In an era of ever-changing and innovative technology, teenagers can often prefer screens to books. However, students at Rastrick High School are bucking the trend and immersing students in books, as a result of the school’s new ‘Read Aloud’ programme. As students age, they are less likely to be read to at home and at school, there’s a common misconception that once students pass 10 years old, they don’t need to be read to and that’s definitely not true.
In an effort to engage students with reading, the school has invested a substantial amount of money on popular teenage fiction designed to improve students’ fluency, widen vocabulary knowledge and to promote reading for pleasure. As part of the school’s investment in the programme, each student has been gifted their own copy of a carefully selected novel to enjoy. The selected reading list is rich and varied to appeal to all reading interests; some of the highlights include Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo and Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by D. E Mildred.
‘Read Aloud’ promotes the power of reading aloud to students and is centred around the teacher modelling reading aloud to the class, whilst pausing to clarify new vocabulary, make connections and discuss ‘big ideas’ that books offer. Students are then encouraged to volunteer themselves to read aloud to their classmates.
Rastrick High School’s ‘Read Aloud’ programme is rooted in the latest educational research and promotes the benefits of modelled reading to older children; some of the benefits include improving reading fluency and widening vocabulary knowledge across the whole curriculum.
Beth Brown, Lead Teacher of Literacy at Rastrick High School said:
“National research reveals that only a small percentage of teenagers are read to daily by an adult and it can be difficult to motivate teenagers to read independently. Now, all our students are able to enjoy this experience and learn reading skills from a skilled reader. Read Aloud has been extremely popular and successful amongst our students and praised by parents.”
Yr 8 student Yusuf said:
“It’s a fun way to enjoy reading. Normally I am pretty shy and a bit nervous when reading but with Miss reading to us it’s helping to build my confidence.
Miss reading aloud is much better than reading by myself. Miss really gets into the book and plays the parts of each character. Being read to has helped my confidence grow and next week I want to read to the class. We cheer each other on and everyone supports each other to read.”