ReadingZone Live – The first 10 years
In 2011, LGfL and Reading Zone embarked on a simple vision; to capture live author events in schools in HD video for the benefit of the wider LGfL Community to view anytime, anywhere. Fast forward nearly a decade later and 50+ authors have been captured on camera and these have been curated to make a unique and insightful archive of the best contemporary children and young adult authors being interviewed and in some cases sharing extracts from their books.
A new revised ReadingZone Live for 2020 and beyond...
During the COVID lockdown of 2020 the website was reorganised and English experts from the LEO Academy Trust have led the way on how to maximise the amazing author insights contained in the 1,000 video clips that fill this unique archive.
The LEO Academy Trust English team explain the rationale behind using the 1,000+ video archive in ReadingZone Live as the basis of a new and unique approach to supporting the development of reading and writing in primary schools.
See how the expert English teachers have incorporated the new material into their approach to delivering the English curriculum at the LEO Academy Trust.
Christopher Perrott of Cheam Common Junior Academy discusses the positive impact on learners using the new ReadingZone Live English support material.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has the ReadingZone Live resource been updated (Autumn 2020)?
The original ReadingZone Live website was not designed to host 1,000+ videos and a better resource discovery system with direct reference and support material to the revised primary English curriculum was needed. The COVID 19 Lockdown offered an opportunity for LGfL and the LEO Academy Trust to develop a new portal and support material to make the resources easier to use and secure improved English outcomes for learners.
What are the key features of the revised ReadingZone Live curriculum material?
Unlike many other comprehension resources available, this resource organises questions by content domains, considering a range of question types such as multiple choice, matching & ordering and long & short answers; mirroring the types of questions found in the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 SATs reading papers. This provides children with the opportunity to practise, develop and apply the skills needed to answer specific questions, whilst engaging with and enjoying interesting texts from many well-known authors. It also provides teachers with assessment and moderation evidence for each of the domains.
There is support for the use of other LGfL resources such as Adobe Spark, BusyThings and J2e online creative tools.
Why have live broadcasts of author events in schools stopped?
Previous ReadingZone Live broadcasts were very engaging for those schools that took an active role, but for passive viewers watching the live stream or after the event, too often the viewing experience was negatively impacted by technical issues relating to the live broadcast itself. Given the small numbers of schools watching live and the ability to secure higher quality footage when not broadcasting live, it was decided to concentrate on filming a well-managed in-school author event and then making that available via the ReadingZone Live platform instead.
How can my school get more involved in ReadingZone Live?
We are always on the lookout for suitable host schools, so if you would like host a ReadingZone Live author event please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Authors often respond quickly to social media posts showing children’s work relating to their books. If you copy in the authors using their hashtag your children can make direct contact with the author and sometimes even receive feedback on their work.
How has BusyThings and J2e contribute to the revised ReadingZone Live material?
BusyThings are developing a series of related interactive resources that link in with the teaching material developed by the LEO Academy Trust. These should be complete by Easter 2021.
How does LGfL get so many successful authors to feature on ReadingZone Live?
Caroline Horn at Reading Zone has excellent and well-established relationships with all the major publishers and secures author involvement for each event. If you would like a certain author to feature on reading Zone Live – then send your requests in to email@example.com.
How many books have been selected to feature in the teaching material for ReadingZone Live?
At the point of relaunch in October 2020, nineteen texts were carefully selected for use by Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4) and Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6) including authors such as Michael Morpurgo, Lauren Child and Jaqueline Wilson.
Guidance for primary teachers has been provided alongside each of these texts to assist in effectively and accurately teaching each of the content domains for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Reading. By selecting the Key Stage, text or content domain, teachers can access suggested explanations, steps to success and questions for each of the Reading content domains.
How does the teaching material promote progression and accelerate learning outcomes?
Questions have been written in a progressive order to support pupils of differing abilities. Depending on the reading age of pupils, the text can be read by an adult or read independently by a pupil, with questions being answered independently or in discussion with the teacher. The active worksheets have enough flexibility to allow teachers to incorporate different approaches and strategies to accommodate a range of learners. Some question sets have been redeveloped as a quiz on BusyThings so that children may use the resource directly themselves either at home or at school.
The resource is further extended to include additional activities that compliment author interviews from ReadingZone Live. These activities and interviews aim to inspire young people to explore new authors and genres and to develop their own creative writing. Contextualised cross-curricular opportunities have also been developed to cover elements of, not only English, but also the Science, History, Geography, Art, Music, DT and Computing Curriculum for primary schools.
Pupils are encouraged to read widely, to reflect on what they have read, to develop and discuss their viewpoints and may begin to establish a preference for certain texts, authors and genres. This can be achieved through our J2e Book Review, our J2e Author Study and possibly through the set-up of a classroom blog on J2Webby.