Reading at Ovingham Middle School

At Ovingham Middle School, we strive to ensure our pupils develop healthy reading habits. Reading is an exercise for the mind and we believe it to be one of the most important life skills for children to learn. Reading not only opens doors of new knowledge to enlighten minds, but also helps children to calm down and relax. Children who read grow up to have better cognitive skills and reach greater future academic and general life success.

We firmly believe in the words of J K Rowling, ā€˜If you donā€™t like to read, you havenā€™t found the right book.ā€™ We want our pupils to develop a passion for reading and appreciate reading for pleasure and here, at Ovingham Middle School, is how we do it:

Reading for pleasure

Our school library plays an integral part in our drive to improve reading across the school. With over 3000 titles available, our pupils can browse and read fiction and non-fiction books covering a wide range of topics, featuring diverse characters and exploring a variety of issues that interest young people. Our library is open every lunchtime and is expertly manned by our KS3 librarians as well as our dedicated school librarian, Mrs Robson, and our reading coordinator, Miss Pearson. We also operate a timetable for pupils to visit during form time to provide opportunities for discussion around reading engagement with form tutors. Pupils visit the library to borrow a book and engage in their own choice of private reading. The school library supports both pupils and departments by providing not only relevant resources to support the curriculum but a challenging and supportive environment to stimulate, maintain and develop a lively and enquiring mind and an enjoyment in reading.

All pupils are expected to have a reading book with them at all times, and are encouraged to read at least three books each term. The importance of regular reading is encouraged at Ovingham Middle School through tutor time, reading lessons and reading opportunities in all lessons. We encourage our pupils to have the confidence to read aloud in lessons in order to help develop their speaking and comprehension skills.

Alongside regular access to our well-resourced school library, we offer support and encouragement to develop a love of reading through:

  • Our online myON library offers a wide range of books including fiction and non-fiction suitable for all age ranges. The online library can be accessed at any time at home or in school.
  • Establishing KS3 Reading Ambassadors who promote reading to our younger children through recommending reads, supporting reading, and organising reading quizzes.
  • Book group – our weekly book club, run by our Y8 Reading Ambassadors, which provides a great opportunity to get together and discuss the latest, new reads!
  • National and local celebration days – we ensure that our pupils are aware of, and can participate in, World Book Day, Childrenā€™s Book as well as national competitions.
  • Hosting regular Book Fairs throughout the year.
  • Hosting our termly, whole-school ā€˜Reading Rocksā€™ Quizzes.
  • Reading displays, showing the latest recommendations.
  • Organising frequent author visits.
  • Making reading a fun part of our timetable by scheduling D.E.A.R. sessions, aimed at free choice.
  • Holding reading assemblies, both student and staff-led.
  • Involving parents and carers by inviting them to our Book Fairs and providing reading recommendations.
  • Sharing with pupils what staff are currently reading.
  • Encouraging cross-curricular reading, with each department providing suggested reading material around their subject.

Accelerated Reader

Every child is enrolled on the Accelerated Reader programme which helps all children become better readers, from those with special educational needs to those who are more confident, experienced readers. When children read books at an appropriate level, they experience success. This programme supports us in tracking pupils’ independent practice and progress with reading.

  • Our Reading Coordinator tracks engagement fortnightly, allowing reluctant readers to be monitored closely and appropriate intervention put in place.
  • As part of this programme, pupils complete termly reading tests that enable us to give each pupil a reading age and a reading target, as well as advice on the range of books that are suitable for them. Pupils can also take regular quizzes on books they have read.
  • Pupils who pass reading quizzes are rewarded with certificates for reaching certain milestones as detailed below. Each time a quiz is passed at 70% or more, the word count of the novel is recorded and added to the pupilā€™s electronic reading record. Bronze – 10,000 words, Silver – 25,000 words, Gold – 50,000 words, Ruby – 100,000 words, Sapphire – 250,000 words, Emerald – 500,000 words, Amethyst – 750,000 words, Millionaire – 1,000,000 words

This recognises our pupilsā€™ progress in reading. Success is also displayed outside our library on our school ā€˜leaderboardā€™ with the highest milestone being a ā€˜Word Millionaireā€™, and all our ā€˜millionairesā€™ shared and celebrated on our school Facebook page.

Reading assessment

At Ovingham Middle, we know our pupils well, and we know about their different reading abilities. Access to reading, motivation for texts and reading achievement are carefully tracked to ensure that no child is left reading behind in their reading journey. When children first arrive at OMS, data from Y4 PIRA assessment is used alongside GL Assessment to inform planning and to assist us in designing provision. The data provided ensures that ALL teachers are aware of the reading ability of their pupils and support them accordingly. Weaker readers have additional testing to ensure interventions are well-matched to need, such as:

  • Daily Rapid Reader sessions in small groups, or, where necessary, 1:1.
  • Reciprocal Reading sessions to support pupils who can decode, but need support with comprehension skills.

Curriculum Thinking

We believe that teaching reading across the curriculum assists learners in good vocabulary knowledge development and intelligent sharing among one another. Learners are also able to explore and exploit texts and materials to their own advantage in the varied content areas.

  • In English, literature is at the heart of our planned curriculum. Our carefully-chosen, high-quality texts are engaging, vocabulary-rich texts and provide a wealth of writing opportunities. Several of these carefully selected texts have strong thematic links to the History, RE, and PSHE curriculum.
  • Personal Development – our new Reading Fluency programme for KS2 focuses on developing accuracy, speed and prosody, believing that when pupils develop these skills, they can make sense of what they have read easily.
  • Wider curriculum – active reading strategies are used across the curriculum when introducing, and sharing, texts with pupils.