Reading at TGAS
At Tudor Grange Academy Solihull, we recognise that reading is the master skill. Our vision is that every student will be a competent reader so they can fully access our rich curriculum.
Tudor Grange Academy Solihull is a reading school, where engagement with and enjoyment of texts is embedded across the curriculum. Reading is understood by all staff and students to be of vital importance and our school culture promotes and celebrates it, at every opportunity.
In order to be competent readers, Tudor Grange Academy Solihull’s students must:
- read independently and for pleasure
- have the skills to tackle texts across the curriculum at KS4 and beyond
- have the literacy skills to engage with the texts they will encounter in life
How do we support reading at TGAS?
Here at TGAS, we follow a multi-faceted approach to reading, both within the curriculum and via intervention.
- Students benefit from Register, Read, Respond (our tutor time reading programme) which affords students the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts – both fiction and non-fiction -alongside learning high frequency academic vocabulary. Texts are selected to expand students’ cultural capital.
- All extended texts are read aloud by expert readers to model fluency and enable all students to access ambitious texts, regardless of their current reading ability.
- As a staff body, we recognise the importance of developing a wide vocabulary as this improves students’ reading comprehension and fluency. Within curriculum areas, students are explicitly taught vocabulary that supports their understanding of more challenging academic texts.
- Development of reading knowledge and skill is underpinned by a carefully constructed, ambitious English curriculum.
- Annually, key stage 3 students’ reading ages are assessed using the NGRT reading assessment. This is used to identify students who require additional reading support, following which interventions are implemented.
What further reading opportunities are there?
- Students in Year 7 and 8 have fortnightly reading lessons which aim to foster a love of reading, by celebrating their independent reading and having a group reading experience. Students will read extracts from texts which link thematically and historically to the text they are studying in the English curriculum.
- There is the TG Reading Challenge 40 for Year 7 and 8 where we challenge all students to read 40 books in academic year. Independent reading is a strong predictor of future success, both academically and in terms of personal development.
- We celebrate World Book Day each year in a variety of ways.
What can parents do to help support reading at home?
Reading for pleasure is possibly the single-most important activity your child can do to improve achievement in school. Research has shown that reading helps cognitive development; a recent IoE study revealed that students who read at home do “significantly better” across the curriculum – including 9.9% better in maths – than students who don’t read. Linked to this is the fact that reading is the best way to improve vocabulary, essential for success in every subject.
- Find books with a connection to something they love. If they are football fans, look for football fiction for teens or if they are into gaming, try fast-paced chapter books or “choose your own adventure” stories. Non-fiction books linked to a child’s interests are a great way to spark a desire to read.
- Use the recommended reading lists in the TG Reading Challenge 40 journal or the student planners to start a discussion on books that your child might enjoy reading.
- Visit the library with your child when you go into town: you can also access audiobooks and eBooks for free using your library app/online platform.
- Find the book version of a film – read the book, watch the film together and then discuss the differences and your opinions on each.
Motivating children to read:
- Be enthusiastic about what they are reading: ask them to describe a character or to read aloud an exciting bit. You might read a teen/YA book yourself; the plot-driven nature of many of these books means they are relatively easy reads – perfect after a day at work.
- Try a “phone free” hour.
- Let your children see you reading for pleasure and talk about what you read and how you choose books.
- Continue to read aloud to your children (even if they are fluent readers) and/or use audiobooks. You could listen to an audiobook as a family.
- Ultimately, gentle encouragement is best.