Reading each night is an important aspect of educational success. Indeed, research has proven that reading enjoyment is more important for children'sâ€¯educational successâ€¯than any other factor (OECD, 2002). For this reason, the school routinely tests students’ reading age.
To improve their reading further, students must read a book every night for at least 30 minutes. They should aim to finish a book of their choice every two weeks. It is very important that you encourage them to do so. Students have also been issued with a ‘Reciprocal Reading bookmark’, which provides prompts for them to discuss their comprehension of texts. In students’ planners, English teachers communicate with parents reading targets for each week. All students have access to a range of challenging and age-appropriate books to borrow in the school library and, by the end of the term, all classes will have had a session with the librarian explaining strategies for selecting a book. You can find your child’s reading age in their planner.
Reading age tests (Years 7-11):
HASJW uses a programme called NGRT to test students' reading age (More information is available here). The test is made up of two parts: sentence completion (which measures decoding with some element of comprehension); and passage comprehension (which measures a range of comprehension skills of increasing difficulty).
Students who read routinely for pleasure often have reading ages higher than their actual age. Some students have reading ages lower than their actual age (e.g. they might be 14 years old but have a reading age of 13, because their language skills are under-developed.) These students receive extra support in school.
Students, in Year 7, 10, 11, whose reading age is significantly lower than their actual age will be tested using a different programme, called Rapid (), which assesses whether they are struggling with phonics or comprehension. Subject teachers and tutors also report on their diagnosis of the underlying issues. Support is then targeted to them accordingly.
Targeted support (Years 7-11):
Depending on the reading age of students and their needs, they may be invited to attend:
- 'Books and Biscuits': Tuesday and Wednesday lunchtime (voluntary attendance: all welcome)
- 'Reading Club': Monday, 3.50-4.40PM (Students are grouped according to whether their need relates to comprehension, phonics, handwriting, conversation-making)
- EAL Reading Club: Wednesday 3.50-4.40PM
- EAL support intervention: timetabled for students in groups throughout the week
- Our Key Stage 3 and Year 12 reading mentors programme: Tuesday tutor time
- Phonics focused Year 8 class
- Phonics focused Year 7 class - beginning November 2023
- Creative Writing club - Wednesday lunchtime and 3.50-4.30PM (voluntary attendance: all welcome)
- Spelling Bee - termly events
- Debate Mate - Wednesday, 4-5PM
- KS4 Essay Club: Friday, 3.50-4.50PM
Accelerated Reader (Years 7-10):
To support students’ reading skills we use a programme called Renaissance Place (Accelerated Reader), which allows students to take quizzes on books they have read. Their English teacher will then offer advice on what they might read next. This program has a special feature called Renaissance Home Connect, which your child and you can access outside of school from any computer with an Internet connection. Renaissance Home Connect is fun and easy to use. It allows the teacher, you and your child to share information about their progress in Accelerated Reader. You can log in to Renaissance Home Connect from any computer with an Internet connection and compatible browser. Their usernames and passwords can be found in their planners.
If you'd like to receive emails showing your student's quiz or test results, click the Email Setup link in Renaissance Home Connect and follow the directions. To be sure these emails reach your inbox, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book.
Bedrock (Year 7-10):
Students also have access to Bedrock, a programme to help them develop vocabulary and improve their literacy. Students should use Bedrock every Monday/Wednesday/Friday evening, as part of their homework. However, they are able to complete tasks every day including weekends, if they wish to do so. Students have already been provided with the usernames and passwords. Access codes are also available for parents so that they can also track and monitor the progress of their child. These are stuck into student planners. If you cannot find the stickers in their planners, you can get these access codes by emailing email@example.com.