Why is Reading so important?
At Gladesmore School, we pride ourselves on giving every pupil 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 pupils 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 ways in which we aim to achieve this.
Daily Reading Lessons
At Gladesmore Community School, pupils in Years 7-9 have a dedicated reading lesson every day. We also expect that pupils 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 pupils who want to find a book suiting their interests. We are also in the process of expanding our collection of e-books, and we provide access to thousands of e-books through the website myON.
Accelerated Reader Programme
All pupils in Year 7-9 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 a pupil has chosen a reading book suitable for them, they need to:
- Read the book thoroughly
- Complete a Mindmap
- 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 pupils summarise the book and importantly check their understanding. The quiz assesses comprehension and helps pupils make progress in their reading ages. If pupils 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 pupils to take their Accelerated Reader multiple choice tests and to exchange their books. Pupils who are struggling with their reading may receive support from a member of the reading team during this lesson.
Pupils in Year 7 and 8 are all enrolled on Lexia which is an online programme developing comprehension, word skills and grammar. Pupils are expected to complete a minimum of 25 minutes a week at home or in school. They continue to engage with the programme until they have completed the advanced stage of each strand.
If pupils are struggling or need support, the school provides an after-school intervention and in-class intervention during the Year 7 library lesson.
We use the information from Accelerated Reader to identify pupils who are struggling with their reading (either with their participation or their progress). Pupils 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 pupils receive support during the daily reading lessons.