The Buddy Reading Scheme is an approach to supporting and encouraging reading that has been implemented for several years at Bishopshalt School. It involves ‘pairing’ younger readers at KS3 with older, more experienced students in KS5.
School based research has been undertaken by the English KS3 Coordinator to investigate the effectiveness of this approach in relation to the pupils’ motivation and engagement. Results prove it to be a positive scheme with changes being made to refresh the programme every year.
Every half term there is a literacy focus across the whole school. The objective is to ensure that students grasp the importance of literacy across all subjects. As exams become more focused on the need to write clearly and accurately, this is something all teachers aim to promote as much as possible.
Each class has a poster that demonstrates the literacy focus for that half term, and teachers aim to refer to that as much as possible. This year, the literacy foci are as follows:
- Autumn 1 – SPAG (Spelling, punctuation and grammar)
- Autumn 2 – Apostrophes for possession
- Spring 1 – Correcting your spellings
- Spring 2 – Using subject terminology
- Summer 1 – Asking questions
- Summer 2 – Green pen to correct mistakes
Within each class is literacy poster that details the marking symbols that all follow. This is to ensure a consistent approach by teachers and students when marking pieces of work. It is used in teacher, peer and self-assessments.
DEAR – an acronym for ‘Drop Everything And Read’ – is an initiative that promotes reading across the school. For KS3 pupils, every lesson begins with students reading for 10 minutes. In KS4 every English lesson will start with 10 minutes of quiet reading. Teachers also aim to do the same to model good practice for the students. This promotes a positive aspect to reading so that they enjoy it; at the same time it creates a relaxed and calming start to the lesson, which allows them to develop a focus. It has proved immensely successful, with more books being borrowed from the library than ever before. Here are our suggested reading lists for each stage of KS3:
Within KS3 English, students have one library lesson a fortnight. Here, they explore particular elements in regards to reading; this ranges from exploring genre and themes in novels, to learning new vocabulary and creating character profiles and book reviews.