Whole School Literacy

Whole School Literacy

At Writhlington School we know that reading for pleasure is one of the most important things we can do to help our pupils. Here are some excerpts from various studies into the importance of Reading for Pleasure. 

 

Why?

  • Reading for pleasure has many non-literacy benefits and can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve wellbeing throughout life (The Reading Agency 2015).
  •  Reading for pleasure has social benefits as well and can make people feel more connected to the wider community. Reading increases a person’s understanding of their own identity, improves empathy and gives them an insight into the world view of others (The Reading Agency 2015).
  • Students with more positive attitudes towards reading are more likely to read at or above the expected level for their age (Clark 2014).
  • There is a strong association between the amount of reading for pleasure students say they do and their reading achievement (Twist 2007).
  • Students who read for pleasure make significantly more progress in vocabulary, spelling and maths than children who read very little (Sullivan and Brown 2013).
  • Teachers who encourage students to read books of their choice for pleasure is a major contribution towards students developing a positive attitude towards reading and a life-long interest in reading (International Reading Association, 2014).

 

How do we promote reading for pleasure in school?

Through structuring in reading for pleasure opportunities during our school day. 

Every morning our pupils read a book of their choice for 10 minutes during D.E.AR time, which means Drop Everything And Read. 

We use the Accelerated Reader programme, our library of 5,000 books and our full time Librarian Jill Millard to make sure we match each pupil with a book that will interest them and one that is also at the correct level to improve their reading age. 

Our new Tutor Read Aloud Programme was such a big hit with Year 7 and 8 pupils in Term 6 that the programme has been expanded for this academic year. Twice a week, in our afternoon tutor sessions, your child’s tutor will read a chapter of one of the following books. Our pupils will follow along with their own copy of the book. Our tutors will host a book club style discussion with their tutees, encouraging and supporting pupils to form and vocalise their opinion on the book. They will also work on their predicting, summarising, skimming and scanning skills while also learning lots of new vocabulary. Each term a guest speaker, from the senior leadership team or school staff, will read a chapter to the tutor group.  

 

Click to find out more about each book

 

By providing our pupils with Positive Role Models:

We want our pupils to know that staff at Writhlington read for pleasure and that we enjoy the books that we read. Each fortnight a different teacher or member of staff will promote their love of reading by having their photograph taken with their favourite book of all time or a great book that they are reading at the moment. This will be displayed in our library window – don’t forget to check it out!

Through using our Library:

Our Junior Librarians are experts on matching interests to authors, they are on duty on a rota in the library during tutor time and lunchtime to help other pupils. We also have Sixth Form reading mentors that we team up with pupils that may need some help with their reading. If you are interested in becoming a Junior Librarian please email jmillard@writhlington.org.uk

 

Our Junior Librarians

 

Lunchtime activities in the library:

Book clubs and literacy based games.

Book reviews:

Online reviews of our new books.

 

How can parents help at home?

Reading:

Research shows that children who read for pleasure do better at school than those who don’t. Here are some practical tips for how you can help. 

Organisation:

Help your child to remember to take their DEAR time book to school. 

Encourage your child to visit the library during morning tutor time to replace their book. 

Access:

Help your child to access a wide range of literature: fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, graphic novels, newspapers.

You can join and borrow books for free from your local library. 

Our local libraries: Library opening times sheet

Practical Ideas:

Chat to your child about the books you have read and not enjoyed as well as books that you have read and loved. 

Read the same book at the same time as your son/daughter and chat to them about what they think is going to happen.

Ensure your child sees you reading regularly whether it’s a book, a newspaper or a magazine as it will instil a love of reading for pleasure.

Let your child choose the books they’d like to read. If your child doesn’t like a book, don’t force them to read it. Let them put it down and come back to it after reading something else.

Practice skimming and scanning skills at home. Ask your child to find out a certain piece of information from a website or newspaper.  

Help your child to work out what an unfamiliar word means by getting them to read the rest of the sentence and look for clues. Encourage your child to look up what the word means in a dictionary.  

 

At Writhlington we recognise the importance of independent reading for pleasure and aim to encourage this in all of our students to support their development and success. The Accelerated Reader (AR) programme will also help develop reading and comprehension skills which will ultimately impact immensely across the whole curriculum and benefit students as they progress towards their GCSEs.

There are over 30,000 books registered on the Accelerated Reader programme giving students plenty of choice. 

Once a student has completed an Accelerated Reader book, they should take a quiz on its contents. These quizzes can be accessed at school or at home, through the Accelerated Reader student homepage. There are rewards for reading, and for doing well on these quizzes. We cannot stress highly enough the importance of maintaining regular reading then completing quizzes on the books to show understanding.

Students should have an Accelerated Reader book with them every day.  If a student would like to bring a book from home instead of using our school library, you can check whether it is registered on Accelerated Reader at www.arbookfind.co.uk

Each day, students – in morning registration – will have a DEAR time session daily (Drop Everything and Read) which offers a perfect opportunity for them to read their Accelerated Reader book. However, reading at home is also a vital part of development. Ideally, students should read for at least twenty minutes a day at home and many students will still benefit from an adult listening to them read. 

If you need any more information please email jnewland@writhlington.org.uk