Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.
All teachers at The King John School are teachers of reading. It is through reading that young people are enriched with knowledge of the world around them. To this end, all students will be supported to become fluent and strategic readers. To achieve this aim, we are committed to the following, evidenced-informed strategies:
1. Modelling fluent reading: young people will always be able to hear text read aloud, either by their teacher or another fluent reader. Hearing any text read aloud enables all young people to access the knowledge within it; this is especially important if there are any barriers preventing students from reading fluently.
2. Implementing reading comprehension strategies: teachers will utilise comprehension strategies recommended by the Education Endowment Foundation for their proven success in supporting students to understand what they read.
3. Providing targeted intervention: for students whose reading age is not in line with their actual age, it may be the case that a specific intervention is required to enable their reading to improve. We have invested in the Lexia programme and have already seen students make exceptional progress when attending regular Tutor sessions to access this provision. In some cases, we will also provide phonics instruction to address gaps in a young person’s phonics knowledge.
Finally, all teachers aim to nurture a love of reading. All students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have a new reading curriculum, ‘Resilient Reader’. Students have one hour a fortnight where they read a range of non-fiction texts, from across the curriculum, and practice their core, literacy skills. These lessons will support students to feel more confident with their reading comprehension and fluency.
In January 2024, we will begin our ‘Tutor Reads’ programme, where all students in Year 7 will have tutor sessions solely dedicated to reading. All tutor groups in Year 7 will read ‘Asha and the Spirit Bird’, with their Tutor reading the novel aloud and enjoying discussing its story with their tutees. We are excited to begin this reading journey with our young people and look forward to this programme growing over the following years.
Literacy at the King John School.
Literacy underpins our core communication skills, both written and spoken, and is the key to success in any chosen life pathway. We embed literacy across all curriculum areas to equip our students with this fundamental ability in order for them to achieve their potential both in school and beyond.
Not sure what to read? Want to try something different? Use this interactive reading list to help you choose your next book based areas of interest, genres or levels.
Learning Resource Centre
Our aim is to develop a lifelong love of reading in all our students by promoting reading and enjoyment in all its forms by way of a variety of Author visits and reading initiatives such as our Reading Passport, Book clubs and Bookbuzz.
King John’s Learning Resource Centre is a welcoming and peaceful place for reading, working and quiet, educational games. It provides a safe and supportive environment conducive to positive learning and also offers a well-being area for students to relax and unwind. Students also have the opportunity of becoming student librarians or volunteers where they can help with the upkeep of the LRC.
Our Learning Resource Centre supports learning and teaching across the school with access to computers, printers, books (both fiction and non-fiction), audio and Ebooks. Students are able to loan books for two weeks and text books on a termly basis.
The Learning Resource Centre is usually open to all students before and after school as well as being open at break and lunch.
You can access eplatform from school or home on any device and listen to audio books or access digital books using your normal login and password. At school there is a link on your desktop.
Remember, please only borrow a book if you want it as we have a limited number of loans for the school. There are samples that you can listen to that will help you decide if you wish to loan it.
You can loan the book for up to two weeks and start listening immediately.
Your Reading Passport is your opportunity to go on a journey of discovery, find new places and immerse yourselves in worlds and authors you had never considered looking at before. This may influence your life!
At the King John School, we want you to read… but not just anything. We feel diversity is hugely important in every aspect of your life and as such your reading should be too.
We want to challenge you to read at least 10 books by the end of the year. We want you to challenge yourself (whatever your level of reading) and read from genres you have never picked up before.
Have a look at the student book reviews to get ideas of what to read, and there will be lots of ideas in the LRC too.
How does it work?
1. You will be given a passport which will be looked after by your teacher in the LRC
2. You start reading
3. Every time you finish a text you go to one of the following places to get a stamp:
- Your English teacher
4. If you read 10 books within the year, you will be given the additional reward of a badge for your blazer.
- 10 books – GREEN badge
- 20 books – BLUE badge
- 30 books – YELLOW badge
Reading a range of books will not only help you prepare for GCSEs and A levels, it will also give you a chance to try new things, learn new words and escape.
Here at the King John School we like to give you opportunities to take on some responsibility. This lets us see what you are made of and you get the opportunity to shine. Becoming a Literacy Leader is one way to do this!
Literacy Leaders are selected from Years 10, 11 and 12 and work weekly with students from younger years on a literacy based activity.
Literacy Focus and Word of the Week
Every week King John will announce an area of literacy and a word that is to be used an understood as much as possible over the coming week. Try and use that area of literacy and the word as much as you can (both verbally and written) and you will get achievement points for the correct use!
Your tutors will tell you the literacy focus and word every Monday morning and it will be displayed in every classroom in the school.
Circle Round This podcast takes folk tales from around the world and turns them into music-filled, high-production-value radio plays featuring big(ish)-name actors. They’re less than half an hour long and generally have some kind of moral ending with a bunch of talking points for kids and parents.
The Creeping Hour This horror anthology series (think: Tales From The Crypt, Amazing Stories or The Twilight Zone) has only just launched, but seems like an absolute go-to for fans of Goosebumps and the grislier side of everything.
The Puffin Podcast Hosted by comedian, actor, and Celebrity Gogglebox star Babatúndé Aléshé, every episode he and two Puffineers team up to take young listeners on an adventure to a magical world. They’re also joined each week by one of our awesome Puffin authors – guest appearances so far have included Greg James, Jen Carney, and Humza Arshad.
Fun Kids Book Club is exactly what it sounds like: a fun book club podcast! Each month, the podcast releases a new children’s writer and illustrator round table and discusses kid lit. Authors read chapters from their latest work, making this both kid and adult friendly children’s literature podcast. Find it here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fun-kids-book-club/id513265306?mt=2
Want to work reading into your family’s schedule more often? The Reading With Your Kids Podcast will help you make reading with your children not a chore but a way of life. Check out the author interviews to discover new books and get ahead of the game with writers who are about to be the next big name. The podcast also focuses on specific books discussed in depth.
Bring more reading into your life with Read-Aloud Revival. This children’s literature podcast is all about helping adults promote literacy at home. One of the podcast’s signature topics is sharing the benefits of reading aloud. Other episodes include kid lit writer and illustrator interviews and guides and how-to’s on topics like creating a book culture at home and finding joy in your own adult reading life. This podcast is especially good for homeschoolers, parents, librarians, and teachers.