Maplefields Academy

A Specialist Social, Emotional & Mental Health Academy

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Reading for Life

Reading for life at Maplefields

So many books, so little time.

- Frank Zappa


Developing a whole school culture that nurtures a love of reading.

Reading at Maplefields is embedded within the fundamental structures of the school, from a child’s first day of attendance to the moment they leave us for the wider world; reading is celebrated, cherished and nurtured. At Maplefields, we believe that every child has a right to be able to access the world around them through the process of reading. Functional proficiency in reading is a vital life skill that our students need to acquire before moving into the complex avenues of news and information that proliferate adult life.


Beyond this, reading for pleasure provides an individual with cultural enrichment, companionship and intellectual challenge. It is our goal as a school to provide an environment where the young people in our care can discover the simple joy of reading for themselves; sitting with a book, or listening to a story told by a trusted adult without the complications and stress of impending tests and assessment. Reading is however a vital part of higher learning and our Key Stage 4 students also have the opportunity to be ambitious with their learning goals through the systematic study of GCSE English Literature.


Many of our students have difficulties with communication and a high percentage are diagnosed with dyslexia and learning and language difficulties that can make English, Reading and Literacy frustrating and dis-spiriting subjects of study. To support with the learning of all individuals we have a number of systems in place to ensure that all children are able to achieve their full potential. Read, Write Inc., Rapid Reader and Fresh Start are programs that are used throughout the school, both for whole class learning and for individualised interventions to aid struggling readers.


Reading as a group is a key part of life at Maplefields and, in Primary, the classes share story time on a daily basis; discussing and exploring the stories, themes and lessons that those stories contain. Meanwhile in Secondary, forms have one dedicated form time per week where they share a class read with their form tutor. Alongside this, students are encouraged to have their own reading books, which they can utilise during down time or if they are struggling to self-regulate and need to take some time and space for themselves. Students access reading and storytelling through subjects such as Drama, which is taught formally from Year 7 onwards and embedded in teaching practices across the curriculum in the Primary portion of the school.


Reading can be a powerful incentive and Maplefields offers students who are so inclined many opportunities to achieve, read more and access more books. Students can use our rewards system to purchase books or comics and outings to the library and the theatre help to embed the idea of Reading as a positive and enjoyable activity. Trips such as the annual Year 7 outing to Harry Potter World and Role Playing clubs, where students explore realms of imagination, allow students to access reading in a variety of ways, often without even being aware they are doing so!


Ultimately, reading nourishes all of Maplefields’ Key Curriculum Drivers: Communication; Healthy Relationships; Independence; and Self Worth. As such, it is at the very heart of all we do and a part of daily life at Maplefields.

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