Kings Langley School is a Reading School
Ways to support reading at home
There is overwhelming evidence on the impact of reading demonstrating how crucial it is to ensure our students can read proficiently by the time they leave Kings Langley School. In order to give our young people the best possible opportunities, it is vitally important that we have home support in this too.
Please find below a number of strategies you can use at home to develop your child’s reading skills:
Find the time to read with and to your child – this only needs to be 10 minutes per day. This is absolutely the most important suggestion on this list. It will help you to know first-hand your child’s reading ability and attitude to reading. It will tell them you value reading. It will give you both time to spend together (so precious in these busy lives we have!). It will give your child an interested ear. It gives you an opportunity to praise and advise. It will also give you time to read!
- Ask them about what they are reading during tutor time. Find out what the characters are like, what’s happened so far (recapping skills are important for reading comprehension), what they think might happen next, whether they are enjoying it or not (and why), what it is like in comparison to other things they’re reading about etc.
- Buy them a book that you think is ‘too grown up for them’ – children often like to feel they are being trusted with something that is more grown up than they are! Choose carefully though!!
- Talk to them about your own feelings about reading. Do you enjoy it? What are you currently reading? Do you wish you were better at reading? Why? How is reading important for your job? Etc.
- Put the subtitles on when you watch TV. Studies have shown that this simply act can double your chances of becoming a good reader.
- Invest in books – charity shops are treasure troves for cheap books, often selling at only 50p per book!
- Join the local library and take short trips there together.
- Subscribe to online book platforms like Audible, Borrow Box, Kindle etc – use technology to help your child feel reading is accessible for them. Audiobooks are a great way to get kids ‘reading’ without them needing a physical book in their hand (although this helps!).
Tutor Time Reading Programme
At Kings Langley School, we know that the single biggest gift we can give to our students and community is the gift of literacy. Not only does it open up the spectrum of academic study and success, but it paves the way for future successes in adult life. Our Literacy Strategy places reading at its core.
All students in Years 7 to 10 take part in an extensive Tutor Time Reading Programme (Register & Read), which sees them reading engaging, challenging, diverse, current and classic literature with their form tutors once a week. Books for the R&R have been carefully curated to reflect a number of important requirements:
- to support, supplement and develop curriculum content. Our books have links to studies in English, maths, science, Art, Personal Development, technology and PE.
- to reflect and highlight important social and cultural issues such as sexism, racism, homophobia, education, morality, mortality etc.
- to be diverse and inclusive so all members of our school community see themselves represented in literature.
- to provide examples of entertaining and engaging literature, both fiction and non-fiction.
- to expose our students to a wider variety of vocabulary.
- to enhance out students’ understanding of our character programme.
A full list of the books our students will be reading across the year can be found here:
Dedicated Reading Lessons
As well as reading during tutor time in a morning with their tutors, students in Years 7 – 9 also have one lesson of dedicated reading time each fortnight as part of their English provision.
These lessons take place in the classroom with the teacher modelling excellent reading skills using texts that have been specifically chosen to support the English curriculum and enhance the students’ cultural, historical and social understanding.
Reading is the master skills of school (Quigley, 2020). It is a skill required in every subject across the curriculum at Kings Langley School, and much of what a student learns in each subject is communicated through materials the students read. Books, text books, worksheets, web pages, exam papers, even PowerPoint slides all contain written material that students NEED to be able to read and understand in order to learn new information, process it and apply it, in order to achieve the grades they deserve to move on to higher education and good employment.
Academic reading is the kind of reading that is important for each unique and individual subject. It varies from subject to subject, and as a result, students need to be explicitly taught how to read accurately in their different subject disciplines. At Kings Langley School, we are making a long-term commitment to ensuring that teachers actively promote reading (both for learning and pleasure) within their subject areas. More importantly, we are also asking our teachers to ensure that time is spent in lessons working with and on reading skills, reading materials and reading strategies, so that students are practising these vital skills regularly, on a daily basis through their school careers.
This is achieved by using one strategy across the school to allow for consistency of academic reading across the school.
Teacher-led; develop metacognitive skills
- Pre-reading: make predictions and build background knowledge
- During reading: ask questions, change predictions, re-read
- During reading: vocabulary- context? positive/negative? root/prefix/suffix?
- During reading: bullet point key ideas of each paragraph
- After reading: summarise the text
Students are also provided with reading opportunities for each subject area to broaden their thinking and allow them to take their learning beyond the classroom.
Students are encouraged and challenged to not only read but read a variety of texts. Every term, students have opportunities to take part in competitions, join reading clubs and enjoy a number of events hosted by the library all year round.
Studies have shown that just 10 minutes of reading per day can have the following benefits:
- improved mental health and a reduction in levels of stress
- improved concentration
- increase in the number of words students are exposed to (students who read for around 15 minutes per day will encounter an average of 5.7 million words over a year, compared to students who read for less than this, who will encounter 1.7 million words on average)
- improved reading test performance