What was it like in class when you had trouble reading?
I found it difficult. I would shy away from the work because I didn’t want to read and for people to laugh at me.
How did you deal with that?
I would misbehave in class or get sent out so I didn’t have to do the work.
What did you think when you were first told that you would be coming to the Literacy Centre?
I wasn’t happy. I didn’t want people to see me coming and for them to laugh at me.
After you started coming to lessons here, did that change?
Yeah, a bit. But I still didn’t want people to laugh at me so I would tell little white lies about where I was going.
How did you find the lessons – easy, challenging, difficult?
When I first started it was hard work to get used to it because I wasn’t used to the methods. But now it’s getting a little bit easier for me to pick up bigger words.
Did you ever find it really difficult or just challenging?
How have you found coming out of classes?
Pretty much OK because I’m always enough ahead in my work and I just go back and carry on with my work, because everyone’s at different stages. With my GCSE revision classes I just go to my reading lesson and catch up later.
“I get more involved with the classwork and sometimes I’ll put my hand up to ask to read something because I feel more confident.”
“I didn’t expect to do as well as I did. I was only expecting a D but I got a C.”
You are on your final level for reading now. How do you find reading in class now?
I find it a bit easier – but it’s still challenging sometimes. I get more involved with the classwork and sometimes I’ll put my hand up to ask to read something because I feel more confident.
Have you been applying the skills you have learned here to your classes?
I have, but I wouldn’t say that it’s all the time. If it’s really challenging, I will just give up and ask someone. But if I know I can do it I’ll just use the technique and get it right.
For English, what was your predicted grade?
I think it was an E.
You just had a mock exam last week. How did that go?
I didn’t expect to do as well as I did. I was only expecting a D but I got a C.
So how do you feel about going into your GCSEs?
I feel more scared now because I’ve got the C and I want to try and keep it and improve it. If I think I can do it again I’ll probably lose it, so I don’t want to go in too confident or too scared.
Studying between now and then?
Definitely. I have every confidence in you that you are going to do well.
How have you been doing in your other subjects?
They’re going well too. Great! Thank you.
We caught up with Emmanuel again after he had begun his first year of sixth form…
How did your GCSE results work out?
I got 5 subjects C or above including English and maths.
You got a Distinction in drama, didn’t you?
Has the work you did in the Literacy Centre helped?
Yes, it’s given me a lot more confidence in class, and improved my reading comprehension. I understood what they were asking in the exams better. I also knew more clearly what I wanted to say.
How did you feel about passing your exams?
I was surprised. I was looking at people around me who were smarter than me who had failed. It seemed like the reading lessons had helped me out, and the extra hours of hard work had paid off.
So what are you doing now in sixth form?
Well, I’m doing sports studies. I also help out with writing the football news articles for the sixth form newspaper. I play in the football team. And I help out with younger teams.
What advice would you give to someone who had been given a place in the Literacy Centre, but they didn’t want to go?
I would say that I said that once too. I acted arrogant, but I came to realise that in the end it only benefits me. So I would say to do it.
Plans for the future?
I’m looking at different universities. I plan to carry on with a degree in sports studies.
Congratulations on how well you’ve done after all your hard work. All the best!
“…it’s given me a lot more confidence in class, and improved my reading comprehension. I understood what they were asking in the exams better.”