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Growing Readers at Northolt High School

This term, we have been busy ensuring the continuous improvement with our students’ reading literacy. We wanted to make sure that any YearLiteracy 04 7 student, whose reading wasn’t in-line with their chronological age, had a dedicated Reading Buddy to help them close their reading gap. To help us with this, we turned to The National Literacy Trust and our very own Year 10 students.

We were thrilled with the response from our Year 10 students. Initially, we wanted ten Year 10 Reading Buddies. After our recruitment drive, 29 Year 10 students came forward! This amazing result meant that we could cater for three times as many year 7 students as we initially planned.

In January, Fiona Oakley, from The National Literacy Trust, trained our 29 Year 10 students in 'reciprocal reading'. Reciprocal reading refers to an activity in which students become the teacher, guiding discussions using four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting.

After a period of intensive training in reciprocal reading, Year 10 students were paired up with Year 7 students and have since been meeting every Monday and Wednesday in Home Learning Club to read together.

The National Literacy Trust's studies have shown that reciprocal reading between younger and older students is the most effective way of reading improvement, and it has certainly got off to a flying start here at Northolt High School.

What do our students say about the Reading Buddy programme?

"It is a great feeling helping another student learn a life skill and develop something that you enjoy."
                                                                                     Eduart, Year 10
"It is inspiring working with year 7 students and giving them a hand in need."
                                                                                          Aurelia, Year 10

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