The Why

At Orchard Mead Academy, we intend to create confident readers who have the ability to develop a deep and true understanding of what they read and appreciate the importance and value of reading to access knowledge and support well- being. We aim to foster and promote a love of reading, fluency and a secure ability to comprehend information. It is important for us that children are able to comprehend at a high level rather than just sight read. In order to foster a love of reading across various genres, we aim to expose children to a wide range of texts and purchase books accordingly. Through our 3 tiers of Motivational reading, lessons in reading and support in reading, we develop all students to achieve excellence and combat any barriers to success.

We recognise the need to build a reading culture as ‘Schools that take the business of reading for pleasure seriously, where teachers read, talk with enthusiasm and recommend books, and where provision for reading is planned carefully, are more likely to succeed with their pupils’ reading.” Ofsted, May 2011.

Our approach to reading as an embedded part of the daily routine for students is rooted in the’ enduring power of reading to shape and develop minds, both in the classroom, and, ultimately, outside of it. Of the subjects taught in school, reading is first among equals- the most singular in importance because all others rely on it. Excellence in almost any subject requires strong reading’ (Reading Reconsidered, D, Lemov)

Lessons in Reading

We are an academy that centres all of our practices around research. To become experts, we must listen to experts. When approaching the science of reading, we have made great steps in reading, researching, testing and discussing the best approaches for our children. This research has led to a plan to enable all students in the academy to read every day with a variety of texts and to enable them to have a specific reading lesson.

Research analysis comparing the engaged reading time of 2.2 million students found that – 0-5 mins per day = well below national average 5-14 mins per day = sluggish gains, below national average 15+ mins = accelerated reading gains 20 mins per day = likely score better than 90% of their peers on standardised tests.   National Centre for Education Statistics

Daily reading sessions are planned for 30 mins and each of the groups have been formed based on tests we have carried out that tell us the current reading ages. We have the following groups:

In each reading session, the children will be read part of a novel by the teacher. At specific points there will be work on vocabulary that helps understanding of what is about to be read. Where appropriate, other activities will be introduced to help the children to understand, contextualise and say individual words. Each of the groups is designed to address a certain skill that some children need to relearn or simply become better at. As you will appreciate, understanding and developing the vocabulary knowledge of students is vital in helping them to understand the challenging texts we are offering.

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.
René Descartes

Questions and Answers for Parents