At St Benet Biscop, we are passionate about developing students as competent, fluent and engaged readers.
There are 3 aspects to our reading curriculum that are interconnected:
• Supporting the weakest readers
• Reading in the curriculum
• Reading for pleasure
Programme for the Weakest Readers
• All students complete a reading assessment on entry to the school, and then regularly throughout Year 7-9. Students who are highlighted as potential weaker readers are identified.
• Additional screening of these students takes place to identify the level of additional support that might be needed.
• For students requiring it, we have specially trained staff in the teaching of phonics. Students follow the Fresh Start programme in bespoke and one-to-one or small group teaching sessions.
• We also support weaker readers with decoding, vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension, by using the Lexia programme.
• To support some students with their reading, we also offer a Sixth Form reading mentor. Students meet with a Sixth Form student regularly to read aloud, develop their reading fluency and to develop their vocabulary and comprehension.
Reading in the Curriculum
• All teachers understand that they have a commitment to developing our students as readers. Whether the subject be English, RE, Art or Maths, all disciplines support and develop students’ disciplinary reading.
• Teachers ensure that students are exposed to texts that are appropriate to the subject, and offer appropriate challenge. The texts are chosen carefully, and feature in our teachers’ planning.
• The St Benet Biscop Lesson highlights how lessons will regularly include active reading to support with vocabulary acquisition and decoding, reading comprehension and reading fluency.
Vocabulary acquisition and decoding
• Teachers plan the vocabulary that students will be taught in the curriculum. They plan to develop students’ knowledge of high frequency vocabulary as well as specialist subject terminology.
• Teachers will regularly support students with vocabulary acquisition by pre-teaching vocabulary before it is encountered in a text. This is to ensure students are not overloaded with knowledge when they are reading. Teachers will often teach the definition, etymology and pronunciation of words.
• Teachers support students with their reading comprehension in a number of different ways. For example through questioning, establishing the gist of a text before reading, making connections with prior taught knowledge, through guided reading activities, annotating and so on.
• Students are regularly encouraged to read aloud in lessons, to develop their ability to read fluently. To support students with their reading fluency, they are often pre-taught vocabulary, to ensure accurate reading, as well as pace and prosody. Teachers model effective reading fluency, and students experience reading aloud in a variety of different ways in lessons.
Reading for Pleasure
We really want to ensure our students see the pleasure, and value in reading.
In order to promote reading for pleasure, we:
• Dedicate some registration time to private reading.
• Dedicate identified registration periods for reading a class novel as a form class, with form tutors.
• Enjoy regular reading lessons within the English curriculum time.
• Welcome authors into school to talk to students about their works and the value of literature.
• Mark World Book Day and National Poetry Day with events in school.
• Offer students extra-curricular opportunities to read at our various book clubs.
• Publicise suggest wider reading material