Puffin World of Stories brings the magic of books to primary schools in Middlesbrough

Puffin case study

Our Puffin World of Stories programme, delivered in partnership with leading children’s publisher Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is a pilot aiming to inspire children to read for pleasure. Trialled in Tyne and Wear, South London, Tendring in Essex and in our Hub in Middlesbrough, the programme gives primary schools the books, materials, training and resources they need to champion reading for pleasure throughout the whole school and breathe new life into their libraries and reading spaces as hubs of creativity and imagination.

Puffin World of Stories is just one way we work with the UK’s number one publisher, Penguin Random House. As their charity of the year, we have also received funding for a total of 12 programmes including Words for Work, Early Words Together and the Young Readers Programme. They will also be donating a huge 150,000 books to all National Literacy Trust Hubs.

Over the last school year we have worked closely with Puffin and schools in Middlesbrough taking part in the programme to evaluate the pilot’s impact and refine the project for the future.

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback the Middlesbrough primary schools participating in Puffin World of Stories. These include St Alphonsus Roman Catholic Primary School, Ayresome Primary School, Newport Primary School, Thorntree Primary School, Beech Grove Primary School, Newham Bridge Primary School, Berwick Hills Primary School, and Breckon Hill Primary School.

“We love the new books we have now got in our library! Before the books were all old and now we have lots of choice!”

Puffin World of Stories pupil Alexander, aged 10

When Alexander’s school agreed to take part in Puffin World of Stories, the way reading was taught was undergoing a huge overhaul due to declining reading results.

The English lead said:

"Teachers felt the children had lost interest in reading. We were very keen to do what we could to improve reading attitudes, which we hoped would also impact on pupils’ attainment. The school needed a stimulating, book-rich environment, but as we were limited in space the library was actually located in a corridor.”

After attending the first Puffin World of Stories training session, the teacher learned new ways to make the most of the little space and budget available.

“Thanks to some much-needed building work, we added a space called ‘the snug’, which includes a children’s book characters mural, comfy bean bags and a new seating area. We ordered new shelving to display our Puffin books facing outwards and decorated the library with the bunting and posters provided. The new titles were very well received and introduced the children to authors they had not come across before. In some classes teachers even had to create a waiting list for the books!”

During their most recent inspection from Ofsted the inspector commented on the ‘buzz about reading’ and noted that the pupils spoke enthusiastically about the books, the library and reading in general. This positive attitude was also reflected in the school’s Annual Literacy Survey results.

“Puffin World of Stories training has played a huge part in relaunching literacy teaching at our school,” added their English lead. “We are extremely grateful for the resources, guidance and I have especially loved working with the Love our Libraries programme manager, Victoria Dilly. A particular highlight came on World Book Day when we invited parents into our Reading Den to read with their children and promote parental engagement in their child’s literacy. All parents who came along took a book to share again at home!”

Almost 270 schools have now registered for the second year of Puffin World of Stories. If your school is interested in taking part in the programme, please email our Love our Libraries programme manager, Victoria Dilly.

Find out more about Puffin World of Stories.

Find out more about Middlesbrough Reads.