Every member of our school, staff and students, are passionate about reading. Through what we read; we can learn about the best that has been thought, said and done throughout the whole of history. The ability to read in itself is a gift which unlocks a lifetime of opportunity and choice. We prioritise reading across the whole curriculum so that they make more rapid academic progress while also developing on a social, emotional, spiritual and moral level.
All students are directly taught tier 2 and tier 3 words to deliberately build their vocabulary. Using strategies such as studying etymologies or morphologies, or asking students to 'uplevel' the words used in their speech, or the Frayer Method; students rapidly develop their lexicon and communicate in increasingly complex forms.
We carefully select novels, articles, extracts and other texts that are sequenced within each subject. This means that in small steps, students rapidly learn domain specific vocabulary which becomes more challenging throughout the programme of study. All teachers use our guided reading, and reading comprehension strategies so that students read together out loud to develop their oracy while also ensuring that they know more and remember more over time. Our teachers have been trained in these techniques and use our rich praise culture to encourage and motivate our students to develop a love of reading.
Our Hallmark Programme of assemblies, Tutor Time and Life lessons includes two sessions of Tutor Time reading a week. Using our Guided Reading and Reading Comprehension pedagogies the students read texts that are ambitious, for example, they will read Frankenstein in Y7, and the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in Y8. Each text is linked to our Hallmarks of Industry, Innovation and Integrity so that the characters and stories provide light and illumination in assemblies about our culture and values.
Our academy’ library is viewed as a learning resource centre (LRC). Our friendly, helpful LRC Manager ensures our LRC is a vibrant, welcoming space with well stocked shelves and computer access as well as being a quiet place to study. Across each term our LRC runs exciting promotions and seasonal events to share the joy of reading.
Some students join us struggling to read, our provision for them is vast and personalised. All students will undergo a Lexia assessment and will complete STAR tests using the Accelerated Reader programme, these allow us to ensure that the needs of all students are met. Readers of all levels can expect support and challenge to help them improve their reading ability - which we believe is based on knowledge which can be directly taught and deliberately practised.
Fresh Start phonics programmes support emergent readers alongside Lexia, a comprehensive computer based and personalised reading programme, specifically designed for Year 7 onwards. Students are supported to increase their automatic word recognition by reinforcing phonic elements and sound/symbol relationships. Intervention activities provide extensive practice in everything from basic phonological awareness to advanced word-attack strategies, as well as vocabulary development based on Greek and Latin word roots.
Accelerated Reader aims to develop a lifelong love of reading, motivate students to read more challenging books and most importantly raise literacy standards for students of all ages and abilities which will benefit them not only in English but also across our curriculum. With a greater emphasis on literacy across all subjects, Accelerated Reader is a vital part of our curriculum to develop not only reading skills but also students’ range of vocabulary and comprehension skills. Our departments focus the importance of subject vocabulary within their delivery to develop content knowledge and aid reading in lessons. Our academy provides opportunities to encourage older students to read with younger students and to provide opportunities to discuss what they are reading. In class, subjects design activities that encourage students to read for information. We ask parents to encourage their child to read at home.
A variety of different reading programmes operate within our academy to support our students’ love of reading and reading fluency. We provide a phased approach to reading that encourages reading at every level.