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Our Rationale for Reading 

Reading is central not only to our young people’s education, but to their ability to communicate: it is the key which unlocks our understanding of others and the world. The ability to read fluently and with understanding, underpins success for every student at every level. If a student struggles to read, they struggle in all subjects: if a student has competent skills of written and spoken expression, and the ability to read, understand and interpret texts, they will have the ability to understand and respond to subject content across the curriculum.  


It is our duty and moral obligation to ensure that every student can read fluently and is equipped with high standards of written and spoken communication in order to be successful both in and out of the classroom. We want our young people to be confident communicators with high levels of self-esteem; in an increasingly challenging world, effective communication skills are essential to lead a fulfilling and successful life.  


Reading Policy in Action 


Teachers are expert readers: 

  • We develop students’ reading and comprehension skills by modelling the fluent reading of texts. 


Teachers model different reading strategies: 

  • Strategies such as activating students’ prior knowledge, modelling, encouraging students to predict and question texts and guided or scaffolded reading are used to help students understand and interpret texts in every subject. 

  • We encourage students to skim, scan, reread, check, question, summarise, identify patterns and read related texts to develop their resilience when reading independently. 


Teachers explicitly teach vocabulary in every subject: 

  • We pre-teach tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary. 

  • We use the Frayer model and strategies such as exploring morphology and etymology to embed the knowledge and use of vocabulary across the curriculum. 


Teachers provide opportunities to develop oracy in every subject: 

  • Teachers model effective talk for literacy in every lesson, through high levels of spoken standard English. 

  • Teachers model tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary. 

  • Structured talk is a feature of every lesson. 


Reading Provision and Extra Support 

Reading is often set as part of homework by a wide range of curriculum areas, providing students with opportunities to read around and extend their love of their subjects, as well as reading. At Key Stage 3, all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have a timetabled library lesson once per fortnight, with their English teacher, supported by the librarian. During this lesson, they engage with the Accelerated Reader programme, which is designed to motivate, monitor and manage students’ independent reading practice. This programme includes interactive quizzes and tracks students’ reading ages and progress; it also ensures that reading material is matched to reading age.  


All students in Years 7, 8 and 9 complete the STAR reading test at the start of each term. We encourage parents and carers to attend our reading evenings where we offer advice on how to support students’ reading at home. For those students that require support with their reading, we have a targeted approach to intervention that ensures they are prioritised for support.  Support is tiered and linked to the diagnosed areas of need: 

  • Students who have difficulties with phonics, engage in the Read, Write, Inc. programme with a specialist tutor to support their phonic development, build their confidence and fluency.  

  • Students whose SATs scores fall below 100 have additional lessons in literacy, 3 lessons per fortnight.  

  • Students use the Achieve3000 web-based literacy programme that aims to improve reading, writing and critical thinking. They engage with non-fiction texts about a particular issue each lesson, with the level of the text pitched differently for each pupil according to their literacy level. 

  • One-to-one and small group reading sessions are designed to improve reading fluency, boost confidence and self-esteem. 

  • Sixth Form students act as reading buddies to students in Year 7 and 8, who lack confidence in their reading. Thie also supports the development of our Sixth Formers’ leadership skills. 



Reading for Pleasure 

We are deeply committed to promoting a love of reading across our whole school community. We discuss the many benefits of reading for pleasure: from developing our verbal abilities and vocabulary, to broadening our imagination and our understanding of the world, as well as the benefits to our mental health and wellbeing. Our aim is to help our young people to be effective readers by rooting the curriculum in appropriate fiction and non-fiction texts and by igniting a genuine passion and enthusiasm for reading.  


Reading logs are issued to all students in Years 7, 8 and 9, should be signed weekly by a parent/carer and are monitored in English lessons. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 are expected to have a reading book as part of their equipment and tutor-led reading for pleasure takes place in tutor groups during ‘Everyone a Reader’ sessions in Period 4. World Book Day is celebrated each year, with a range of activities and competitions across all year groups.  


Many of our students read for pleasure and participate in the range of activities available to them. Our focus on promoting a love of reading includes:  


  • Well-resourced library with reading recommendations displayed  

  • National Poetry Day events and competitions 

  • World Book Day events  

  • Poetry by Heart 

  • Speakers for Schools National Teen Book Club - available to students in Years 9-13, where they read and discuss modern, young adult fiction and use this as a platform for creative writing 

  • NTBC facilitate online sessions which include discussion groups and presentations from authors and publishers 

  • Everyone a Reader programme 

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