Sheffield school uses superheroes to develop its literacy curriculum

Connie Webb, aged four, and Darcey Freeman, six. Picture: Chris Etchells
Connie Webb, aged four, and Darcey Freeman, six. Picture: Chris Etchells

Superheroes will adorn the classrooms and corridors around a Sheffield school to help children develop their reading skills.

Staff and pupils at Ballifield Primary School, in Handsworth, dressed up as superheroes to mark the launch of the new literacy curriculum.

Superhero launch day at Ballifield Primary School in Sheffield

Superhero launch day at Ballifield Primary School in Sheffield

The eight superhero reading characters will be used to help youngsters develop their reading skills while at the school.

Rocket Retriever will help children quickly find facts and key details in information and text, while the Dark Decoder is linked with phonics and will help the school's youngest children understand what words mean.

Headteacher Amanda Smith said the characters have been developed an English consultant and have been used at other schools around the country.

She said: "It is about trying to hook children into reading because they make a link with a superhero.

Talisha Rider, aged nine

Talisha Rider, aged nine

"There will be fantastic posters and other visuals up around the school and in classrooms which will really hook children in.

"One of the characters, the Dark Decoder, is linked with phonics and we are introducing these to the youngest children.

"As the children go through school more characters will be introduced which are linked to their learning."

Every child was encouraged to dress up as their favourite superhero or one they had created as part of the launch day.

Superhero day at Ballifield Primary School, in Sheffield

Superhero day at Ballifield Primary School, in Sheffield

They took part in activities around exploring superheroes which included designing emblems, masks and costumes.

Mrs Smith added: "The launch day was to introduce the characters to the school but we also wanted to celebrate each child's unique attributes and skills.

"The children have been finding out about how the characters will help them develop their understanding of reading and their love for reading.

"It's about exploring their reading interests, exploring their favourite authors and looking at reading corners so we can buy books for the school which are best suited for the children."