As discussed by Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Schools, the Updated Reading Framework addresses the evolution of reading skills in key stages 2 and 3 students. It also guides strategies for improving reading fluency amongst those struggling. The Framework reaffirms the vital role of reading in academic achievement, well-being, and overall success in a child’s life.
Gibb emphasises that an engagement with reading can aid a child in overcoming socio-economic hurdles, a statement backed by data from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). He underscores the necessity of nurturing a child’s reading engagement through thoughtful teaching and continuous practice.
A key highlight of Gibb’s foreword is his advocacy for early focus on reading fluency to break the cycle of difficulty and disengagement in young readers. He underscores the importance of a robust reading curriculum in helping children understand what they read and motivates them to continue reading and learning.
The foreword also recalls Gibb’s endorsement of the Rose Review in 2006, which championed using systematic phonics in teaching reading. Gibb mentions the widespread implementation of systematic phonics across all primary schools in England, a move fortified by strong evidence from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). He also acknowledges the positive impact of changes made to the National Curriculum in 2013 and the introduction of the phonics screening check in 2012, as evidenced by improved phonics performance in subsequent years.
While Gibb affirms the critical role of phonics in teaching reading, he also stresses that phonics alone does not guarantee the development of fluent and engaged readers. Schools that are successful in achieving their reading goals, Gibb notes, are those that cultivate a strong reading culture where students are encouraged and choose to read.
In his closing remarks, Gibb reiterates that reading can be a great equaliser, offering every child access to knowledge and pleasure. Expressing gratitude to those who contributed to the updated Framework, he urges all primary and secondary schools to utilise this guidance to enhance their students’ reading proficiency.
In the following sections of this blog, we will delve into the specifics of the Updated Reading Framework and explore strategies for its effective implementation in the classroom
Understanding the Updated Reading Framework
The Updated Reading Framework is a comprehensive guide that aims to support schools in cultivating proficient readers. It outlines strategies for nurturing reading engagement, improving reading fluency, and fostering a rich school reading culture. Below, we unpack some of the key aspects of this guide.
- Evolution of Reading Skills: The Framework recognises that reading skills develop differently across key stages 2 and 3. It emphasises the importance of early intervention and targeted support for students who are struggling to attain reading fluency.
- Role of Phonics: Endorsing the Rose Review’s recommendation, the Framework affirms the crucial role of systematic phonics in teaching reading, particularly in the early years. However, it also acknowledges that phonics alone cannot create fluent readers.
- The Reading Curriculum: According to the Framework, an effective reading curriculum should teach students to decode text and motivate them to read widely and deeply. This involves exposing students to various texts and fostering comprehension skills.
- Reading Culture: Schools that have successfully nurtured proficient readers often have a strong reading culture. The Framework, therefore, encourages schools to promote reading for pleasure and ensure that students have access to a wide variety of texts.
Utilising the Updated Reading Framework
How can schools use the guidance outlined in the Updated Reading Framework? Here are a few strategies:
- Prioritise Phonics: Invest in quality phonics instruction, especially in the early years. Ensure that it’s systematic, structured, and delivered with fidelity.
- Nurture Comprehension: Don’t stop at teaching students to decode text. Equip them with the skills to understand and engage with what they read. This involves teaching vocabulary, inference, prediction, and summarising skills.
- Foster a Reading Culture: Create an environment that encourages reading for pleasure. This could involve setting up cosy reading nooks, having a diverse and accessible library, and allotting dedicated time for independent reading.
- Provide Continuous Professional Development: Equip your teachers with the knowledge and skills to effectively teach reading. Regular training sessions can help them stay updated on best practices and new research in the field of reading instruction.
As school leaders, your commitment to improving reading proficiency among your students can have a transformative impact on their academic and life outcomes. You are one step closer to making this happen by leveraging the Updated Reading Framework insights.
How can Juniper Support Reading at Your School
Juniper Education is wholeheartedly invested in fostering a reading culture and equipping schools with the tools to engage reluctant readers. Our comprehensive suite of initiatives serves this purpose.
- The Juniper Book Awards bring literature to life and invite participation from all students.
- Former teachers and specialists deliver our Reading Training CPD courses to empower educators with effective strategies for cultivating a love for reading among their pupils.
- The Education Resource Service provides schools with easy access to curriculum-themed books and resources, making learning an engaging and enjoyable journey for students.
At Juniper Education, we stand alongside educators in their mission to spark a love for reading that will benefit students academically, personally, and beyond their school years.