Find out about our latest literacy news...
As part of our classroom revamp, we created two comfortable books corners; one for our younger readers including a lovely kinderbox of picture books as well as shelves full of books by our favourite children’s authors and one for our more mature readers boasting a real variety of genres with something for everyone.
After creating these special reading spaces, we focused on really boosting the reading material we have available to our pupils:
- We have quadrupled the novels on our shelves. Pupils can browse and borrow fiction galore whilst here or can request links to bring out a selection of books to choose from.
- We’ve listened to what our pupils like to read and as such have really invested in graphic novels and manga. We have also subscribed to a variety of magazines including Top Gear, BBC Wildlife and PlayStation.
- We continue to provide all pupils in key stage two and above with their own log - on to E-platform our digital library. Here pupils have over 2,400 audio and e-books to choose from. More recently, we have provided parents and guardians with their own account too as we positively feel that pupils will benefit not only from reading themselves but engaging in ‘reading conversations’ with adults who also enjoy reading.
- Variety is important in reading too so we also subscribe to The Day and First News to ensure pupils have good quality news articles at their finger tips. Subject teachers, especially PSHCE, are regularly sharing and discussing articles relevant to their learning. In fact, we dedicated one whole month to the news which we called the February Newsflash. Each teacher, no matter their subject, spent one lesson during February exploring an item from the news related to their subject. We had some fantastic discussions around topical ideas and events and some fantastic work was produced by pupils.
We now provide all pupils with a termly reading challenge to encourage and recognise the reading they are doing outside of lessons. Each ‘long term’, a new set of challenges are given and these are differentiated according to KS1, KS2 and secondary. We’ve been delighted to award a number of our pupils at the end of each term with a book voucher and certificate.
In September, we created our first whole service class on dedicated to all things reading-related. Here pupils can find links to E-platform, The Day and First News as well as our GHES books of the month, book reviews and creative reading responses from other pupils.
Over the summer, we set a whole service challenge for both pupils and staff to read at least one book over the break. We’ve loved hearing about what’s been read and what pupils loved, liked and even disliked about their chosen books.
Having a confident and wide vocabulary is vital for accessing and understanding reading material as well as enabling pupils to use a variety of interesting words when writing and speaking. We have, therefore, introduced a word of the week. Each week, teachers and links focus on a new word, explore its meaning and how it can be used in context as well as encouraging its ongoing use amongst pupils.
Over the last six months, teachers and links have concentrated on the importance of speaking and listening knowing that oracy is fundamental in life beyond GHES whether it is back to school, in their post-16 placement, the world of work or socialising with their friends and peers.
We have worked hard to ensure all pupils are provided with a variety of opportunities to practise and develop their speaking skills within online lessons as well as face to face. For those pupils who don’t quite feel ready to talk regularly in lessons, the option is always there and we are looking forward to the time when they feel ready to chat with us.