Heworth Implements New Reading and Literacy Initiatives to Increase Student Confidence
At Heworth Grange School we aim to give students the best educational experience possible, so they can be successful in their academic journeys and in life beyond school. Good reading and literacy skills are crucially important in allowing students to be successful. These vital skills contribute to their development, provides them with greater opportunities in all aspects of their lives, and helps lay the foundations for lifelong learning and work. Therefore, it is imperative we help our students increase their confidence in reading and literacy in order for them to unlock the wider curriculum that comes with advanced literacy in all subjects.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the disruption caused to students, it has become ever more important for us to focus on student reading and literacy. This is why at Heworth Grange we have implemented several initiatives to support and enable students to read, write, and speak 'like an expert.'
This term, all our teachers have taken part in professional development for teaching reading and literacy, because these skills are just as vital in Maths, Science, History, etc., as they are in English. This is why we are one of the first schools in Consilium Academies to implement the 'read like an expert' and 'strategic readers' initiatives. This encourages students to read like a geographer, historian, or mathematician and take a subject-specific lens to reading. This enables them to enjoy a novel in English, decipher a maths problem, explain their thinking, debate their ideas, and read and write at a level that will help them develop their language skills further. By learning these skills across all subjects, in each area of the curriculum, we provide our young people with a fulfilling, diverse, and effective education.
However, this is not all we have been doing to help our students in reading and literacy. In fact, they have been helping each other, with students from Year 9 becoming 'literacy leaders' and partnering up with year 7s to support them with their reading, offering encouragement and advice
We have also started an accelerated reader programme, for all students throughout the school.
For Key Stage 3 students this means having a reading lesson every two weeks, where half the lesson is spent reading aloud, with the other half spent reading silently. This is to aid in fluency and confidence, allowing students to hear good reading as well as practice it themselves. Upon finishing their books, students take part in a quiz to reinforce comprehension and promote reflection, before moving on to something new.
For Key Stage 4 students, this means studying subject-specific reading, such as textbooks, before doing a comprehension exercise. This is to help our young people experience different types of literature and real world reading. While in English lessons, students are also conducting a reading each week before presenting a summary of it in class. This is to increase students’ confidence in public speaking, improve communication skills, and help with comprehension.
At Heworth, we will continue to promote good reading and literacy, as we want to support the development of our students. We know this will positively impact their learning experiences and provide them with the key skills they need to succeed, both in the classroom, and beyond.
Head over to the Reading and Literacy page of our website to download some of the resources we are using to help and encourage our students.