At Thornhill, we have a strong focus on the development of an effective literacy skillset because we recognise its importance to academic success and achievement. Across the curriculum, we support and challenge pupils to develop their skills in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.
Each term, we have a whole school focus on one key aspect from each of the skills above to ensure pupils have the best possible chance to develop these vital abilities that underpin their learning.
Reading is the key to unlocking success in all subjects. With this in mind, our ongoing aim is to develop independent, committed readers and to foster a love of reading.
One way in which we do this is through the Accelerated Reading Programme, which every Key Stage 3 pupil is involved in. Each pupil is expected to choose a reading book from our extensive Learning Resource Centre and to keep it with them in order to read every day. In this way, a book is an essential part of the school uniform along with a bag, pen, pencil, ruler, and homework planner.
The Accelerated Reading Programme is individually tailored to each pupil’s reading ability, ensuring the books they choose are not too easy or too challenging, giving them the best chance of progress and success. Pupils’ efforts and progress are rewarded with an end of year celebration at which prizes are awarded for the number of words read and quizzes passed.
We would ask parents and carers to help us to make this programme a success by:
- Encouraging your child to read at home
- Asking them about their reading
- Reading with your child
- Reminding them to put their book into their bag each morning
Another programme enjoyed by our pupils is Reading Plus which is an engaging, interactive reading intervention which all pupils will access during years 8, 9, or beyond. Activities encourage pupils to improve their vocabulary and reading speed as well as develop comprehension and inference skills. Instant feedback, 'unlocking' of new features and the game-like format allows pupils to make progress in an enjoyable and rewarding manner. Pupils are issued with an account in year 8 which allows them access from home or from a personal device which allows Reading Plus activities to be issued as part of the English homework policy.