Just Imagine’s Reading Gladiators (TM) is a school-based programme designed to provide a challenging reading experience that motivates children to read for pleasure. Gladiators are encouraged to read widely and to make adventurous reading choices. They collaborate with team mates and undertake individual challenges.
Participating schools are clustered in informal regions and come together at the end of the year to take part in a fearsome challenge day, pitting their wits against opposing teams in a contest of knowledge, performance and creativity.
Reading Gladiators provides a value for money reading programme by ensuring school book selections are renewed on an annual basis. We have feedback from schools that it has increased both teacher and pupil knowledge about books and authors beyond the obvious and popular choices.
Flexibility is a key feature of the two programmes that are running from September 2016. Some schools prefer to integrate Reading Gladiators into guided reading sessions, others prefer to run the programme as an after-school or lunchtime club. The groups are often run by class teachers but we also have examples of headteachers, teaching assistants and parents running the groups. What is important is that the leader is passionate about reading and that they can lead discussion rather than asking a set of pre-determined questions. We provide guidance on some effective ways of doing this. We can also provide guidance as to what has worked well for the schools taking part this year.