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Reading at Whitcliffe Mount

‘Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, or a duty. It should be offered as a gift.’ Kate Di Camillo

Reading has been described in many ways by different influential people, from Jacqueline Kennedy stating “There are many little ways to enlarge your world.  Love of books is the best of all.”, to Walt Disney saying “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” Or even simply stating the truth that “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” by Richard Steele” The main message is that reading is amazing and it is a way that we can escape our everyday and make it the day we really want to have.

Reading is not just something some people do, or what happens in some lessons. Literacy and communication are essential skills for everybody in society. The ability to read fluently and articulate your ideas through speech and written forms, provide you with the voice to shape your future.

Why is Reading Important?

There are so many benefits of reading, from gaining valuable knowledge; improving your focus; to improving your memory and having the ability to empathise with others around you. Literacy and reading enable you to develop the skills to do this. Reading has a significant impact on your ability to progress and access all aspects of your life. Therefore, a key focus, at Whitcliffe Mount, is supporting students to be able to access every lesson and develop their confidence and fluency in reading.

We are developing our reading support within the school across all year groups. Reading is promoted in all curriculum areas and staff are eager to provide students with the ability to further challenge and embed their reading, writing and spoken skills throughout their learning. This will be done through reading and speaking aloud in class; articulating their ideas in class discussion and encouraging students to engage fully in opportunities to read whenever they are presented to them.

How do we assess Reading?

As a school, we assess students using the NRGT reading test in September and intervene where required. Through research and training we have staff who are able to provide more intensive support to students who require this. This includes; Ruth Miskin’s Fresh Start for phonic support, Reciprocal Reading and Reading Friends for students who need to focus on grammar and fluency support. IDL is another programme the school uses to support students with their reading and spelling. This alongside our focus on reading across the curriculum enables students to progress in all their learning and develop a love for reading and learning.