The importance of reading

At Greenbank High School, we recognise how well developed literacy skills correlate with life chances for our children. Doug Lemov has stated that: “Of the subjects taught in school, reading is first among equals – the most singular in importance because all others rely on it. (Reading Reconsidered, 2016) Our school has a vibrant reading culture, with the school library being at the heart of many of our literacy initiatives. We celebrate national literacy events such as National Poetry Day and World Book Day. All pupils in Key Stage 3 have access to Accelerated Reader and have a regular reading lesson as part of their English curriculum, during which their reading is monitored by staff and by them undertaking ‘Quizzes’ which track the development of key reading comprehension skills.  As a school, we have also been part of the ‘Book Trust’ initiative over the last two years, which provides all year 7 pupils with a book of their own. Therefore, reading has a high priority across the curriculum, with all teaching staff actively promoting reading comprehension skills in the lessons they deliver.

Our approach is underpinned by the Southport Learning Trust Reading Policy  and starts with early identification of children whose reading ages (RA) are below their chronological age. Our response to the various levels of need in relation to reading competence are summarised in the Powerpoint Presentation, Greenbank High School Reading Strategy . All pupils complete the Access Reading Test (NFER) twice yearly and this reading age data is shared with subject staff, who use it to inform their deliver, preparation of resources and seating plans. A detailed account of our reading interventions is also contained within this document.

In 2021-22, we have also identified the development of reading as one of our whole school focus areas. We have devised a continuum of reading skills to help us to evaluate how reading skills are promoted in lessons and staff CPD is planned to support this further.

All staff have had training on Disciplinary Literacy, and in our Communities of School Improvement through Southport Learning Trust, we have offered staff further training on how to improve Disciplinary Literacy in specific subject areas.