Changes to Reading for Pleasure Home Learning
Dear Parent or Guardian,
At The Purbeck School, we know that completing home learning is essential to long term successes. It allows students to extend their learning and to reinforce what has been learnt in class.
Daily home learning will continue to be in three 20 minute parts in year seven, eight and nine:
- Knowledge organiser self-quizzing
- Reading fiction for pleasure
The following part of this article will outline the changes to the Reading fiction for Pleasure home learning and explain the rationale behind the changes. You should all have received an email with the information below, and an attached copy of the new Reading Fiction for Pleasure booklet.
Why is Reading Fiction for Pleasure an Important Part of Home Learning?
The National Literacy Trust has found that children who enjoy reading are three times more likely to have good mental wellbeing than children who don’t enjoy it. We recognise that reading is an important stress reducer in young people and, just like exercise, regularly sitting down with fiction is an important habit that supports living a happy life.
Students that perform at a high level in their GCSE and A level examinations are, more often than not, readers. It is often sadly the case that students that struggle in formal examinations across subjects have lower than average reading ages and literacy levels. This is not surprising: the average reading age needed to understand a GCSE History textbook is eighteen years; the average reading age needed to understand a GCSE Science paper is also eighteen years; the BBC have also recently published an article entitled ‘Maths advantage for pupils who read for pleasure’. There are no areas of the school curriculum that would not be improved by a student having higher than average literacy levels.
‘10-year-olds who enjoy reading have a reading age 1.3 years higher than their peers who do not enjoy reading, rising to 2.1 years for 12-year-olds and 3.3 years for 14-year-olds’. National Literacy Trust
‘Children who say they have a book of their own are 15 times more likely to read above the level expected for their age than their peers who don’t own a book (28.8% vs 1.9%)’. National Literacy Trust
Changes to the Reading Home Learning Policy
- All students will now receive a separate booklet to support reading fiction for pleasure alongside their knowledge organisers. This is to encourage students to view each aspect of their home learning as important as the other.
- Students will be expected to read for a minimum of 20 minutes each day, record the name of the novel (fiction) that they are reading, the pages numbers they have read and the minutes they have read for.
- Once every two weeks, students must complete a short journal activity where they choose a ‘reading prompt’ from their booklet to write about the book (fiction) they are reading at home.
- At the end of each two week reading cycle, we require both a student and parent signature to confirm that the home learning has been completed. Completed home learning will be when:
- The student has read for 20 minutes or more each evening and recorded this in the reading log section of the booklet.
- The student has completed the reading journal section of the booklet.
- The completion of the reading home learning will then be checked by the student’s English teacher in a lesson and there will be some discussion of what students are reading at home.
What happens if a student fails to complete their reading home learning?
Where it is noticed that students have not completed their reading record, journal or there are missing signatures, we will send an email home to remind you about the need for the student home learning to be completed, checked and signed.
In the second instance where students have failed to complete their reading for pleasure home learning, we will initially set a lunch time detention in line with the school behaviour policy. It is very important that students bring a book to this detention so they can catch up with their home learning.
Though vital for student’s academic successes, we recognise that getting students to read for pleasure is not always an easy task. To support this, we would advise students to visit our school library where we have spent over £1500 on high quality literature for students to choose from. Each week, between Tuesday and Thursday, there is a home learning club in E14. If students would prefer to do their reading in this club, a member of staff will note that it has been completed.
Equally, the bestsellers lists on popular shopping websites also gives a good indication on what may be entirely popular with young people today. We will also continue to publish popular student reads at The Purbeck School on the school website and in the library.
If you are interested in reading more about the benefits of reading for pleasure, please visit the National Literacy Trust website for more details: https://literacytrust.org.uk/information/what-is-literacy/
Many thanks for your support.
Mr T McNaughton