How many things do you read in a day? You’re reading this blog right now, but what else have you read today? If, like most of us, you have no idea it is probably because reading is a skill that now comes naturally to you. We are continually consuming content at a rate that is unthinkable, and often take the practise of reading for granted. For some though, reading doesn’t come as easily.
Reading can enhance concentration, develop a thirst for knowledge across a range of topics, stimulate imaginations, boost creativity and help to develop key skills such as empathy and compassion.
At primary school, children are taught to read and expected to reach a specific level in the KS2 SATs: a scaled score of 100. In the 2018 examinations, 75% of pupils in England met the expected standards, with 72% of boys and 79% of girls. Previous research suggests that children who read regularly, and for pleasure, from a young age gain higher results in secondary education and can go onto secure managerial positions later in life. Therefore, as educationalists we want to support each and every one of our children in their reading skills. After all, we have a shared goal of helping every child reach their potential.
At Oasis Academy Byron, 96% of students reached expected reading levels in 2018, with a progress score of +4.4. At Oasis Academy Limeside 100% of their young people achieved expected, with +3.6 as their progress score.
So what do they do that makes the difference?
Their children read every day at school. They have a half hour guided read, and small group literacy circles Monday to Friday. Children in KS2 are also expected to take an active interest and leadership role within these groups, encouraging each other to question the text and analyse their responses to the writing.
Reading for pleasure is prioritised, with a clear policy in place and staff consistently modelling enthusiasm for books. The children are encouraged to develop a love for reading. They read because they want to, not because they are told to.
Strategies are put in place quickly and effectively for those who need a little extra support through programmes such as Premier Reading Stars, and PiXL.
Texts are chosen carefully to ensure that children are challenged in their learning, but still feel empowered when taking on something that feels more difficult to comprehend.
These are just some of the best practice we continue to share across Oasis, so that we can deliver an education to our young people supporting them in their journey reaching their potential in life.