Serial Mash Summer

June 5, 2024

With the school year being in its final term and the summer holidays approaching, the Serial Mash Summer Reading Challenge offers an exciting opportunity to keep the reading momentum going! Teachers - imagine your students embarking on a literary adventure filled with captivating stories, interactive activities, and a world of imagination, all from the comfort of their homes or even away on holiday! In this blog post, we'll explore why signing up your class for the Serial Mash Summer Reading Challenge is a must-do for educators who want to inspire a love for reading that lasts a lifetime.

Serial Mash Summer Web Banner (Instagram Post)

What is Serial Mash?

Serial Mash is an online reading and comprehension library specifically designed for primary school teachers and pupils. It offers over 200 digital books and complementary interactive resources covering various genres and topics. With 7 different libraries, there’s something for everyone, at different stages of their reading journey.

With Serial Mash Summer, you'll get free access to Serial Mash for 10 weeks over the summer so that your students can access exciting eBooks at home, whenever they feel like reading!

Serial Mash Screenshot

Summer Learning Loss - The Facts

As former teachers, we at 2Simple know the difficulties that the long summer holidays pose – a 6 or 7-week gap in learning, with many students suffering from ‘Summer Learning Loss’. Factoring in the increasing number of children who do not have access to any books at home means that for some children, the summer holidays can mean almost two months of no reading at all.

Summer learning loss refers to the decline in academic skills and knowledge that students experience during the summer months when they are not actively engaged in learning activities. Research indicates that summer learning loss disproportionately affects reading skills, particularly among primary-aged children.

A study published in the Review of Educational Research analysed data from 39 studies and found that students typically experience a loss of one to two months' worth of reading skills over the summer break. Moreover, the impact of summer learning loss tends to be more pronounced among children from disadvantaged backgrounds, exacerbating existing achievement gaps.

Access to Books - Recent Data

According to research conducted by the National Literacy Trust, a significant proportion of primary-aged children in the UK struggle with reading. The Trust's 2023 report found that 1 in 12 (8.6%) of children aged 5 to 18 do not own a book, which can significantly impact their reading proficiency. The number of children who have a book of their own at home has decreased and is currently at its lowest level for five years. Furthermore, the study revealed that 380,000 children in the UK do not have a book of their own, exacerbating literacy challenges.

Access to books plays a vital role in fostering a culture of reading and supporting children's literacy development: 46.6% of children who do own a book at home also said that they enjoy reading, compared to just 14.8% of those who do not own a book at home.

Disparities in access to books at home also persist, particularly among socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Data from the National Literacy Trust's research highlights the concerning inequalities in book ownership among children in the UK. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to have access to books at home compared to their more affluent peers, perpetuating inequalities in literacy attainment.

What is Serial Mash Summer?

The Serial Mash Summer Reading Challenge is an engaging initiative designed to encourage children to read during the summer break. Schools signing up for the challenge will receive an extended free trial to Serial Mash, lasting the whole of the challenge. Teachers and children will then gain access to the extensive library of online books and comprehension resources. Minutes read will automatically be tracked in children’s online reading journals, and those minutes will be submitted to 2Simple by teachers in September. 

Pupils might choose to set themselves a reading target, or teachers may want to set a whole class reading target to encourage participation.

How can #SerialMashSummer help?

By taking part in our Serial Mash Summer reading challenge, schools can encourage children to read over the holidays, providing them with access to eBooks across SEVEN different libraries, so it’s certain you’ll find something for every reader in your class:

  • Diamonds, recommended for ages 5-7
  • Emeralds, recommended for ages 7-9
  • Sapphires, recommended for ages 9-11
  • Fire bolts, books to motivate and promote eager learning
  • Comets, longer novels for ages 9-11
  • Poetry, A collection of poems and linked activities
  • DK Learning, dynamic, inspiring and engaging books from Dorling Kindersley

Children also have access to an online reading journal, which automatically adds books read on Serial Mash. Books from outside Serial Mash can also be added easily by searching the title or typing in the ISBN number. Teachers, parents and children can add comments on each entry in the journals, as well as adding reward stickers!

Serial Mash Libraries

In addition to the eBooks and reading journals, children and teachers also have access to interactive activities and quizzes related to the books they read on Serial Mash. These activities enhance comprehension, critical thinking and literacy skills while making the reading experience more interactive and enjoyable.

Serial Mash Summer Prizes

For the school with most minutes read (as an average per student):

  • A year's subscription to Serial Mash
  • A future Serial Mash character named after the teacher whose class has the most minutes read

For top readers:

  • Limited Edition Serial Mash badges will be sent to the top 3 classes
  • The top 5 readers will receive Serial Mash goody bags
  • The student with the most minutes read will have a future Serial Mash character named after them

What do I need to do?

To take part in Serial Mash Summer, all you need to do is sign up and you'll receive guidance on how to get started and a letter to parents to help them encourage their children to read over the summer. Further on in the challenge, you'll also be sent a participation certificate to print and complete for the children in your school who have taken part.

Raise money with Read and Raise

With Serial Mash Summer, you can also raise money through our new partners, Read and Raise. Read and Raise is a unique school fundraising platform that allows schools to focus on literacy development while raising some much needed funds through sponsored reads.

Everything you could need to make your fundraiser a success is provided to you by Read and Raise from a fundraiser poster, parent information letters, how to register letters and reminder letters. Parents simply register their children and send out their child's premade donation text message from the platform to family and friends who offer donations to encourage the child to read as much as they can during the fundraiser.

Via the business sponsorship tool, businesses can also pay to take out a digital ad on your fundraiser which is a great additional revenue generator for your school.

Plumcroft School raised over £2,500 in just a couple of weeks with their reading fundraiser. Hear what headteacher, Richard Slade had to say about the process here.

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