AT THE heart of The Vyne Community School is a revamped library, which has recently had a £20,000 makeover.

Headteacher Mark Kingswood said the facility is “the focal point” of the school and added a great deal of emphasis is placed on the importance of reading.

He said: “We have a policy here which is quite unusual called ‘drop everything and read’.”

All pupils are required to have a reading book on them at all times, he explained, and at certain points during the week, they will be asked, unannounced, to stop what they are doing and to read for 15 minutes.

He said: “Even the pupils who thought it was a silly idea to start with have told me they now think it is a good thing.

“It is so important that they read – not just to pass exams, but for the sake of reading itself.”

Each year group also has a spelling test each week, and they are tested on 10 subject-specific words.

Mr Kingswood said: “The basics are taught to students in primary school but it is easy to lose track of these basic skills when you are focused on exams and ticking the boxes. It is important that key skills such as reading and spelling are encouraged.”