New books boost literacyPosted: 13th May 2019
Hundreds of pounds worth of new books is the latest boost to literacy at Royal Docks Academy.
The school is giving reading a push among students to enable them to reach their full potential.
It has become one of just 100 winners of the James Patterson Big Book Giveaway, receiving a total of £312.50 to spend on books.
Ellie McGoldrick, head of nurture, has set up a mini library in her classroom which has encouraged students to regularly pick up, read and discuss what they are reading.
She said: “The biggest challenge we face is students not reading. Students who are getting the top grades are the ones who are well read.
“We are doing all we can to find the way in to inspire children to want to read. It’s a real battle we know we have to overcome.
“It’s not just about accessing GCSEs, but we want students to have the cultural capital they will get from reading and discussion to take to university to enable them to challenge their peers who will be well read. It’s about bridging that gap for when they leave us.”
The push includes –
- 18 high ability Year 9 students reading, discussing and reviewing eight young adult fiction books in eight weeks as part of the national CILIP Carnegie shadowing scheme
- Year 7 nurture students taking part in one-to-one reading with a teaching assistant each morning
- Year 7 and 8 starting every day by having the same book read to them by their teacher, showing them reading can be for pure pleasure
- Year 7 having a library lesson every two weeks to encourage them to spend time in the library reading
- high ability Year 7 students invited to join the Classics Club to read texts such as The Hound of the Baskervilles
- watching films such as Harry Potter with students to encourage them to then read the equivalent book
The work now begins when Year 6 pupils spend time at the school for their induction and are given a brand-new book to keep. They are challenged to read the book over the summer and complete an Accelerated Reader quiz when they start at the school in September.
The reading age of students is tested when they join the school in Year 7 and then again in Year 8.
Nicola Osborne, assistant SENCo in charge of reading, said: “Literacy is the number one priority at Royal Docks Academy. Giving a book to every child when they join is a tremendous commitment by the school and stimulates an interest in reading. We are trying to develop a lifelong interest in reading.”