Reading in school
The Heights Burnley is committed to raising standards of literacy in all its pupils, through a coordinated approach. Every teacher has a role to play in this process. Reading, writing, Oracy and vocabulary are vital skills in learning and life. At The Heights Burnley, these skills matter. Reading is one of our core curriculum drivers and one that is key to achievement. As such, reading is central to every aspect of learning and is developed by all teachers.
Reading is one of our key performance indicators throughout our respite and long term provisions in key stages 1-4. The diagram below shows the assessment pathway for pupils inducted into The Heights Burnley and they are re-assessed termly throughout the year.
Our English curriculum provides rich opportunities for pupils to read a wide range of full texts, we interleave Literature and Language to ensure that all pupils are exposed to a literature rich curriculum were they engage with play scripts, prose, poetry, seminal world literature, a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts.
In the wider curriculum, pupils are encouraged to “read like a specialist”. Curriculum leaders have identified the tier two and tier three vocabulary that pupils must know, along with the key reading skills required in order to become proficient learners within their subject area, which is evident in the curriculum thinking documentation. Staff have been supported by Blackpool Research School to develop their knowledge and practice around disciplinary literacy.
In lessons, pupils complete guided reading activities in all disciplines which follow a school wide consistent approach. All subjects aim to develop reading skills which, in turn, will raise attainment across the curriculum. Look at the example below to see what this looks like for pupils in a Mathematics class.
Reading for pleasure
Throughout The Heights Burnley, pupils are encouraged to read for their own enjoyment. At key stage 1, pupils are read to and experience a wide range of texts based on topic schemes of learning and interests of the pupils. At key stage 2, pupils are encouraged to choose a book, within their reading ability, to take home and read. Pupils also choose the class novel that is read in their class. Throughout the primary provision at key stage 1 and key stage 2, there is a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books and magazines at varying levels for pupils to browse and engage with at appropriate times. At key stage 3 and key stage 4, the central library is continually being developed to include a diverse range of reading materials including LGBTQ+, ethnic minority and neurodiversity titles. Pupils are encouraged throughout the school to read for pleasure including magazine subscriptions, available during social times, which have been selected based on pupils’ interests.
At The Heights, Burnley, we have invested in the Accelerated Reader (AR) programme as part of our wider reading strategy across the school. AR is a reading package aimed at engaging pupils in learning through ensuring they have appropriate reading material according to their ability and interests. AR also provides pupils with access to over 210,000 quizzes in and nearly 2,000 nonfiction articles, to deliver abundant reading choice.
Every term, pupils will complete a STAR reading test in school. This will give each pupil an additional STAR reading age, a book level and a reading target. Following each term’s STAR test, the pupil’s reading age should be showing improvement. Following the first STAR test of the year, each pupil will be asked to read a book from their book level. When they have finished the book, they will log onto the Accelerated Reader website to complete a quiz on the book they have read. Pupils must achieve 80% or more to pass the quiz.
Explicit vocabulary teaching (SEEC model)
Our pupils are exposed to academic texts in every single subject. We ensure that academic words and phrases are explicitly taught so that pupils are equipped with the skill to use them confidently in a variety of contexts. We are committed to empowering pupils by widening their vocabulary. We understand the impact that vocabulary has on quality of work, progress, and the ability to express ideas and concepts. Each subject, through curriculum thinking documentation, has a published vocabulary list that allows pupils to speak and write as disciplinary experts.
At The Heights Burnley, we pre-teach vocabulary using the SEEC model promoted by Alex Quigley. This allows pupils to be explicitly taught key vocabulary, apply it in context and revisit key vocabulary so they retain and use this within their writing.
Within our short stay respite and long term provision, we use IDL. This is an interactive Literacy programme, which is structured to provide comprehensive and specific teaching, tailored to individual pupil’s needs.
Pupils identified as requiring additional support through the Diagnostic Reading Analysis assessment have access to our bespoke interventions programme. The interventions available to pupils are:
- Phonics – Closing gaps in pupils’ phonetical knowledge (See the “Phonics” section on the “Learning” area of the school website for further details).
- Fluency – Developing reading speed and confidence in reading through shared reading activities.
- Comprehension – One to one intensive reading and quizzing using the Accelerated Reader programme.
All interventions are delivered by intervention specialists with a passion for raising literacy across the school.
If you require any further information on the reading programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org