At Isaac Newton Academy we put a great emphasis on the importance of everyone becoming a lifelong reader and reading for pleasure. We know that there is a strong link between being a strong reader and academic success in all curriculum areas. When we appoint staff, we stress that we are all teachers of reading, whatever our position in the Academy, and all staff role model being active readers themselves, discussing their reading with the students whenever the opportunity arises.
Every student is expected to have a current reading book with them every day as part of their basic equipment. There are opportunities for reading in the weekly tutorial programme. On top of that, each Year 7 and 8 class has a one hour Reading lesson with the librarian and a reading teacher every week. The central part of the weekly Reading lesson involves silent individual reading for 30 minutes in the library (with the adults hearing individuals read, discussing reading habits and preferences with students or setting up small group guided reading activities). The first 15 minutes of the Reading lesson involves an active starter activity based on a genre, author or theme. These starters are often student-led. In the final part of the Reading lesson, students reflect in their reading journals on what they are reading.
Every Year 7 student is tested for their reading age on entry to INA and the scores from this online test are used to inform the book recommendations that staff make to individuals and to guide the interventions put in place in Reading Lessons. We retest the students at the end of the year to track the progress made.