One of the most important things that society can do for a child is to teach them to read and inspire them to actually do it.
Schools have always had a huge part to play in helping students to become readers, but I would probably say that until a couple of years ago the focus was more on primary schools than secondaries. We had always helped individuals who struggled with the basics, but to some extent our work on encouraging all students to read often and widely was more limited. Thankfully that has changed, and here at MHS we are well on our way to bringing about a ‘Reading Revolution’ at our school. I’ve blogged about why reading matters so much earlier this year, and if you’re interested then the blog is here. We have massively ramped up individual support for students who haven’t yet mastered reading, embedded literacy teaching into every single subject area (ask your child about what vocabulary they have learnt in different subjects) and have really raised the bar on encouraging students to read for pleasure. Lots of work still to do, but it’s great.
Yesterday (Thursday) was World Book Day, and as such there was no better time to encourage students to pick up a new book and give it a go. The theme for the day was to introduce students to five of our ’16 before 16′ novels, a carefully selected group of twenty novels that we think all students would benefit from reading. The challenge is to complete sixteen of them before the end of Year 11, and if they do then we think their vocabulary, confidence and cultural understanding will really flourish. In yesterday’s event teachers introduced their classes to five different novels, reading an extract and discussing the theme of the different stories. By the end of the day itself the Hub leader, Mrs Goodall, was inundated with requests for copies of the books and so it clearly worked!
If parents/carer would like some support on how to encourage reluctant readers to get back in the habit, then you may find some good ideas and resources here.
Finally, advance warning that there are another two days of national strike action on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th March. It is too early to say what the impact will be as of yet, but parents of students in all year groups should be prepared in case should some or all year groups have to close.
Our Community - Our Future
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB
Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker