#389 Creating a Culture of Reading (KS3) – Ipswich Academy
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What did we do?
I was selected to become an Implementation Lead within my school, which involved the following:
Spending time collating information and evidence to accurately diagnose the specific challenges to KS3 English outcomes.
Drafting & refining my Securing Achievement Action Plan and then putting this into practice.
Completing a comprehensive training programme through the Research School Network.
Continually monitoring the effectiveness & impact of my reading project.
From October 2021 to June 2022, I implemented a number of opportunities for staff and students in order to improve literacy within the school and to create a reading culture following the Covid-19 pandemic. I have led a number of whole staff and English Department CPD sessions which provided a number of strategies for staff to use within their lessons to encourage students’ independence with reading. I have also got our library back up and running 4 lunch times a week with excellent success, as well as buying in a large number of new Carnegie nominated fiction books and investing in a new ebook system for staff and students to access. I have also started a book club with up to 11 members attending and taking part.
Summary of impact
The introduction of the ebook platform has worked incredibly well with the uptake rising each new half term since launching. The amount of time students are reading has been steadily rising.
Initially, I began with the introduction of new strategies for reading in the classroom in small chunks and worked with some departments (science, history, English, maths) to analyse and then develop the way that this could be introduced within various subjects. This began with whole school CPD before working more closely with individual teachers. We also ensured that all staff were encouraging students to access the library for both educational and enjoyment purposes. Once this was running at a steady pace, we introduced the new ebook system and have also now introduced tablets in the library as well as designated space for reading for pleasure.
What would we do differently
I would reduce the amount I tried to implement as it became slightly overwhelming to handle initially. However, now that it is launched, it runs smoothly and we are now working on more ways to encourage students to read for pleasure by linking to wider literacy focuses across the school.
I found that I needed the full Opportunity Area funding to implement this project as the books and ebook system ended up costing more than initially anticipated.
Costs covered release time to allow me to be free from timetable for 0.5 days per week, for 1 year to: attend training, write an action plan, undertake relevant Implementation Lead duties and monitor progress.
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