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Debenham High School

Debenham High School

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Reading

 

The Importance of Reading

Equipping our students for the world in which they live means equipping them with reading skills to aid them for the future. As the world becomes increasingly digital, and increasingly forms of communication move to electronic platforms, people must arguably read faster and better.

It is therefore essential that schools and their partners work to promote positive reading habits, cultivating readers who feel motivated to read.

 

The Purpose of Reading

The purpose of reading is to connect the ideas on the page to what you already know. If you don't know anything about a subject, then pouring words of text into your mind is like pouring water into your hand.

For example, if you like sport, then reading the sports page is easy. You have a framework in your mind for reading, understanding and storing information.

For students in school and beyond it is vital that they develop the ability to understand, interpret and decode text. This prepares them for both academic work but also importantly the ability to digest and respond to the huge amount of written information they will be exposed to over their lives. To help students develop their comprehension there are some ideas below which parents may want to consider when talking to students, these are approaches which we use in school as part of our offer.

  • Develop a broad background

Broaden your background knowledge by reading newspapers, magazines and books. Become interested in world events.

  • Anticipate and predict

Really smart readers try to anticipate the author and predict future ideas and questions. If you're right, this reinforces your understanding. If you're wrong, you make adjustments quicker.

  • Create motivation and interest

Preview material, ask questions, discuss ideas. The stronger your interest, the greater your comprehension.

  • Pay attention to supporting cues

Study pictures, graphs and headings. Read the first and last paragraph in a chapter, or the first sentence in each section.

  • Highlight, summarise and review

Just reading a book once is not enough. To develop a deeper understanding, you have to highlight, summarise and review important ideas.

  • Build a good vocabulary

For most educated people, this is a lifetime project. We develop a wider vocabulary by hearing or seeing words in a variety of contexts. High level conversation or high quality television certainly help but we believe the greatest impact is through reading as widely as possible.

  • Monitor effectiveness

Good readers monitor their attention, concentration and effectiveness. They quickly recognise if they've missed an idea and backup to reread it.

 

We have used extensively 1991 Donald Martin, How to be a Successful Student and the Scarborough Reading Rope to inform this document.