We want all our students to be confident readers
Firstly, there are many benefits from reading for pleasure.
“The research finds that reading for pleasure can result in increased empathy, improved relationships with others, reductions in the symptoms of depression and dementia and improved wellbeing.”
Report for the Reading Agency. Read more here: https://readingagency.org.uk/news/blog/why-is-reading-for-pleasure-important.html
Secondly, confident reading is also an essential tool for learning in every subject. Everyone knows that reading is an important part of English, but it is just as important for other subjects. Students need a reading age of 15 or above to confidently read all the questions in GCSE exam papers.
“There is a significant correlation between student reading ability and eventual performance across all subjects at GCSE, which is just as strong in maths and sciences as it is in arts subjects.”
GL Assessment Report: Why Reading is the key to GCSE Success. Read more here: https://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/whyreading/
How does the school promote reading?
When students are in school, they get regular reading practice. Their teachers model strategies for successful reading summarised as 'PRISE' which stands for Predict, Read, Interrogate, Summarise and Enquire which are key strategies for approaching any piece of reading. Teachers also build student vocabulary every lesson to help students tackle more challenging text. (Text = any piece of writing.)
Students in Y7 and 8 have ‘Accelerated Reader’ which gives students individual guidance to select reading to hone their reading skills and embed the reading habit. Students in Y8 also experience 'Guided Reading' where the whole class reads a book together with their teacher. Also, form tutors read a novel to their forms in two form time sessions a week in an initiative designed to promote reading for pleasure called 'DEAL - Drop Everything and Listen.' For students struggling with reading, we have extra interventions including paired reading and extra literacy support.
What happens in the summer holiday?
Students who regularly read, will maintain their confidence in reading and continue to improve because they are exposed to new vocabulary. Students who do not read over the summer break often experience ‘Summer Learning Loss’. They may not realise why they find lessons hard after the holidays, but they are finding it harder to follow texts in school because they have not kept up their reading practice.
What can parents do?
Encouraging reading outside of school and in the holidays makes a really big difference. We know it isn’t always easy to motivate students to read, or parents may feel that at secondary level they don’t know how to get involved. Help is at hand!
Please watch the short video made by Mrs Skirrow, Head of English Department, giving ideas for parents to support their children’s reading in lots of everyday situations, e.g. using adverts and websites seen on phones. There are also some summer reading suggestions, including a great selection by the National Literacy Trust in response to Black Lives Matter.