Reading at Heworth Grange
At Heworth Grange School we believe that reading is an essential life skill, and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. We know that reading can broaden students’ perspectives through exposing them to ideas, experiences, places and times that they might never otherwise experience in real life. We know that reading for pleasure gives opportunities to learn about a multitude of things beyond the school’s subject curricula.
Reading is a skill that enables students to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a whole-school approach to the teaching and promotion of reading in order to help close gaps.
As such, reading is a whole-school priority here at Heworth. Students read regularly during advisory time, and are exposed to texts of various style and content through our subject curricula. The delivery of reading is supported by the continuing professional development of teachers in all subjects.
Reading during advisory time
The advisory programme places a large emphasis on reading. During advisory time, students in both Key Stages complete reading-related activities three times per week.
At Key Stage 3, students read their Accelerated Reader reading books. Some students read out loud with their advisors. Students choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them. Teachers help our students to choose books at an appropriate readability level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that students can both enjoy the content and experience success.
At Key Stage 4, students are provided with academic reading booklets. These include subject-specific texts that relate to different subjects and areas of the curriculum. The aim here is to broaden the vocabulary base for our students, as well as expanding their cultural capital by exposing them to texts and articles that they may not usually come across. Students’ advisors then explore some of the new or more complex vocabulary that is encountered, before students are asked to summarise each of the texts that they have read.
Reading in Key Stage 3 English lessons
In conjunction with the Key Stage 3 advisory programme, students also have a fortnightly English lesson which focusses solely on reading. In these lessons, teachers use the time to develop students’ vocabulary as well as fluency. Teachers also use reciprocal reading strategies to support students’ skills of inference and prediction, as well as to support them to effectively summarise what they have read.
One portion of each of these lessons is also dedicated time for silent reading of students’ Accelerated Reader reading books. Each time that a student finishes their book, they complete a short online quiz. This quiz then informs teachers about the suggested level of book to be chosen for the next read.
English teachers also take time in these lessons to read 1:1 with those students who need it most. This supports students to develop their confidence, fluency, and understanding of what they are reading.
Reading across the curriculum
As teachers and leaders in the school have developed the curriculum in each subject area, they have planned carefully to include reading-based activities at regular intervals. CPD time at school is used to up-skill teaching staff in the understanding and use of disciplinary literacy and reciprocal reading strategies. As such, students will experience subject-specific texts and vocabulary across the school, and they will be supported by their teachers to de-code and understand these texts appropriately.
Targeted reading interventions
We also have a tiered reading scheme in place with all students’ needs identified. Within this, there is a range of targeted interventions which are organised and designed to support students to make the progress that they need to be successful readers. These interventions include:
- Small group reading
- 1:1 reading
- Lexia intervention
- Phonics support
- The star test is completed every term and the stages adjusted accordingly
If students require additional support, they will be placed in an advisory intervention group to work on Lexia.
Supporting parents and carers
Please see this page (link: https://www.heworthgrange.org/page/?title=Reading+and+Literacy&pid=81) for information and strategies to support parents and carers with their child’s reading.