I understand the necessity for “rapid” progress however I am equally keen to anchor our progress on durable education practice and for me, there are few more important responsibilities than developing reading abilities. Instilling a love of reading a by-product.
In a week where reading for pleasure was reported to offer a 14.4% advantage in vocabulary, a 9.9% advantage in maths and an 8.6 advantage in spelling, I am very fortunate to have the full support of our Acting Principal and staff, as well as a fantastic Key Stage 3 middle leader for English. Our English team have been looking for every opportunity to inspire our readers; a thorough revision of the KS3 curriculum, challenging and inspirational learning*, new exercise books with a literacy focus, a quiet reading area, inspirational classrooms and corridors, a Lead Learner reader display, external listeners, Dockside books, spelling and reading assessments, Accelerated Reader, English focused trips and visits and this Friday – we celebrated Roald Dahl Day with Y7 and our first ever Puffin Live event. Hopefully we will be scheduling the later Puffin Live events with different year groups as well (next up is Julia Donaldson live on Friday 11th October, 2pm-2.45pm).
It did not all go to plan… for the first ten minutes we were watching the wrong feed… and thoroughly enjoying Quentin Blake drawing famous Roald Dahl characters from last year (it all felt very live). If the photo below does not attests to how engaging it was (you see, the overhead camera was rotated 90% to the right and our students were compensating) their groans when we switched over most certainly did.
incidentally, the ‘reading for pleasure’ study author Dr Alice Sullivan said
It may seem surprising that reading for pleasure would help to improve children’s maths scores. But it is likely that strong reading ability will enable children to absorb and understand new information and affect their attainment in all subjects.
I think the answer may be even simpler than that. Students with more advance reading skills are more able to understand what is being asked of them . Not that I have any empirical evidence for that.