Reading Strategy

Reading at Haybrook College

‘Reading to create readers, not just pupils who can read’

Haybrook College recognises that reading is fundamental to education. The majority of our cohort arrive at Haybrook with significant gaps in their learning, limited vocabulary and experience, which is fundamental to give context to words. We use the WRAT5 assessment as a first step to identifying pupils who need additional support, with a reading age below 10 years being the threshold for intervention and for accessing the secondary curriculum. This and our Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) audit (2020-2023) have provided an in-depth knowledge of our unique cohort and their barriers to reading and wider learning.

Our Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT) identified that 90% of our cohort has a significant SLCN need, related to either vocabulary or their ability to understand and follow direction and instruction, this inevitably relates to cognitive function and pupils’ executive function. On average around half of our school population require specific access arrangements for reading, hence our commitment to raising standards in communication and reading across all Key Stages.

Central to Haybrook’s reading strategy is our motivation to enable pupils to willingly find pleasure and purpose in the written word. Staff model reading aloud and talk about texts.

Through our carefully planned and broad curriculum, staff can use every opportunity to engage pupils in reading. The curriculum is used to introduce and explore new words, enriching their vocabulary and developing their confidence to speak, articulate what they know and understand and specifically read for themselves and to others.

After ensuring phonemic knowledge our focus is on progressing fluency, vocabulary and comprehension for all learners. Targeted interventions are personalised according to need. These are delivered by well trained and experienced staff predominantly on a one to one basis or in small groups where appropriate.

Our DEaR Sessions are used by adults to further promote reading, modelling the practice of reading for pleasure, subtly directing and influencing text choice, generating excitement, interest and discussion (to create context and build background knowledge). Staff come alongside pupils and, using their knowledge of them, encourage them to step out of their comfort zone, try new texts and genres, and readily talk about these with their peers.

Whilst we have a robust strategy for reading, we are committed to developing this further to embed a rich reading culture where we create readers, not just pupils who can read. As such our priorities are to:

  1. Increase pupils’ range and understanding of vocabulary.
  2. Expose pupils to academic language through speaking, reading and writing.
  3. Create spaces and opportunities for reading for pleasure.

Reading Strategy

Reading 3-Year Plan