Our scheme aims to ensure that the books that we steer our students to read will be much more targeted at their reading age, so that there is always the right amount of challenge. I regularly read with my own children and I completely understand the challenge. Trying to inspire young people while making sure that the levels of the vocabulary are appropriate, is the key challenge. We want to keep our young people interested, but at the same time we want to make sure that they are exposed to words, sentence structures and ideas that are new to them.
No reading scheme is perfect and the reason we are investing so much in getting it right, is to ensure that as a school we work properly with parents and students in support, but also in intervention in improving reading skills. The quality of the report and the information that you receive on students’ reading skills will improve drastically when the pilot goes through.
However, we will also be asking for your support in developing the programme. Some of our students are already avid readers and they may not notice much of a difference. However, for those young people that have been neglecting their reading, it might come as a bit of a shock when we increase our expectation.
The rationale for the change is clear though. We still get a high percentage of students from primary schools for whom reading is a challenge. If a young person’s reading comprehension is below the average of their peers, then often that is the root cause of underachievement in school. There aren’t any subjects in the school that don’t require good levels of literacy and driving up the skills of our students to be successful readers, will have a significant impact on their overall achievement and enjoyment in school.