Belton book worm teacher wins top school award

Jon Biddle

Jon Biddle, English and reading lead at Moorlands - Credit: Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust

A school teacher who loves to encourage his pupils to read has scooped another educational award for helping to make youngsters eager bookworms during lockdown.

Jon Biddle, of Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy at Belton, near Great Yarmouth, has won a Farshore Reading for Pleasure Teacher Award 2021 in the whole school category.

Mr Biddle was praised for opening the school's library twice a week during lockdown, creating a parents book box for parents to borrow books for themselves and becoming a reading role model for children.


Pupils at Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy show off their favourite books - Credit: Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust

Pupils are encouraged to read daily at home and in school and it has top priority within the school's timetable.

Current favourite books at the school include High-Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson, The Girl Who Stole An Elephant by Nizrana Farook and Ways To Be Me by Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott. 

Mr Biddle said: “The culture of reading is firmly within the ethos of the school and it continued successfully throughout lockdown. 

"We set the children reading challenges at home such as to recreate the cover of their favourite book and find as many places as you can to read in your house.

"We also ensured that our pupils were sent home with a selection of books from the school library so that they all had access to reading material.

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"As a school, we understand the importance of children reading for pleasure. We are genuinely delighted to receive this award.

"Over the past few years, we've worked incredibly hard to build a whole school reading culture with our pupils, staff and families, and can't wait to build even further on the foundations that we have put in place.”

John Siddles, deputy headteacher said: “"Developing a love of reading is at the heart of everything we stand for and we are proud to see our achievements and efforts recognised.”

Last week the academy hosted author Nigel Lungenmuss-Ward, the first such visit in two years.

In 2018 Mr Biddle clinched the experienced teacher category at the Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards.

in 2017 he was also praised for creating a Christmas wish list for pupils to encourage children to turn away from their screens and enjoy simple pleasures over the festivities.