The impact of the Power of Reading: an Associate School's Journey
Northwood Community School is a Power of Reading Associate school. It has been selected for demonstrating a whole school commitment to delivering its English Curriculum through our Power of Reading. They provide examples of best practice and showcase what effective English teaching using high-quality children's books looks like.
Northwood Community Primary School started the Power of Reading journey in 2014. Our school is in a highly deprived area of Knowsley and we felt that the Power of Reading was key to improve consistency, attainment and engagement across our school by exposing pupils to high quality texts.
We invested heavily in CLPE’s high-quality CPD for all our teaching staff, and continue to do so each year. As a result, we feel that children’s subject knowledge has increased as each year they are receiving a more consistent pedagogy, with staff using the same effective teaching approaches across school. These approaches were identified as a strength at our school through a teaching and learning review, where the consultant explained that ‘these techniques enhance pupils’ engagement, prediction and sharing of ideas’. Internal and external book scrutinies have also shown that the standard of pupils’ work has improved and the outcomes are higher with each completed academic year.
Due to the investment in Power of Reading CPD, our staff are now highly skilled English practitioners. This level of training has allowed our staff to train teaching assistants, newly qualified teachers and other teachers who have just begun their Power of Reading journey.
Our whole curriculum is based around the Power of Reading’s high-quality texts. These texts have exposed our children to a variety of topics to improve their knowledge of the world around them, and challenge issues they face in day-to-day life. Each classroom also has an immersive area where children can become the characters in the text and begin to emphasise and infer their thoughts and feelings. This has significantly raised the engagement levels of our pupils which has been evidenced through pupil-voice interviews. The most recent interview showed that the significant majority of pupils enjoyed English and all pupils liked the thematic approach based around their text.
In a recent teaching and learning review, it was noted that ‘whole school approaches intended to further enhance teacher subject knowledge and provide opportunities for pupils to develop as active readers and writers appear to be implemented in most classes and are reflected in good progress across KS2 in particular’. This is also evident by our KS2 progress which is currently significantly above the national average in reading and in line with national average for writing. This is particularly considerable due to our entry data where approximately 60% of children enter Northwood Community Primary below expectations.
In December 2019, we had a visit from the Office for Standards in Education who commented that the school had ‘planned a broad and interesting curriculum which develops pupils’ knowledge and skills’. They also commented that reading was at the heart of the curriculum. In terms of CPD, they identified that ‘staff receive regular training’ and commented that they were experts in teaching English. Staff were praised for sequencing lessons effectively to improve and build upon pupils’ knowledge and skills.
Northwood Community School is one of our Power of Reading Associate schools.
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