This is our dedicated space in a partner school where something transformational happens.
Often we are lucky enough to have a lovely room in which to work; sometimes we find a quiet space tucked away on a corridor.
What’s important is that the child has the time and space away from the classroom to start to believe in themselves.
Our Literacy and our Reading Lab spaces work because more than anything else they are a nurturing environment where a child builds a strong relationship with a trusted adult. Children who for instance lack the confidence to speak up in class can find their voice in the security of a one-to-one or small group environment. It becomes a safe space where they learn how to try.
Better literacy fuels motivation, resilience and self esteem and paves the way for learning. Closing the literacy gap opens up the world for a child.
The charity’s work in our Literacy Labs for younger children, and in our Reading Labs for older pupils, comes to life through:
Support is targeted to meet individual children’s needs. Phonics, reading and comprehension are formally assessed on entry to the Literacy Lab, with tutors creating personalised learning plans to address gaps. Children can take learning at their own pace. Assessment is on-going, allowing us to monitor the effectiveness of our work and adapt our approach as necessary.
Focus on Vocabulary
The ‘vocabulary gap’ has been highlighted as one of the major factors holding children back in progressing with their literacy. Everything we do in our Labs serves to boost vocabulary, from our use of a range of high quality texts and book talk, allowing children to consolidate new vocabulary and extend their language structures. Activities involving thinking skills and the everyday conversations that take place between tutor and child all contribute to the development of vocabulary.
Diligence and successes are celebrated, be it through praise, stickers or by putting a goal on an wall chart. We break down learning into manageable targets, meaning that children are focused and regularly feel the excitement that comes from achieving. And as children make progress, they become intrinsically motivated to learn. We also use a confidence measuring tool to encourage children to reflect on and feel empowered by their learning.
Well-paced; well structured sessions
Our Literacy and Reading Lab sessions are pacy and follow a clear structure. Depending on a child’s needs or the group focus, a typical session includes comprehension, phonics and time to read/share a story or play a game. As well as building literacy skills and nurturing social skills such as turn-taking, the more relaxed time at the end helps to build the close relationship between tutor and child that is so conducive to learning.
Promoting reading for pleasure
We want children to experience the joy that can come from reading, whether it’s being swept up in a story or marvelling over mind-boggling facts. To support the development of the imagination and promote reading for pleasure, our tutors use high quality picture books and appealing writing resources. At the end of the session, children have free rein to choose a book and either read independently or share-read with their tutor.