School Improvement Review
Priority 2 - Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment
To further develop cognitive challenge by inspiring and igniting pupil’s imaginations, through their reading experiences across the curriculum. A particular emphasis is the reading behaviours of boys.
To implement an e-book scheme for KS2 children.
Over the last academic year, we have been working on the development of cognitive challenge within the curriculum whilst keeping in place the strategies that have been effective. Reading for Pleasure is well and truly embedded at The Meadows. Children across the key stages are capable of articulating what they are reading, as well as noting favourite series and authors. There is a very positive attitude within the school and the children embody what it means to read at length for enjoyment. The changes made within school last year (including revamping the library and allowing the children to build the collection of books) has only flourished this year.
At The Meadows, children take real ownership of their reading, many exceeding the home learning requirements set for each class. Their diaries highlight what they are reading but also their understanding of their reading. Canine Comments have been a staple of our reading curriculum for many years now within Key Stage 2, but indirectly this has begun to filter down into Key Stage 1. The amount of children reflecting on their reading this year has increased across the school and this has been aided with the use of Reading Dogs.
This year, we have built on our use of the Reading Dogs and the children are now able to articulate the many areas of reading; they are now much more aware that reading is far more than decoding. With this solid foundation already in place, we wished to further develop challenge in reading across the curriculum. With the use of Chris Quigley’s Brilliant Books scheme, the children have explored a range of new books from around the world across the curriculum. Each classroom has created their own ‘Brilliant Book’ showcasing the great work that has been produced through the reading of these texts. Pupil voice about these texts show the children applying their reading skills in creative and unique ways.
The enjoyment of reading has been at the heart of our curriculum for many years. There is a great deal of research that suggests that those who read for pleasure will perform better emotionally, socially and academically. This is an ethos we stand by at The Meadows. However, nationally, there is a trend of girls out performing boys in reading. This is an area we wished to tackle this academic year by introducing strategies to encourage reluctant readers. Pupil voice across the school shows that boys view their reading very positively. They have enjoyed the changes to the school collection (and they have particularly enjoyed the sports related texts that have been introduced). It has been the introduction of E-Platform that the boys have been most positive about. We researched many digital book schemes after the use of e-books was suggested on several parent and pupil surveys. We chose E-Platform for the following reasons:
- It updates monthly with new releases
- It allows us to control the content the children are viewing
- It allows the children to leave book reviews
- It is dyslexia friendly
- It has a selection of modern and classic books
- It promotes the use of positive screen-time
The uptake of this has been very positive and we hope to see this continue into the next academic year. The children have enjoyed sharing the books they have read with each other during assemblies.
Shared reading is something that has developed this academic year, primarily in the form of Book Club. Book Club was introduced by a group of pupils at the school. It is completely child-led and has been extremely popular. The children in this group have not only promoted reading for pleasure throughout the school, but they have also been able to articulate its purpose to individuals within SET. They also did a fantastic job of organising a fundraiser at the end of the academic year that raised money for reading resources in the school. This money will also go to further develop the outside reading space.
Our social media presence this year has also not gone unnoticed. We had the pleasure of being in contact with the author of Tom Gates, Liz Pichon! The children in school are very vocal about their reading preferences and it was hard not to notice the plethora of Tom Gates books making their way into book bags! Due to this interest, we arranged for the children to see Tom Gates live on stage.
After this, the children in Class 3 created their own calligrams and diary pages in the same style. Once these made their way onto Twitter, Liz Pichon sent us a lovely message… as well as a hand-drawn card! The children were thrilled with this and it was great for them to see the positive power of social media.
Reading at The Meadows has gone from strength to strength. We look forward to seeing this develop in the next academic year.