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Encouraging reading in Secondary schools?

Discussion in 'English' started by thequillguy, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Where in the country are you? You might get an invited to see how we do things here. How big is your school? Without a dedicated librarian, you are fighting an uphill battle (not least as it is clear SMT do not value reading fiction as a way of supporting literacy.) Accelerated Reader is very useful, but you can't reply upon teachers monitoring reports.

    I think the most effective thing you can do now is perhaps colour coding the difficulty of your books, and having low reading age, but older interest level, books. Again, PM me if you want.
  2. millicent_bystander

    millicent_bystander New commenter

    We've recently started a policy that all pupils are expected to have a reading book with them in every lesson.
    If you adopted this you could follow a DEAR - Drop Everything And Read at any given time during the day. Teachers could join in too to show that they enjoy reading.
    Get the staff to bring in their favourite books and take photos which can be used a posters.
    The National Literacy Trust has information about reading champions with lots of resources.
    You can also get staff to have signatures on their emails stating what they are currently reading - teachers could write reviews of the books they have just read and spread this out to pupils too. Using tutor time to write reviews of their reading etc.
    Worth considering 'Readathon' too. In my previous school we adopted a silent reading focus in tutor groups and I took assemblies talking about what books I loved and why - I had the whole of year 8 in an assembly reading for 10 minutes, took loads of photos and used these as promotional material around the school.
    There are lots of simple things that you can do that will be the start of something big.
    Good luck!
  3. Thanks both of you - these are really ideas I can think about and use!
  4. sunflower48

    sunflower48 New commenter

    We use these Reading Passports. Apparently they started in Lincolnshire and I think many schools both secondary and primary used them. I have to say we have had success with these; pupils read and record what they have read in the passport - a good selection of genre. We have a Pupil Reading Record Book where we also get pupils to write when they read, what they read and how many pages so we can monitor their reading. There are many competitions we have run as well - in year groups and clases.

    Link here - hope it works otherwise google Nate Rooted in Reading

  5. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    In KS3 we've been running various projects to engage readers -
    including a Reading Marathon, where pupils get parents to sign when a
    book has been read, and they have to follow "around the track" which
    includes non-fiction, magazine, newspaper as well as fiction. This has
    really engaged our more reluctant readers - "prizes" for completing each
    page / completing the whole booklet.
    We've also run a sponsored read,
    with money going to a books-for-Africa scheme. Again, this has given
    the pupils a really good "reason" to read. We made it a very short-term project - over Christmas and due to end next week, but we're delighted that the pupils have asked us to extend it!
    Knowing that all research points to the fact that boys who read do better than boys who don't, in our library we have a Boys Zone - huge bean-bags, those "life-size" cardboard promotional cut-outs of darleks and such like. The boys really enjoy being in there reading, and we've bought some Kindles for those who find that a more engaging way.
    I do think it is important that the teachers are seen reading - role models and all that - although I am guilty of using reading time to get marking and admin done!
    Designing front covers / spines / back-covers for a book they've read is also an obvious one, but does get them thinking about the themes of the book, writing a blurb and the promotional side of books and the features of different genres when they are being packaged.
    Set up a twitter account and pupils have to post their thoughts on their current book, but of course, are limited to 140 characters.
    I hope some of this helps!
  6. As the divisor of the passports, I'm glad to hear that you use them and that they seem to be working well with schools. We are going to launch a new passport for teachers at the UKLA conference in July. The aim is to encourage teachers to read more in the hope that this will have a knock on impact on pupils. They will also just be nice little booklets to carry about and jot teaching ideas in when they occur to you.

    Thanks for spreading the word bout Rooted in Reading - with no advertising budget it is hard work. Hope you have seen that we have recently had an article about the passports on the Guardian web site and have published a research report, both easily found through Google. And ther ar a couple of short films on YouTube.
  7. TESEnglish

    TESEnglish Occasional commenter

  8. I'm sure you will have found your own way to the materials by now, but you can find them all in the shop at www.nate.org.uk.

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