What is Contexts for Reading?

At Red Bird Tutoring, we’re constantly finding new things that our learners don’t know and finding experiences they’ve never had. This puts them at a massive disadvantage when it comes to accessing the complex texts needed to pass KS2 SATS and GCSE English. But more importantly, it means that they’ll probably also struggle to read widely for pleasure for the rest of their lives.

© Red Bird Tutoring

“There was a pillar of what looked like grey smoke unfurling in silky banners at the head of the slope, like the heraldry of armies.”

Graham Joyce

The Silent Land

For example, we know that a reader is never going to be able to understand the language techniques used during this avalanche scene if they’ve never even seen any footage of an avalanche, let alone experienced one firsthand.

So, we curated short videos from around the web based on the key knowledge we think  children should know if they’re going to be fluent readers.

The videos are suitable for children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11)  and Key Stage 3 (aged 11-14) and some even  come with a PowerPoint you can download and use in class as a 10 minute starter.

We’re adding more every week, so keep checking back regularly.

Our inspiration – Teaching Content is Teaching Reading

Watch Daniel Willingham’s excellent video, Teaching Content is Teaching Reading for more about how a lack of general knowledge affects reading ability and what he thinks is the solution.

To learn more about Daniel Willingham’s work visit his website or buy his book, Why Don’t Students Like School?

Our inspiration – Reading Comprehension: A New Approach

Solomon Kingsnorth’s blog, Reading Comprehension: A New Approach also sums this up neatly.