The importance of reading at NIA
Promoting reading, communication skills and understanding of vocabulary are at the heart of the curriculum at NIA. Being able to read is the key to accessing the entire curriculum. NIA is determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.
Phonics at NIA
High-quality phonics teaching secures the crucial skills of word recognition that, once mastered, enable pupils to decode fluently and automatically, freeing them to concentrate on the meaning of a text. The balance between word recognition and language comprehension shifts as pupils progress from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’: for both purpose and for pleasure. Learning phonics is an essential foundation for our pupils’ success.
Phonics teaching starts from the Early Years at NIA, and we use the RWINc systematic phonics programme.
Supporting older pupils to become accurate, fluent readers
Being able read accurately by the age of six correlates with future academic success. In Key Stages 3 and 4, pupils gain progressive reading fluency in reading the texts – essays, textbooks and articles etc - that are part of our ambitious curriculum. Pupils build up their reading stamina over time through lots of practise as they experience more demanding texts. NIA is committed to ensuring all pupils who struggle to read, learn to read fluently.
Through our Reading Inclusion Strategy we carefully identify the pupils who need extra support when they join us in Y7 or in other year groups and provide focused support, including an age-appropriate approach to teaching phonics where this is needed. Our inclusion strategy quickly identifies learners’ individual needs to provide them with the right support to meet the needs of a more demanding curriculum. Our Readling Leaders programme helps promote a love of reading through a reading buddy system that inspires our younger learners.
Teachers across the entire secondary curriculum recognise the importance of teaching disciplinary reading. Teachers regularly attend professional development to improve their subject specific reading practice and ensure students develop the necessary skills to access the demands of each curriculum area.