Commission on Boy’s Reading

anthony horowitz

When researching the schools we’re working with, our Area Directors will read the Ofsted report as these give a useful overview of the specific challenges each school is working towards addressing.Time and again these reports comment that boys are attaining lower levels in reading and writing. We were delighted to learn that one of our favourite charities, the National Literacy Trust, has been working with the House of Commons’ All-Party Parliamentary Literacy Group to set up a Commission on boys’ reading.

The commission is evaluating a wealth of research showing that more boys struggle with reading than girls, and that boys have poorer attitudes towards reading and spend less time reading outside of school. As a result, boys with poor reading skills will struggle to succeed at school and this will impact on their life chances. The aim of the Commission is to make realistic recommendations that will to help improve boys’ reading in the UK.

Expert witnesses taking part in the evidence session included former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, children’s author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz, as well as teachers, academics, family charities and Ofsted. The final report of the commission will recommend key policies for schools, libraries and local areas and suggest approaches that should be supported and expanded across the country.


How To Support The National Literacy Trust Campaign: Give The Gift of Reading

 National Literacy Trust

The National Literacy Trust’s latest report reveals that the number of children who do not own a book is increasing. Seven years ago 1 child in 10 did not have a book of their own while today the figure stands at a startling 1 child in 3. That’s a staggering 3.8 million children! In response to the findings, the NLT has launched its Christmas Gift of Reading fundraising appeal.

The decline in children’s book ownership is of particular concern as the report shows that the number of books in the home is directly linked to children’s reading levels. Of those who have books of their own, more than half are above average readers while a third read at the expected level. The research also found that children and young people who read a book a week or more are more likely to enjoy reading and to do better at school.

In light of these findings the NLT is asking the public to give the Gift of Reading this Christmas by making a donation which could give a disadvantaged child a book of their own for the first time.You can buy the ‘gift’ for yourself or give the unique present to the booklover in your life. Those giving the Gift of Reading will be able to choose an exclusive Christmas card designed by a children’s author.

Find out more about the appeal and give the Gift of Reading.

Help YogaBugs Support The National Literacy Trust: Dragonese Day

Here at YogaBugs Mission Control, we’re big supporters of the National Literacy Trust and its work to transform the lives of those who struggle with literacy. As we’re no strangers to the Dragons Den ourselves, we were delighted to learn that Cressida Cowell, author of How to Train Your Dragon, recently launched a Dragonese Day for primary schools on the 6 October.

Dragonese Day is the perfect opportunity for primary school children to find out about the lives of Vikings, learn to speak Dragonese and read the hilarious How to Train Your Dragon books. Cressida Cowell has produced a comprehensive pack for schools which contains lots of ideas to celebrate Dragonese Day whilst raising funds for the National Literacy Trust. The pack can be found at

The downloadable teacher’s pack has a range of activities suitable for cross-curricular teaching in History, Geography, Drama, Art and Literacy for children between the ages of 5 and 11. There are also supplementary materials, including interactive videos, worksheets and a guide to speaking Dragonese.

Primary schools also have the opportunity to win a school event with Cressida Cowell. As part of the event, Cressida will teach everyone how to speak Dragonese, answer questions and give out signed copies of How to Train Your Dragon. Ten runners-up will receive a full set of How to Train YourDragon books for their school library. To win a school event, all you have to do to enter is to send in photos and say how you celebrated Dragonese Day in your school! The best photos will be displayed on The closing date is 31 December 2011. (Dragonese Day does not have to be on 6 October).

Have you seen our recent blog post setting out details for our Art Competition? For kids in the Yoga’d Up category, we’d like you to take inspiration from the theme of dragons, drawing on the “How To Train Your Dragon” series of books by Cressida Cowell. For details, see

Enter Our Art Competition!

To launch our new website and programme of classes, we’re asking all YogaBugs to send in an A4 sized picture or collage of a favourite YogaBugs adventure. The winning entrant in each age range – MiniBugs (walking age to 2 years) MegaBugs (2 to 3.5 years), MightyBugs (3.5 to 5 years and 5 to 7 years) and Yoga’d Up (8 to 12 years) will win a selection of books. Winning pictures or collages will feature on our website.

For kids in the Yoga’d Up category, we’d like you to take inspiration from the theme of dragons, drawing on the “How To Train Your Dragon” series of books by Cressida Cowell. Cressida Cowell recently launched Dragonese Day (6 October) to raise awareness and funds on behalf of the National Literacy Trust. As we’re going to be back in the Dragons Den next month, we thought this would be rather apt! For more information about Dragonese Day, see:

The competition is also open to classes in nurseries, children’s centres and primary schools. In this category, the entry should be a whole class entry of an A2 sized picture or collage showing a favourite YogaBugs adventure. The winning class in each category will receive a £25 book voucher to spend on the books for the class. Winning pictures or collages will feature on our website.

Please be sure to put your name, age, email and postal address on the back of your picture or collage. Where we have an email address, we will send you one of our YogaBugs stories. (Unfortunately we won’t be able to return your pictures).  Entries should be received at YogaBugs Mission Control by Friday, 7 October and be posted to:

Art Competition,

YogaBugs Mission Control,

Centre Court,

1301 Stratford Road,

Birmingham B28 9HH