Teachers at Haywood Academy in Stoke-on-Trent, Sarah Hancock and Heather Holt, recently took part in our Reading for Pleasure 3-day training in the city. For their action research project they were asked to undertake as part of the training, they focused on teaching whole texts, and the enjoyment that can bring, as opposed to reading extracts in each lesson.
They worked with Year 8 pupils on the book Room 13 by Robert Swindells, looking at book talk and embedding key skills for greater engagement. Strategies explored and developed on the training were used in rolling out this project. On the final day, Sarah and Heather reported:
- Increased pupil engagement in English for both genders, but more specifically boys
- Increased reading ages
- Some students setting up their own reading club
- Increased confidence levels, particularly amongst mid-low ability students
- Widened vocabulary
- Positive response from other teachers
As a result of this project, all Key Stage 3 teachers will now use whole texts in their lessons and a new scheme of work has been created for The Edge by Alan Gibbons.
"I had anticipated that [the project] would support students in making progress in English, but what I hadn’t anticipated was the ‘buzz’ of the students around reading! They have been enthused about the texts we have studied and enjoyed the range of activities we have done."
Sarah and Heather created a PowerPoint presentation explaining how they implemented the project. Download their full presentation here: Reading for Pleasure at Haywood Academy.