The Learning Resource Centre is a valuable facility at Oathall. It is well equipped to support, celebrate and encourage reading across the college.
As well as lots of textbooks and reference materials to support learning it also houses a great selection of fiction titles to encourage reading for pleasure.
Students can use the online record system, ‘Eclipse.net,’ to access their library account at any time via the internet, reserve books and keep track of the top ten books of the week at Oathall!
Our students are involved in the running of the LRC; a team of library prefects work there during lunch and break times to support the librarian.
‘Drop Everything and Read’ – DEAR time
Boosting our students’ literacy is a priority and all subjects are expected to promote reading for pleasure.
KS3 students are instructed to read for ten minutes at the start of lessons for alternating periods within their school timetable. They are expected to have a reading book in their bag at all times.
The ‘Accelerated Reader’ scheme
All year 7 and 8 students use the ‘Accelerated Reader’ scheme in order to boost their reading skills. There is one allocated lesson a fortnight where they complete a set spelling test and read their chosen book. Reading for at least an hour a week at home ensures that students make the most progress.
These students sit a ‘Star Test’ around four times a year to determine their ‘reading range’ which suggests the level of book that they should read for their ability. They can read privately acquired books or ones from the library. To find out whether a book is within their range, they can use this website to look it up. The level will be listed where it says ‘ATOS Book Level’.
Students must take quizzes on books that they’ve finished on school computers using the Renaissance software. Certificates for AR progress are awarded throughout the year.
The literacy age of all Year 7 students is assessed on arrival at Oathall and those with reading ages three years or more below their chronological age receive support from the SEN department.
Literacy lessons are available to support students who have been identified with literacy issues. These topical sessions are independent from English lessons and focus on developing core skills.
Our homework club is based in the LRC; it runs for an hour each day after school to support students with their homework or independent study.
Oathall also offers a peer reading scheme where older students support the reading of younger students in a safe, friendly environment.
Studies show reading for pleasure is an important indicator of the future success of a child and improvements in literacy, at any point in life, can have a profound effect on the individual. To support this we run a whole range of activities to encourage reading and literacy in general.
For example we have recently launched a book donation scheme. All students are encouraged to donate a book that they wish share with others at the school, the collected titles are then shared via tutor groups.
Fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels or poetry, all books are gratefully received!
Other initiatives include competitions, themed events, participation in national challenges and events such as World Book Day and student book reviews.