Literacy is hugely important and is woven throughout all areas of our curriculum. At Noadswood, we pride ourselves on the culture of reading that we are creating and constantly developing.
Reading has never been more important. New research states that almost one in five (18.6%) children in England between the ages of five and eight do not have access to books at home. In addition, according to a report by the National Literacy Trust, the percentage of children in this age group who do not have a book of their own at home has risen by 1.9% since before the pandemic and is now at its highest point since 2019.
At Noadswood, we understand that Literacy is key to unlocking the curriculum for all our students. Beyond this, as they move into adulthood, literacy gives them more opportunities for future success, open communication which will foster healthy relationships.
As well as partaking in the National Literacy Trust’s BookBuzz program, adapting Literacy lessons to bridge the gap in Key Stage 3 and extra provision for our wonderful library, we have extended this idea of reading for pleasure further, with each year group allocated a specific text that is read to them by their tutor three times a week.
No Ballet Shoes in Syria – Catherine Bruton
Northern Lights – Phillip Pullman
The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas
The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
The Silk Roads – Peter Frankopan
My Story: Suffragette – Carol Drinkwater
A Life on our Planet – David Attenborough
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Circe – Madeline Miller
Asha and the Spirit Bird – Jasbinder Bilan
Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman
Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Prisoners Of Geography – Tim Marshall
We have chosen books that are age appropriate, but challenging, as well as being socially relevant. Tutors read the novels aloud, whilst students follow their own text to support spelling and vocabulary. No student is asked to read; the adult must shoulder the burden of the fluency of reading to enable students to hear cadence, intonation and emphasis.
Analysis by Kirsch comparing the engaged reading time of 2.2 million students found that –
0-5 mins per day = well below national average
5-14 mins per day = sluggish gains, below national average
15+ mins = accelerated reading gains
20 mins per day = likely score better than 90% of their peers on standardized tests. National Center for Education Statistics
Therefore, there are clear links between children who read independently and their academic outcomes and as well as benefitting future grades, we are striving to show students that reading can be an enjoyable pastime.