Reading and Reading Intervention
We believe being a successful reader will vastly improve the life chances of our students. This is why we seek to ensure reading is both pleasurable and supportive. When students join us in Year 7, we use a national standardised test to help identify gaps in their reading and provide bespoke support to ensure that the needs of all learners are met. This might include expert phonics interventions from the SEND department, where trained staff deliver the ‘Fresh Start’ phonics programme with texts and rigorous strategies that align with how students are taught phonics at Primary school. To support the development of comprehension skills, students might read with our English team or our skilled librarians. We also have a dedicated team of Year 12 Reading Mentors who read with our Year 7 and 8 students to foster a love of reading and encourage purposeful conversations about the texts they are reading. We believe our approach is tailored, sequential and robust.
There is a huge amount of evidence and research to say that every child should have the opportunity to read every day. We cultivate a love of reading through a whole school culture of morning and afternoon reading during registrations. At Key Stage 3, all students take part in guided reading each week with a tutor ‘reader’, a curated, well-chosen text, all united by the theme of powerful females. This means students are being read to, by their form tutor, before the start of lessons with scaffolded reading comprehension strategies to ensure all can access an age-appropriate text.
There are a range of reading for pleasure initiatives, such as the Big Read Challenge, where tutor groups are given the opportunity to compete with one another to read the most texts and win prizes, including reward trips. For our most capable readers, we run a range of enrichment events, such as book clubs, author events as well as student access to our extensive library facilities, before, during and after school. We believe this helps to promote a love of reading, in the classroom and beyond.
Our whole school reading culture is reiterated through intentional library access for all key stages – our ethos is underpinned by a desire to foster a lifelong love of reading. We have a range of reading lists, specific to age and area of interest, as well as an enthusiastic and experienced library team. We have also trained teaching staff in scaffolding strategies to support a range of readers, from EEF backed reciprocal reading approaches, to deconstructing tier 2 and 3 vocabulary, to the relationship between reading and talk and how to cultivate meaningful oracy in our classrooms. We are constantly looking to reflect upon and hone our practice to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students.
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