Millfield recognises that good literacy skills are central to success in all areas of the curriculum and life in general. We are proud to be a school which champions reading and each Wednesday during form time students take part in ‘Register and Read’ which allows them to read and explore different articles linked to their subject areas with their form tutors. These sessions also provide students with a chance to develop their oracy skills as the articles often spark debate and discussion.
As part of their transition to Millfield, Key Stage 2 students are given a copy of a fiction text to read over the summer holidays as part of their transition project for English. This is to instill the importance of reading into every student before they join Team Millfield formally.
Literacy also forms an integral part of the school curriculum. Departments across the school have mapped out opportunities for students to read academic texts which link to their subject area, to give students the chance to deepen their subject knowledge whilst also giving them the opportunity to practise the discreet reading skills required to access a text.
Alongside this, students are encouraged to review their work using our ‘Check to Perfect’ system prior to it being handed in. Developing our students’ vocabulary is also of huge importance to us at Millfield. Across the school, teachers have taken the time to carefully consider the vocabulary students need to know and use to help them progress in their subject areas, and as such they employ a variety of different strategies to help our students become ‘word rich’.
“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”
Promoting reading for pleasure is also important at Millfield. Every English classroom has a small class library available which is made up of texts that deal with topical issues such as racial prejudice and gender equality. Each year we celebrate World Book Day with a popular and well-attended lunch time event in the library. The library team runs termly reading competitions and challenges which are supported by our enthusiastic and efficient library monitors. In previous years we have also taken part in the hugely popular Lancashire Book of the Year and Carnegie Medal awards which give our students further opportunities to explore the wider literary world. Students also have the opportunity to meet authors who are invited into school to share their work and run workshops that help develop our students’ creative writing skills.
To help support our students in the most timely and efficient way we use the Literacy Assessment Online testing tool three times across the academic year, to allow us to monitor students’ reading progress. This reading comprehension test determines students’ current reading age and allows us to put any necessary interventions in place for those students who are falling behind with their reading.
The intervention students receive will be with one of our specialist teaching assistants who will help them to develop the skills they are lacking, whether it be phonics, fluency, or developing their spelling and grammar skills.