Explanations of different types of reading – each is a separate page
To see what whole school reading events will be taking place this year have a look at the Reading Calendar. This will be updated as events are confirmed.
Le Rocquier Reading Club
Improving the literacy levels of our students is a priority. Evidence shows that when family members talk to their children, share books and take them to the library, they help to develop important literacy skills. Parents and carers are a crucial influence on what their children experience and achieve. By encouraging your child to read at home, you will help them to achieve more at school.
To encourage our students to widen their choice of reading materials we would like parents and carers to get involved in the ‘Le Rocquier Reading Club’. Parental involvement is the most essential element in the project, as encouraging reading at home is the key to sustaining students’ interest in the books and the scheme.
Initially, the club is open to students in Year 7 and the idea is that the student and their parent agree to read six books a year together. Together you decide on a title, read the book and then e-mail a joint book review to the school. By taking the time to write a short review together gives families the opportunity to discuss their opinions on the chosen title, even though you may be reading the book at different times.
To see our suggested reading lists click on Recommended Reading List Years 7-8 and Recommended Reading List Years 9-11.
Skimming is the ability to get a broad overview of what a text is about as quickly as possible.
Expert readers will automatically read a passage and understand what it is about in seconds. Some students will work out very quickly whether a passage contains helpful information, others will not.
To explicitly teach skimming share the following information:
- The first sentence of a paragraph is often the ‘topic sentence’. This sentence tells you what the rest of the paragraph will contain. If you just read the first sentence you will usually have enough information to make an accurate judgement on what the paragraph is about.
- Only certain words contain meaning. Don’t bother trying to work out the little words, just focus on those key words which give you the information.
- Read the title, subtitles and subheadings to find out what the text is about.
- Look at the illustrations to give you more information about the topic.
Scanning is the ability to pick out specific information from a text. This should not be confused with skimming where you are only trying to get the gist of a text.
By scanning to look for relevant key words you can quickly decide whether the text is useful to you or not. In everyday situations we might scan a text for a phone number on an advertisement, a date on a poster, an ingredient in a recipe, or a name in a newspaper.
Setting comprehension questions requires students to scan a text to find the answers. We can teach them to look for key phrases from the question in the text, that dates and numbers really stand out and that names of people and places (and all other proper nouns) will begin with capital letters and are easy to scan for.
Close Reading (zooming)
Close reading or ‘zooming in’ is the ability to focus on individual words or short phrases in a text. It allows you to examine tiny details and discuss how writers use techniques.
Using David Didau’s metaphor in The Secret of Literacy, when we read a text normally we just see the tree. Zooming in allows us to focus on the details we would otherwise skip over – patterns in the bark and colours of moss. And zooming out helps us to see the tree does not exist in isolation. It is part of a forest.
Other reading strategies
This refers to developing students’ ability to ask questions about a text to improve their understanding of it. When used with fiction texts this could mean trying to get inside the mind of the writer to consider why certain choices have been made. For non-fiction texts questions could be about vocabulary (what does this word mean?) or about why certain details have been included.
Reading backwards and forwards
Students need to be taught that sometimes they need to read back in a text or read forward in order to make connections to improve their understanding. When reading a long text, like a novel, this can be a lengthy process, but usually it is just a case of skipping back and forth and combines well with skimming and scanning.
This is about students being able to make informed guesses about a text. We make guesses based on the information we’ve uncovered so far.
Inferring or reading between the lines is when we use clues in a text to work out meanings. It involves students being able to work out the implied meaning that lies beneath the surface.
When someone speaks to you, you can often infer meaning from their tone or voice or their body language. In written text words are carefully chosen, and punctuation used to suggest this body language and tone of voice and can show hidden meaning.