Designed and delivered by Booktrust Cymru and funded with £200,000 from the Welsh Government, Pori Drwy Stori provides bilingual books and resources for reception-aged children (4 to 5-years-old) in maintained schools to use in both the classroom and at home.
The initiative, which builds on Booktrust Cymru’s popular Bookstart programme, aims to raise standards in literacy by involving parents in their child’s learning and promoting parent-school partnerships.
There are three elements to the programme. The first set of resources is “The Rhyme Challenge” which encourages children to learn rhymes at school and sing rhymes at home with their parents. When the rhymes are learnt, children are rewarded with certificates.
The second stage of the programme is “Booktime bookbags” where each child receives a bag containing two storybooks which they can share with their families at home.
The two stories are The Tale of a Naughty Little Rabbit based on the original story by Beatrix Potter, in English, and a Welsh adaptation by Mererid Hopwood of a book by Petr Horacek, A New House for Mouse or Ty Bach Twt i Miss Trwyn Smwt.
“My Book” is the final part of the programme where children can develop and make their own book to keep.
Each element is supported by resources and guidance notes for teachers.
Speaking at the launch today, the Education Minister said:
"Nothing is more important than ensuring all of our young people reach the reading level that is suitable for their age.
"Our five-year National Literacy Programme for Wales sets out the actions that will be taken by the Welsh Government and our partners to achieve a step-change in standards of literacy over the next five years. If we’re to develop these literacy skills from an early age, then it’s vital that we give children in the Foundation Phase the chance to enjoy books and develop their overall reading ability
"Pori Drwy Stori will support learners in gaining confidence with words, reading and writing in a fun and enjoyable way, and will prove a valuable resource for teachers when planning literacy throughout the Foundation Phase.
"I would actively encourage all parents to make full use of the new books and resources in supporting their child to read at home".
Julie Maldoom from Booktrust Cymru said:
"In the twelfth successful year of Bookstart Dechrau Da in Wales, Booktrust Cymru is delighted to be working with the Welsh Government to bring these wonderful literacy resources to Reception children and their families.
"We know that parents are eager to continue supporting their children once they start school and research shows how critically important the home learning environment is to children’s ongoing development. In designing Pori Drwy Stori, we have worked with teachers and other experts to develop a bilingual set of resources which will allow parents to support their children’s literacy by having fun together with rhymes, stories and book-making."