a guest appearance for a special Q&A answering literacy-based questions.
Now in its sixth year, the event – originally planned as a celebration at Hempstead House Hotel near Sittingbourne – was streamed online via the Facebook page of children’s wellbeing charity the KM Charity Team on Friday, December 11.
It is available to watch at any time and viewers are encouraged to share messages of support on social media using the hashtag #KentLiteracyAwards.
Presented by the charity’s CEO, Mike Ward, the virtual ceremony featured photographs of district-level winners with their certificates along with details of their success stories.
Of these 23 winning schools, just two received the additional title of overall best in the county.
Dunton Green Primary School in Sevenoaks was crowned Overall Primary School Champion for its Friday Books initiative. Each week, children devote a morning to consolidating their learning and independently studying topics of particular interest, while teachers spend one-to-one time with each child.
Dover Christ Church Academy was awarded Overall Secondary School Champion for its Reading Ambassadors scheme. The programme pairs students of low reading ages and reluctant readers with trained and enthusiastic Reading Ambassadors from a higher year.
Mr Ward said: “Reading is probably the most important thing that children can learn to help them achieve their very best both in and out of school. All of our winners should be proud of the creativity and effort they put into encouraging children to engage with literacy.”
The ceremony included an interview with writer, actor and comedian David Walliams. The star answered questions – ranging from his writing inspiration to his favourite book – posed by ten year-old Kushalta Ghimire representing Year 6 at Brompton-Westbrook Primary School in Gillingham.
“We couldn’t believe it when David sent us a congratulations video for our virtual Teacher of the Year Awards 2020 in October,” said Mr Ward. “And we are absolutely thrilled to be able to share another exclusive appearance with our schools and supporters.”
Created and run by the KM Charity Team, the Kent Literacy Awards are supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, The Education People, Golding Homes, Hempstead House Hotel, KM Facilities Management and Blessing by Blé.
Find out more about the KM Charity Team’s work with schools – including the Buster’s Book Club reading programme – at www.KMCharityTeam.co.uk
The charity’s initiatives include the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2021, which are open now to nominations from members of the public at www.KentTeacherOfTheYear.co.uk
Kent Literacy Awards 2020 winners
Overall Primary School: Dunton Green Primary School, Sevenoaks
Overall Secondary School: Dover Christ Church Academy
Ashford: Best Promotion of Reading for Pleasure – St Simon’s RC Primary School.
Dartford & Gravesham: Best Promotion of Reading for Pleasure – Meopham Community Academy, Gravesend; Best Primary School Library – St Anselm’s Catholic Primary School in Dartford; Best Secondary School Library – Gravesend Grammar School; Most Engaging Book Week Theme – Wilmington Academy, Dartford.
Dover: Best Promotion of Reading for Pleasure – Astor College; Schemes that Excited Reluctant Readers – Dover Christ Church Academy.
Maidstone: Best Promotion of Reading for Pleasure – Tiger Primary School; Best Home School Literacy Initiative – VSK Fostering; Best Primary School Library – North Borough Junior School; Best Secondary School Library – New Line Learning Academy; Most Engaging Book Week Theme – Archbishop Courtenay CE Primary School.
Tonbridge & Malling: Best Home School Literacy Initiative – Valley Invicta Primary School in Aylesford.
Sevenoaks: Best Independent Learning Initiative – Dunton Green Primary School.
Medway: Best Home School Literacy Initiative – St Peter’s Infant School, Rochester; Best Use of Cross-Curricular Writing – Bradfields Academy (Fortis Trust), Chatham; Best Initiative to Encourage Speaking and Listening Skills – Chatham Grammar; Best use of Drama to Promote Writing, Speaking and Listening Skills – King’s Rochester; Most Effective use of IT to Enhance Writing – The Rowans AP Academy, Chatham.
Swale: Schemes that Excited Reluctant Readers – Ethelbert Road Primary School, Faversham; Best Reward Scheme – St Edward’s Catholic Primary School in Sheerness.
Thanet: Best Initiative to Encourage Speaking and Listening Skills – Foreland Fields School, Ramsgate; Best Primary School Library – Callis Grange Nursery and Infant School, Broadstairs.