At West Lakes Academy we are committed to promoting a love of reading. While we all know that learning discrete reading skills is vital, recent research increasingly reveals that a positive attitude towards reading generally equates to academic success. Reading for pleasure and the probable physiological changes linked to relaxation and enjoyment may also enhance the social and emotional benefits already associated with reading. In addition, the positive intellectual advantages that prolonged and enjoyable reading offers in terms of supporting general knowledge, writing and reading skills is now recognised as enhancing attainment throughout the curriculum.
All staff here at the academy believe that students should develop a real love of books and we have a real drive to ensure that students have a real thirst for reading.We believe that when students read often and with enthusiasm, they lay the foundations that last for life.
Here are some of the ways we promote a love for reading:
Staff and Student ‘Shelfie’
Each week, a member of staff displays their top ten favourite books and comments on why others should read them. Following the success of this, students also run their ‘Student Shelfie’.
Sixth form students are invited to apply to be Reading Ambassadors for students of year 7 and 8. Paired reading meetings take place once a week during tutor time where the Key Stage 3 students read to the Key Stage 5 students and discuss the book they are currently reading.
The English department run a series of Kindle reading clubs that shadow awards over the course of the school year, including the Roald Dahl Funny Award for students in Year 7, the Carnegie Children’s Literature Award for Key Stage 3 students and the Man Booker for students in Key Stage 5.
“Currently Reading” signs
All members of the academy staff display what they are currently reading on their doors. These are updated regularly and allow students to discuss with their teacher what they are currently reading.
The academy currently has 35 Year 12 and 13 Reading Ambassadors. These ambassadors lead paired reading with younger students and promote reading at different reading events throughout the year.
The English team work with external partners, such as The Reading Agency, to promote national initiatives. This year, we have taken part in Good Morning Britain’s ‘Take 10’ campaign and we are currently promoting the ‘Read On Get On’ campaign by Save the Children.
Student Book Reviews
Students are always keen to share their thoughts on books that they have read.