Here at Crown Hills, we are committed to encouraging all our pupils to read widely for pleasure. Literacy skills underpin all aspects of academic learning and education and there is no refuting the evidence that a reading child is a successful child.

A number of initiatives are currently in place at Crown Hills to support, encourage and develop the reading skills of all of our pupils. We ensure that every child in the school has fifteen minutes of dedicated literacy development time for four mornings each week, adding up to an hour each week.

All our pupils are tested to establish their reading levels, and a number of interventions are in place to develop pupils’ confidence and skills. One of these initiatives is the VIP (the Vocabulary Improvement Programme), a 12 lesson unit of work designed to develop the vocabulary, reading and writing skills of pupils falling about 2 years below their actual age in terms of reading comprehension. 52 pupils in years 7 and 8 have completed the programme so far, and of these, 40 have shown a significant improvement in their reading, with an average increase of 2 years in the space of a few weeks. This is a 77% success rate and we plan to continue and expand the programme in the future.

All pupils are issued with their reading ages and our library is extremely well stocked with books tailored to all reading abilities; pupils are able to find books appropriately challenging but accessible for their age and ability. To support this, our Librarian has painstakingly taken the time to ensure all books are labelled with reading age needed for the content. Many of our more able readers become Leaders of Literacy and support their peers with reading and other literacy development strategies. Likewise, all teaching staff have access to the reading ages of pupils in their classes and tailor their lessons and reading materials to match the needs of the children.

A recent reading survey, conducted by a third party, has provided some very encouraging results in regard to our pupils’ attitude towards reading for pleasure. These include:

o The percentage of pupils liking the books Crown Hills has to offer continues to rise.

o At Crown Hills a higher percentage of boys than girls want to become a better reader.

o 76% of pupils felt that regular readers are people “who want to do well”.

o 85% of pupils who completed the survey said they enjoy reading.

o 85% of our pupils who completed the reading survey, read at home for pleasure at least once per week.

o 24% of pupils read for pleasure at home every day.

A number of students at Crown Hills College have difficulties with reading. Some students have learning difficulties and others are new to English. We strive to identify students, through one to one assessments, for additional support to develop their reading. Once identified, we use appropriate interventions. We deliver Read Write Inc. Fresh Start to students with limited reading skills. This is a phonic based intervention which aims to secure phonic knowledge and decoding. For students at the next level, we deliver Rapid Plus during morning literacy time. This aims to boost reading comprehension, and students have made great leaps in their reading through this.

There are a number of students at Crown Hills who are new to English and are supported by the EAL department. The EAL staff support reading through reading groups during literacy time. These groups focus on building vocabulary and high frequency words. They use the Oxford Reading Tree for the new arrivals. For the students who have been in the country for a longer period of time, the EAL staff also use Rapid Plus. Last year, some EAL students from Year 11 were used as group leaders to support Year 8 EAL students with their reading. This was successful and so the same is planned for this academic year. During morning literacy time, we also deliver Lexia, an online literacy intervention, to larger groups of students. The results from our trial of Lexia were fantastic in giving a boost to reading and spelling skills. For some students, reading comprehension and ‘reading between the lines’ are more of a challenge. For these students we can deliver Inference Training in small groups.

YEAR 7 CATCH-UP GRANT FOR 2014/2015    
Details Income Expenditure
Year 7 Catch Up Grant 2014/15  33,500.00  
Resources   84.45
Tutor   7,900.00
Tutor   7,806.11
Total 33,500.00 15,709.56
Balance   17,709.44
Balance of £17,709.44 will cover Tutors Salary for this academic year (2015/16) as we have not been notified if funding is to continue.

Crown Hills Community College

Gwendolen Road



Telephone: 0116 2736893

Fax: 0116 2730413

Office Manager Mrs S. Harrison

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