Reading and the Curriculum
o Reading is a thinking process which allows a reader to build prior knowledge and develop new strategies to organise ideas and use textual clues to find the new meanings of words.
o We are fully committed to embedding literacy across the curriculum and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to read out loud. We recognise the importance of both general and specific literacy skills and emphasising the importance of supporting teachers in every subject to incorporate focused reading opportunities.
o SPARX reader supports with the understanding of TIER 2 vocabulary which encourages students to listen to the pronunciation of words whilst being introduced to a range of new definitions.
o English mastery writing lessons at both key stage 3 and 4 encourage the use of grammar and vocabulary instruction. DO NOW tasks encourage retrieval before moving onto the next instruction.
o We have made it a priority to increase the time that students are exposed to reading in terms of frequency and depth.
There are three test points for all students throughout the academic year using Renaissance Star Reader. This is an on-line assessment of your child’s reading growth, showing the skills they have mastered which are aligned to the National Curriculum. Star Reader generates a reading diagnostic and instructional coaching report to identify the skills each student needs to focus on to meet or exceed expected standards. Star reading is a computer adaptive test meaning that is adapts to suit each student’s ability, catering for everyone from SEN to high attainers.
Teachers are aware of student’s reading ages and actively encourage reading for pleasure and vocabulary instruction. Teachers support student progress by using a range of strategies such as: asking questions about a topic, activating prior knowledge, scanning a text, devising a mental model, reading related texts etc.
Recent introduction of SPARX reader enables students to choose a book matched to the reading age of the user which regularly checks understanding of the text throughout. Teachers know exactly who is reading and can focus on those that need intervention and support. They can set personalised reading tasks to complete in class or at home. Real-time insights show exactly who is reading and teachers can identify class and student progress. Students read more carefully as they are tested at regular intervals with short comprehension tasks.
Introduction of OSCAR – Our School Cares About Reading. This encourages focused reading time in all subjects to enjoy reading as part of their everyday diet. Departments share an interesting read with the students to create enthusiasm around a particular topic or current issue linked to their subject area and ask the students to read out loud at various points in the lesson.
Fluency is the bridge from decoding to comprehension as it allows the reader to focus on the wider meaning of the text rather than the mechanics of reading. A large proportion of students with comprehension difficulties struggle with fluency. It is vitally important that these students read regularly with an adult with increasingly difficult texts.
Any student who is flagged up as requiring intervention on the Star Reader Test is then screened using the Fresh Start Benchmark Test. This indicates whether a student is at the early stages of reading and whether they require phonics intervention. Read Write Inc. Fresh Start intervention is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme to accelerate progress for struggling readers at secondary school. Students are taught at their challenge point, so they learn to read accurately and fluently in just 25 minutes per day. Fresh Start is for students who:
o are not yet reading age appropriately,
o have missed schooling,
o are new to the UK education system,
o are learning English as an additional language.
Decodable, age-appropriate stories, and non-fiction texts
In each session, students learn new letter sounds and words whilst regularly repeating previous sounds and words. They apply what they have been taught by reading words containing the sounds they know in age-appropriate short stories and non – fiction texts closely matched to their phonic knowledge.
Time required for teaching Fresh Start
Students are taught individually or in a small progress group for 25 minutes per session. The duration depends on each student’s starting point; some may only need a few sessions whilst others may need two or three terms. Individual progress is tracked to monitor skills mastered.
Those with significant cognitive delay are taught using Read Write Inc, Phonics and work below module 14. This enables the reading tutor to go right back to an early stage of reading focusing on decoding and blending of words.