The transition from primary school to a secondary setting is a significant milestone in every student’s educational journey. There is a lot to focus on and a huge focus on academic performance. For some students this is naturally the next step, but for others this can be extremely overwhelming. What happens to the focus on reading at this point?
During early Key Stages of 1 and 2, students learn to decode and read phonetically but after this stage when the child can read independently, parental input decreases. The tradition of reading at bedtime can come to a standstill and enthusiasm for reading out loud can deteriorate.
It is during Key Stage 3, with access to a library and a range of reading resources that students once again can learn to love reading. When established in their daily routines, young people become readers of their own accord. Research shows that the enjoyment for reading decreases when children start secondary school. However, we know that being able to read fluently is the most important indicator of educational success in every child. Every leader in school is a leader of reading. It is our job to spark enthusiasm around reading and to promote all the benefits it brings.
Year 5 & 6 Transition
At the start of the academic year, we host library events for our primary partner schools to take part in. This involves workshops led by external visitors and a range of book related tasks delivered by teaching staff at The Orme Academy.
During the workshops, students work in teams to find out information in a collection of popular reads. They are expected to retrieve information at a fast pace and show their understanding of the vocabulary used. Primary aged children are whizzes at reading and enjoy the challenge tasks they are set.
During the workshops, professional poets delve into an imaginative world of make believe and demonstrate the art of storytelling in poems. Students of course, are given the opportunity to write their own original material and turn it into a poetry performance for all to enjoy. Teachers of course get involved too!
Every Thursday, students from a local primary school take part in a drama led workshop with a focus on storytelling. The session looks at vocabulary choices and how this engages an audience during a performance.
Short extracts are explored each week, and the students bring these to life with their own interpretation of language. Students have explored the character of Matilda who uses books as a way of escaping her unpleasant childhood as well as song lyrics from the movie ‘Sing’ for our annual Songbook Christmas celebration. The workshops encourage students to ‘play around’ with words and explore the meanings on a deeper level.