Reading Gladiators™ Welcomes Year 2 to the Programme

By Sam Keeley, Reading Gladiators™ Year 2 Programme Leader

It is extremely exciting to be expanding the Reading Gladiators programme for 2017-18 to include Year Two.

My experience as a Year Two teacher and as a parent to my daughter who is coming to the end of KS1 has made me very aware that higher attaining readers need support to grow as readers at this crucial time.

A higher attaining reader by the end of Year One may have mastered decoding and is able to read fluently from the reading scheme. Often by Christmas they have read everything the reading scheme has to offer and will be beginning to be offered free choice. This is where adult support is vital.

Parents may be seeking books that are progressively more ‘difficult’ and longer in length believing that this is the best way to challenge their child. Teachers will know that when reading independently, a fluent reader may struggle to fully understand what they are reading.

Reading Gladiators™ is designed to support children’s deeper understanding of text by offering a wide range of choices. Some of these are longer chapter books, some are challenging picture books and there is also a non-fiction choice, all books that children may not otherwise meet.

At the age of 6 or 7 children can get stuck in a reading rut and fellow parents often bemoan the never ending Beast Quest/Rainbow Fairies books that their children enjoy. Series reading does support children’s reading stamina, but the text selection for Reading Gladiators supports their engagement with a broader range of books. The Discussion Guide also has suggestions for further reading.

As a teacher I found that parental involvement could dwindle during this year and would often hear, ‘I don’t need to hear them read anymore’ or ‘they don’t need me to read to them’. It is crucial for parents to continue to be involved in their child’s reading journey and this has been explicitly built into the programme with home reading tasks set to support partnership between parents, children and school and which place rich dialogue about books at the heart of reading.