Being literate increases opportunities for the individual in all aspects of life and lays the foundations for lifelong learning and work. At our academy, reading is a priority across the school. We want students to progress through our curriculum, receive appropriate intervention to succeed, and read for pleasure. 

Our students’ ability to read and expand their vocabulary increases attainment across all subjects. We have whole school reading strategies in lessons to minimise passivity and guide pupil practice. We also use reciprocal reading strategies so that students can improve their reading comprehension across all subjects. We know that literacy skills are both general and subject specific; therefore, every teacher shows students how to read, write and communicate effectively in each subject.

A core component of our key stage 3 tutor time focuses on DEAR (drop everything and read) to foster a love of reading. Along with reading lessons in English, we have chosen a range of exciting page-turners where teachers read aloud with the appropriate degree of fluency, focusing on pace, expression, stress, and intonation. Each student is given a ‘Reciprocal Reading’ bookmark which has four types of strategies (questioning, clarifying, summarising, and predicting) that students can use to improve their reading comprehension. 

The Accelerated Reader programme is a vital part of our curriculum to develop not only reading skills but also students’ range of vocabulary and comprehension skills. 

A variety of different intervention reading programmes operate within our academy to support our students’ reading fluency. We provide a phased approach to reading that encourages reading at every level. We test all students using the New Group Reading Assessment. For early readers we complete a Sound Write assessment. We also have the Ruth Miskin phonics programme which supports emergent readers alongside Lexia: a comprehensive computer-based and personalised reading programme. There is also Soundswrite, Fresh Start and Rainbow Reading. Students are supported to increase their automatic word recognition by reinforcing phonic elements. Intervention activities provide extensive practice in everything from basic phonological awareness to advanced word-attack strategies, as well as vocabulary development based on Greek and Latin word roots.

A variety of exciting extra-curricular reading programmes operate within our academy to support our students’ love of reading. These include a weekly reading club, a student newspaper and debate club. Our academy provides opportunities to encourage older students (‘Reading Champions’) to read with younger students and to provide opportunities to discuss what they are reading. We have a ‘literacy calendar’ with key events and competitions centred around reading and writing, including Roald Dahl Day, National Poetry Day and World Book Day. All events as celebrated across the school and there are lots of opportunities for students to showcase their talents. We also organise authors to visit the academy as well as trips centred around reading. 

We have bought into myON®, a personal digitalised library, which gives students access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books. Titles are dynamically matched to each individual student’s interests, grade and Lexile® reading level. We ask all parents to support students with their reading using this platform. Small, daily acts of reading matter. Habits are crucial, and they start in the home.

Our academy library is viewed as a learning resource centre. Our librarian ensures a vibrant, welcoming space with well stocked shelves, computer access and a quiet place to study. Across each term our library runs exciting promotions and seasonal events to share the joy of reading and advertise what is new. We have a book suggestion box where students can fill in a sheet regarding their chosen book and we reward students for reading and run lots of competitions throughout the year so that students can receive the praise they deserve for developing their reading.