Queensbridge is a reading school.
In every area of school life we strive to bring exciting and engaging texts to our pupils who love reading as much as we do.
At our school you will see pupils who are used to reading often. Students settle quickly into established reading routines, knowing how to listen, follow, and sink into deep reading. Pupils read a variety of fiction and non-fiction across all subjects and areas of the curriculum. Staff use reading in lessons as much as possible, and in as many different ways as they can, both fiction and non-fiction. Through ongoing staff training, the adults at Queensbridge know the academic and emotional benefits of reading widely and frequently.
The more stories we read, the keener our minds. ‘Deep reading’, as opposed to often superficial web-based reading, is an endangered practice that we take steps to preserve. This is why we encourage all of our pupils toread at home as well as at school. KS3 students read and review four novels a year as part of their independent study. Our Year 7s read at least four additional novels in a designated weekly reading hour, ensuring that our pupils begin their reading journey at Queensbridge with impressive purpose. Throughout their time in Toolkit For Life (PSHE), pupils read novels that enrich the PSHE curriculum and develop empathy and understanding of the wider world. Additionally, high quality journalism is read in form time to encourage discussion of current affairs.
We learn an average of 4,000 to 12,000 new words each year as a result of reading; with our voracious reading appetite, we hope that our pupils learn even more than this average. Our exciting library is a space for study and reading, with staff who love to share their passion for literature. It sits at the heart of our school, both literally and metaphorically. Our collection is categorised by what our pupils tell us they love to read, making it easy to discover the next library loan. There’s always a cosy spot to spend some time with a book before or after school, and the library is a hive of study, discussion and reading during social times. The vibrant, modern space welcomes all types of readers and celebrates the diversity of interests that our school encourages. Our newspaper section is universally popular, with an expert on hand to ensure that everyone understands the difference between real and fake news.
We strive to engage our students in reading in everything that we do, and are constantly reflecting on how we can do this. This includes:
- Recently qualified teachers are engaged in action research with our own pupils, exploring reading and oracy;
- Staff are trained on the complexity of reading ages and how to adapt lessons and resources to cater for pupils appropriately;
- All of our pupils are reading age tested so that we can target interventions and stretch pupils to allow everyone to flourish;
- Two members of staff are currently working towards a National Professional Qualification of Middle Leadership and are carrying out their research on the impact of reading fiction and non-fiction across KS3 and KS4;
- The Bookbuzz initiative allows the whole of Year 7 to have a brand new book of their own. Our specialist Reading Engagement Agent supports their choice and all pupils grow in their confidence to choose between genres and authors;
- All staff have been trained on the impact of wider reading and use this to boost all areas of the curriculum and independent study;
- Year 7 pupils are expected to have a reading book in their school bag at all times. This is part of their equipment check. This allows Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) time to take place in form time;
- Joyful book events, World Book Day celebrations and competitions happen very frequently in our thriving library;
- Author visits and trips are organised regularly;
- Many book groups run across school, targeting a variety of ages and interests;
- We have delivered training for the South Area Network on how to create a reading school, sharing all that we have learned in our journey so far;