Reading is succeeding – and ‘Spark Night’
This year in school we’ve been spending a lot of time encouraging students to read. I’m hoping that regular readers of this blog will have noticed me mentioning it over the past few months, most recently here where I wrote about the ‘secrets’ of turning up and reading. Yesterday I was thrilled to be able to hand over a certificate and prize to the second student to successfully complete the ’16 before 16′ challenge, where students are set the target of reading 16 different books from a range of genres. The first to meet that ambitious goal was Year 11 student Holly, and the second was Year 8 student Amelie – a fantastic achievement for both students and especially for someone as young as Amelie.
One of the broader strategies we are using is to ask teachers all across the curriculum to spend time properly teaching key vocabulary. These might be subject specific words, or other words that will help students understand the courses they are studying. We’ve been really clear with teachers how to deliver this information, using a method called the ‘Frayer Models’. These all follow the same format and help students understand the meaning of the word, where the word has come from, what the different parts of the word mean and what other words mean the same, or the opposite, thing. The use of these models (often black and white slides shown on the whiteboard) is starting to become really common – maybe ask your son or daughter and see if they can remember any words they have learned and where? We’re starting to see the benefit across school as students can see the links between different words in different subjects, which is exactly the idea.
Finally, last week I wrote about extra curricular opportunities and our quality of ‘Spark’. I’m pleased to announce that tickets for the fantastic ‘Spark Night’ are now available here. Snap them up before they sell out!
Half term is coming up and I hope everyone has a great week. Maybe it’s a great chance for a young person to pick up a book…