Why is Reading so important?
At Gladesmore School, we pride ourselves on giving every child the opportunity to achieve their best. Reading is the basis for gaining academic success in every subject. If a child does not read widely and fluently then their learning opportunities are limited.
The average reading age needed to fully access a GCSE exam paper is 15 years and 7 months. If a child’s reading age is below this then they will struggle with answering the questions.
We want all of our students at Gladesmore to make the most progress they can and this is why we have made reading a top priority. We are keen to encourage every child to be a confident, proficient and happy reader. We describe below some of the ways in which we aim to achieve this.
Daily Reading Lessons
At Gladesmore Community School, students in Years 7-8 read for 30 minutes 5 days a week with a teacher. We also expect that students will read for 30 minutes every day at home.
2 well-stocked libraries
We have two well-stocked libraries holding thousands of books. We have fiction and non-fiction books for every reading level and own books of all genres. Our experienced librarians can also offer advice and support to students who want to find a book suiting their interests. We are also in the process of expanding our collection of e-books and of providing access to other online reading materials.
Accelerated Reader Programme
All pupils in Year 7 and 8 are enrolled on the Accelerated Reader Programme. This is a programme that is used to improve pupils' reading ages by helping to engage them in reading and guiding them to books that are at the right level for their ability.
Pupils will be regularly tested by the AR programme and they will then be given a ZPD. This ZPD guides them towards books which they will be able to read whilst still offering some challenge. Our libraries are organised by ZPD so pupils can find books at the right level.
Once pupil has chosen a reading book suitable for them they need to:
- Read the book thoroughly
- Complete a Mind Map
- Take a short multiple-choice quiz on the book (typically 5-20 questions)
This process is important because it gauges how much of the book they understand. The Mindmap is there to help students summarise the book and importantly check their understanding. The quiz assesses comprehension and helps students make progress in their reading ages. If students achieve 85% or above in their test, they can be confident that they have fully understood the book.
Dedicated Library Lesson for Year 7
All pupils in Year 7 have a dedicated library lesson. In this lesson, they are introduced to the Accelerated Reader system and they also receive dedicated support with reading strategies. This lesson is also an ideal opportunity for students to take their Accelerated Reader multiple choice tests and to exchange their books. Students who are struggling with their reading may receive support from a member of the reading team during this lesson.
We use the information from Accelerated Reader to identify students who are struggling with their reading (either with their participation or their progress). Students who are struggling will receive intervention.
Typically, intervention for Year 7 takes place during the dedicated library lesson. Intervention for Year 8 and Year 9 takes place after school on a Thursday or Friday. A very small number of students receive support during the daily reading lessons.