STUDENTS started a new project to read to primary school youngsters in a bid to encourage them to read for pleasure as they grow up.

Harwich and Dovercourt High School children spent time reading to 20 pupils from All Saints Primary in the town.

The event was part of the high school’s pledge to be a “reading school”, which has already seen students given a target of 20 minutes reading per day.

Assistant headteacher Ray Gallagher said: “This is another step in Harwich and Dovercourt’s commitment to being a reading school and this event showcased everything that is powerful and special about reading: Enjoyment, building relationships, learning, excitement, sharing, pride and a feeling of achievement.

“Throughout the year each of the local Harwich primaries will be given an opportunity to visit HDHS and get a glimpse of the significance and value of reading in a secondary school setting.

“Many primary school children unfortunately become more reluctant to read for pleasure as they transition from primary school to secondary school and this HDHS initiative aims to show that the reading journey continues at secondary school.

“It was a pleasure to meet the Year 6 students and see the older and younger students share their love of reading.”

The students who took part in the first reading day are part of the school’s Windsor SMILE project, which sees youngsters give back to the local community in an effort to make Harwich residents smile.

Over the past two years, the HDHS Windsor SMILE team has regenerated flower beds along the promenade, planted flowers in Cliff Park along with staff from Tendring Council resulting in a Green Flag being awarded to the park, and also paid monthly visits to Lime Court to take part in activities with the elderly residents.

Paul Day, head of Windsor Community at the school, said: “We have fantastic young people at our school and in our community and I am extremely proud of their drive to present the best versions of themselves.”