A reading program that reaches all students
Drop Everything and Read – DEAR
At Wey Valley Academy, we have designed a bespoke literacy provision for our students which aims to build excellent communicators. We believe that reading forms the basis of excellent communication.
The DfE report ‘Reading Matters’ published in 2015 suggests that ‘’One in five children still leave primary school unable to read at a standard that will ensure they are well placed to succeed at secondary school.’’
Therefore, we have allocated 30 minutes a day to demonstrate the significance that reading has for students at all levels.
The programme is designed to advance readers at all levels, reading classic texts across the literary canon to broaden our student’s culture capital
We use a range of reading strategies to support students with their reading to develop their range of vocabulary and engage them with the ideas underlying the classic texts.
In Years 7 and 8 their reading of the classic text is supported through a detailed homework programme. The website provides students with high quality literary resources which provide contextual information linked directly to the classic text they are reading. This provides students with the opportunity to engage with a range of material supports and deepens their understanding of not only what they are reading, but of the world they live in.
Literacy Homework for Years 7 and 8 – CommonLit guidance
The school has high expectations for students, leading to outstanding progress and achievement for all of its pupils. The literacy homework in Years 7 and 8 is designed to provide students with a broad cultural capital – a greater awareness of the world in which they live and some of the ‘big’ ideas which have defined their society.
The texts are challenging, as are the topics with which we are asking them to engage. However engaging with these ideas is a key part in their development as rounded, aware citizens of a varied culture and world. The aim of the literacy homework is to develop the vocabulary of every student in the Academy – a varied and broad vocabulary allows them to express their ideas and their thoughts clearly; to develop their awareness of ‘big’ ideas, and to engage with these to develop an understanding of themselves and the world that they live in.
Some students may find these texts and ideas challenging. Communication with tutors is key to support students in engaging positively with the activities and developing their vocabulary as well as their cultural capital.
If your son or daughter is struggling with the homework set during DEAR time, please contact their tutor at the Academy to discuss ways to access the texts.
Different ways of engaging with the homework task might be:
- Use the Parent Support tab to have a good understanding of the target text and the key ideas
- Focus on small parts of the text, for example the opening paragraphs to lead to a discussion about the topic of the article
- Relate the article to their lives – how do the issues raised in the article relate to them as a young person in their context?
- Identify vocabulary that you son/daughter has not come across before – discuss the word – look up the meaning in a dictionary or on google. Write the word and its definition in their yellow homework book. Use the word in a different context and write the sentence in their yellow homework book
- Link their homework text to the DEAR text they are reading in school – ask them how the issue that they are reading about as homework links to the novel they are reading with their tutor. Write a short paragraph in the homework book where they link their homework text to their DEAR text
- Watch the linked videos to the text in the parent support area, use these multi-media resources to support their understanding of the key issue within the text
- Limit time spent on literacy homework to 30minutes – this is the expectation of the Academy for the length of time spent on this homework. If your son/daughter is engaged in discussion then you may want to allow them to spend longer, however 30 minutes for their literacy homework is the guided length of time for students to spend.
- If you have had a conversation with you son/daughter and they have completed an activity in their homework book, then please sign it to confirm that their homework has been completed.
As previously stated, communication between student/parent/tutor is key to the success of this homework. Please contact the Academy if you have any questions regarding Literacy homework and your son’s/daughter’s tutor will contact you in order to discuss any queries that you have.
In year 7 we believe it is important to consolidate the basic skills in Literacy and Numeracy; therefore, we are in a lovely routine and it is manageable. My daughter is challenged and is now able to engage with this independently. We are very pleased with her start to year 7 and making sure she has an appropriate amount of homework has helped with her successful transition to secondary school.