The ability to read and write are fundamental life skills and essential if we are to participate fully in society and the workplace. Pupils with poor reading struggle to read independently, and so read less. As a result, they do not accumulate the background knowledge and vocabulary they need to improve their comprehension. It is therefore harder for them to access the curriculum in secondary school, because the required levels of literacy rise rapidly beyond primary school.
At the Radclyffe School we read together as a PLG twice a week. The PLG tutor pre-teaches important language and content for the chapter before spending time reading the story aloud to the group. All students have a copy of the book in front of them and follow along with the text as it is being read. This allows students to engage with challenging vocabulary and themes in a structured and supportive setting.
In order to become effective readers, young people need to read widely and often. By doing so, they are exposed to more vocabulary and develop the strategies that support their comprehension of texts. To support our students with regular reading, students in Year 7-9 have one dedicated hour perfortnight based in the library.
The aims of this lesson are to:
• ensure that students have an opportunity to read
• ensure all students have a reading book that is appropriate to them
• ensure that all students are supported and encouraged in reading for pleasure.
In each subject, the subject specific high-frequency words are identified and explicitly taught. How this is done varies from subject to-subject but in all subject areas the language and key subject specific vocabulary is identified at the start of the lesson. Reading aloud fluently is a highly complex skill. Students benefit from hearing expert readers read. When teachers read to students they hear a text read fluently, with appropriate pace, expression and intonation. Teachers can stop at key points to explain vocabulary and ask questions. Teachers clearly teach students how to write full and complex sentences, how to structure paragraphs and link them together to compose essays.
Effective intervention is impossible without effective assessment. We use the GL Exact which, amongst other things, tests for word recognition, reading comprehension and reading speed. Students who fall below the age-related standard are targeted for intervention and/ or further assessment to identify the specific help required. We have established Phonics and Reader-Listener interventions to support students in making the best possible progress towards their reading goals.
World Book Day
Each year we celebrate World Book Day as a community. Staff get dressed up as book characters and encourage students to take part in special activities as well as the sponsored Readathon which raises money to buy books for children who are unwell in hospital.