Reading is the Key to Learning: GORSE SCITT Welcomes Alex Quigley

‘Reading is the key to learning… academic reading helps pupils access the school curriculum. As such, every teacher knowing about how children learn to read, before going on to ‘read to learn’, is crucial work. However, a stark truth is that many teachers feel under-prepared to access the best evidence on reading, or to teach pupils with reading barriers’ (Quigley) 

On Thursday 5 January 2023, GORSE SCITT trainees enjoyed an incredibly thought provoking and impactful session with Alex Quigley focused on reading and vocabulary.  

Author of Closing the Reading Gap, Alex led trainees through an engaging session to ensure that every trainee feels confident to teach and support their pupils to read in their subject discipline or phase. As our trainees prepare to enter the Embedding Phase of the curriculum, they do so with an increased knowledge of the importance of all teachers taking responsibility for improving pupils’ literacy.   

Alex Quigley is a blogger and proud author of ‘Closing the Reading Gap’, ‘Closing the Writing Gap’, and ‘The Confident Teacher’. After over fifteen years in the classroom,  he now works for an educational charity, supporting teachers and school leaders to access research evidence. 

GORSE SCITT trainees were overwhelmingly positive in their feedback on Alex’s session:  

‘Alex’s training had a fantastic blend of eye opening statistics on reading and practical strategies we can use as educators to support the young people we work with. Alex highlighted the increased gap disadvantaged students face in their reading journey compared to their more advantaged peers and emphasised the responsibility of all subjects to promote reading skills. I look forward to implementing strategies around reading within my subject area of maths. Alex’s advice around skim reading, text marking, question chunks and re-reading content will help me to deliver high quality maths teaching that is accessible to all students by helping them to progress in their reading’. 

‘Alex’s training was insightful and it provided me with a deep understanding of literacy and the themes surrounding it while it also echoed some of the aspects I put into practice in my first placement school (e.g. teaching vocabulary).’