Moving in to the academic year 2017-2018, I am really keen to focus and develop three things with regard to reading across the academy:
- Our use of AR – we have purchased this for another two years so have an absolute necessity to maximise its use.
- Classroom libraries – these are starting to appear across the academy in different subject areas – EVERY classroom Freya…that’s the goal.
- Tutor time reading programme
The tutor time reading programme has come about after reading Michaela’s blogs about how they maximise reading opportunity. I decided that this would be another brilliant way to offer a reading opportunity to our pupils.
We have a 30 minute community time slot each day and for one of these sessions per week, a tutor group will participate in shared reading. That is the tutor will read to the group before completing whole class reading. Simples.
The first decision that had to be made was re choice of books. Michaela have gone for classics. I have decided not to. My main driver was initially to identify books that fit in with our core values or respect and kindness etc. I think sometimes we create values but don’t easily demonstrate to pupils what it means to possess these values and I think that literature has a powerful way into this. You can see how this driver has dictated the choices in year 7 and beyond.
I’ve been involved in quite a few discussion re. KS2 / KS3 books so have had to rethink some year 8 and year 9 choices and still need another book for year 9 and several seminal works for year 10. I had already purchased the year 7 books so whilst some, arguably, are KS2…they will remain as being central to our core values. These are the books I have opted for in the end
The other thing I am keen to prevent is that this reading leads into lots of writing. Instead, I provide each tutor (hopefully in Sep – eek!) with a reading guide. This guide contains two things:
- Key vocabulary (tier two vocabulary) – I want tutors to define the key words for pupils, explore the word in context within the novella and then orally identify further examples of the word within a number of sentences.
- Discussion questions to aid comprehension.
An example of a reading guide is attached here. Thanks to Lucy Strange, the author of The Secrets of Nightingale Wood who actually supplied the questions for this one 🙂
I, of course, have to thank the SLT of my academy for backing me and this idea and providing the finances to buy tutor group book boxes. Without their support, this would not be possible.