“Books are a friend, books are an escape, books are a means to empowerment and books are a means to understanding yourself better in a world around you.  They are everything.”  Emma Watson

Vision

Reading is a vital and fundamental skill for every young person, but reading, like any skill, needs to be practised. By the time our pupils sit their GCSEs, they will need to be proficient in the following reading skills: inference, deduction, analysis, synthesis, comparison, and evaluation. We recognise this at Studley High School and our curriculum and values emphasise the importance of reading. As well as giving access to learning and understanding, reading also helps young people develop their social and cultural capital by giving them access to new ideas and experiences, encouraging them to empathise with people and characters from all walks of life.

This is why reading is one of our top priorities at Studley High School. We prioritise reading by promoting reading across the school. We really do want to enable every pupil to read fluently and comprehend texts, not only in English but in all curriculum areas. There is a dedicated reading activity once a week in tutor time. This focuses on a relevant news story. The pupils read the article, look at key vocabulary and are asked to discuss the story, being prompted by a set of questions. We also encourage parental involvement, and the article is sent out as a link to parents every Friday, before pupils discuss it in tutor time on a Monday.

Reading and English

In English, reading is actively encouraged to promote and accelerate learning in all areas. Our Key Stage 3 programme has dedicated reading time. A typical KS3 lesson will open with an engaging activity designed to foster and celebrate pupils love of reading, whilst enhancing their comprehension, vocabulary, and literacy skills. The reading we offer at KS3 reflects the ever-changing world our pupils grow up in. Weekly homework also includes dedicated time to reading. The EFF suggests the average impact of reading comprehension strategies adds up to six months’ progress over the course of a year.

We want all our pupils to develop the habit of reading independently and this is where parents/guardians can support. At KS3 there is a dedicated homework, once a week, for reading. Pupils are encouraged to read aloud to someone and write a short summary of what has happened in their book. Helping pupils to develop a love of reading is the best way of helping them do well at school.

Competitions

Throughout the year, there are reading competitions. This could be as part of our celebration of World Book Day or various other activities such as reading competitions during the holidays.

What is new?

We are currently launching a series of exciting reading initiatives to promote the joys and benefits of reading. For example, Accelerated Reader – any student in KS3 on the ‘emerging’ pathway will have access to a dedicated reading lesson once a week during tutor time. Pupils on this pathway will take an initial Star Reading Test, which will give us their reading age. Pupils will be encouraged to read an age-appropriate book. Once finished, the pupils take a quiz on the entire book and receive instant feedback to the quiz and will know if their reading age has improved. This scheme is designed for pupils who, for whatever reason, struggle with reading fluently.

Reading and our library

Our library is an integral part of our school, and we are always trying to improve the facilities we can offer to pupils. In 2022, we are challenging pupils to borrow and read 22 books from the library. We are also encouraging pupils to write reviews of the books they borrow from the library. We listen to pupils’ requests for the type of books they want to see in the library and where possible, try to meet these needs.

At Studley High School, we believe reading is the gateway to successful learning.