UK teachers have backed the first ‘animated library’ which aims to improve children’s literacy skills by encouraging their love of reading.
Onilo is a unique cross-curricular literary resource which presents books through familiar digital media such as interactive whiteboards and computers. Onilo transforms well-loved children’s books into Boardstories – eye-catching, animated and digitalised illustrations – and provides an online library of Boardstories for the primary classroom.
With one in five UK children leaving primary school without the necessary reading and writing skills*, Boardstories aim to ignite a passion for literacy in young children while encouraging even reluctant readers by enabling them to share and experience reading in an inclusive and supported environment. Ultimately Onilo inspires children to read by building a bridge between the digital and printed worlds and making them both more accessible.
Onilo already reaches around 200,000 teachers and pupils at primary schools across Germany, and is fast gaining popularity with teachers in UK schools:
Helen Gibson, foundation stage/ KS1 leader at Sowerby Community Primary School in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, says: “Onilo Boardstories are very engaging for the children in my class as they add another dimension to reading. The Boardstories go at a steady pace which gives children time to read and process their thoughts.”
Verity King, Year 3 teacher at Aerodrome Primary School in Croydon, London, says: “The Boardstories cover a variety of themes to interest boys as well as girls. It’s child-friendly so children can use them independently. Pre-made resources are also ready to use which has reduced the time I spend planning guided reading.”
Naomi Weaver, Year 1 teacher at Castledyke Primary School in Barton-upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire, says: “Boardstories have large text so that all children can share and read at their own speed. Some texts have audio which the children have enjoyed as it makes a change from me reading to them. The children have also liked being given the passwords so they can access stories from home.”
There are now 40 Boardstories available, with another 20 stories to come by January 2014 including a picture book retelling of Alice in Wonderland; an interactive Three Billy Goats Gruff; The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, and Julia Donaldson’s Day Monkey, Night Monkey.
Rebecca Van Dal (left), Onilo’s Business Development Manager, says: “The Onilo vision was to create a digitally enhanced media-based reading experience alongside traditional books in order to expand the possibilities teachers have for teaching literacy in the modern classroom. Children are increasingly using modern technology such as the internet and that’s why we make resources that are ideal for the interactive whiteboard but can also be read at home – all you need is a connection to the internet.
“Approximately 75% of primary schools in the UK have interactive whiteboards yet there are still very few professional companies providing educational resources so Onilo aims to fill that gap. Onilo is fast-becoming loved by children, teachers and librarians alike.”
Onilo, which is part of German publishing house Oetinger, launched in the UK in January 2013 from its London base, and is now being used in pilot schools across the UK. Onilo is CPD-certified and a member of British Education Suppliers Association (BESA) and the National Association for Special Education Needs (NASEN), as well as working with The National Literacy Trust.
Notes to editors
High res images are available upon request.
*From Ofsted report: ‘Removing barriers to Literacy’: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/removing-barriers-literacy
The report below outlines findings on young people’s reading from The National Literacy Trust’s second annual Literacy Survey 1 (conducted in late 2011) with 21,000 young people aged 8 to 16:
• 50% of young people enjoy reading either “very much” or “quite a lot” but 10% of young people do not enjoy reading at all and 38% only enjoy reading “a bit”
• 30.8% of young people read outside of class every day, with another 28.2% reading a few times a week. However, 21.6% of young people say that they rarely or never read outside of class
Educational benefits of Onilo Boardstories:
1) Boardstories are inclusive and reduce barriers to learning, being particularly useful for children with special educational needs (SEN), those learning English as an additional language, or reluctant readers
2) Boardstories save teachers time as they come complete with free downloadable and tailored teaching resources for ready-to-go literacy lessons
3) Boardstories cover a broad range of topics and so encourage cross-curricular learning and enable teachers to effectively plan creative lessons
4) After pupils have successfully read the story in class, the teacher can give them a code to take home, enabling pupils to access the Boardstory from a computer at home for a week, free of charge. This could be used as a part of the regular teaching cycle or even given to pupils as a reward
5) Onilo is CPD-certified, so can be used for staff training and continued professional development (CPD)
Onilo contact details:
For further information, high-res images, or to arrange an interview please contact Samantha McKay-Challen on: Mobile +44 (0)7818 164639 / Tel +44 (0) 131 629 9915 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org.