We firmly believe that reading is essential to our pupils’ progress in all their subjects. We have invested in a new library with a superb selection of books that are constantly updated and suit all our pupils’ interests.
Books, eBooks, Audio Books, Newspapers and Magazines
Alderwood School believes that it is important for all children to read to the best of their ability and that the only way to improve children’s reading skills is to encourage them to read for pleasure. Research supports this view. Over the last two years there has been a succession of initiatives and interventions and significant progress has been made in raising literacy skills at Alderwood School.
At the Ofsted 2012-13 subject survey inspection programme for English it was noted that:
- Achievement in reading is a strength, especially in Key Stage 3.
One of those initiatives was in the revamping of the school’s Infocentre and in relabeling it: Library. This was in order to emphasise the importance of books and the aim to give a clear message to all pupils that this is an area for:
- Reading for Pleasure,
- Reading for Information,
- Reading for Research.
Underlining the importance of reading skills as a vital part of learning.
Pupils are encouraged always to have a reading book with them. They are able to change their library books before start of school, during tutor time, break, lunch and after school.
Our pupils are encouraged to make suggestions for the library and books are ordered quickly to ensure that their interest in reading is maintained. Surveys are conducted to ensure that the library grows to meet the needs of the pupils.
The new library management system means that pupils can now access the library catalogue online via the school intranet. Pupils can reserve books, write reviews, read reviews, find out who writes like whom, listen to authors talk about their books, and the newly launched eBooks gives pupils access anytime, anywhere to borrowing via the library catalogue. Our library does not close in the holidays!
Alongside this development reading during tutor time has been instigated, complemented by a regular literacy programme once a week. At KS3, pupils have a reading lesson once per fortnight when they may change books and are encouraged to try different genres, to review books they have read and make recommendations to others. Some pupils have individual reading sessions with older pupils, the ‘Buddy Scheme’, with Learning Support Assistants or mentors and volunteer readers.
During the summer break Year 6 pupils are identified for a literacy summer school in order to encourage positive transition, and create a readiness to learn particularly focussing on literacy.
Last year, the transition from feeder school to secondary, was promoted with the introduction of an after school double-club. This encouraged parental involvement in literacy followed by an hour of sporting activity. The double club run in partnership with Aldershot Town Football Club and Connaught Leisure in term 1 was for Year 6 pupils and their parents. This was highly successful and won a National Literacy Award.