Our intent is to foster and encourage a love of reading.  Our intent is that every pupil leaves school able to decode, read with fluency and confidence and with an appreciation and experience of literary heritage. 

The benefits of reading for pleasure and empowerment are well documented:

Every subject has a reading-rich curriculum, which increases background knowledge and cultural capital. We foster a culture of reading around school, at all times of the day, in every classroom, with every teacher. We want our pupils to have a curiosity for reading new fiction and to explore the world around them through both non-fiction and fiction.

As soon as a pupil joins our school, we want to know about their reading skills and proficiency so that we can identify any gaps and choose from a range of reading interventions to ensure they are reading at their chronological reading age as soon as possible.  We use regular testing to ensure this is maintained and take action where necessary as the pupil moves through school.   Our aim is to build an outstanding reading school.


Every teacher is a teacher of reading.

All subjects have identified opportunities to read a range of texts within their curricula and there is a reading component in all lessons in all subjects. This greatly increases the minimum standards of reading ‘mileage’.

We know that by reading frequently and often, pupils become more fluent readers and this aids comprehension.

At Key Stage 3, in Years 7 and 8, all pupils have a dedicated reading lesson, in the school library, of an hour a week with their English teacher and our librarian.  During these lessons, pupils develop their love of reading via reading for pleasure activities, paired and reciprocal reading activities and guided reading of short stories with their English teacher.  Within these lessons, smaller groups of pupils identified as needing comprehension support, also take part in guided reading sessions of pre-complex texts that are relevant to other topics studied in other subjects’ curricula that term.  These activities allow pupils to read around topics relevant to their learning in other curriculum areas, developing an understanding of the cultural capital that reading can promote whilst working on comprehension skills in a smaller group setting.

In addition, pupils are able to discover the resource of our school library during these lessons and discuss genres and book choices with the librarian during this time to support their private reading. The school library supports both pupils and departments by providing not only relevant resources to support the curriculum but a challenging and supportive environment to stimulate, maintain and develop a lively and enquiring mind and an enjoyment in reading.

All pupils in Year 7 and 8 use Sparx reader to complete 30 minutes focussed reading each week at home.  For those pupils who prefer to complete this task at school, we run a Sparx reader club two evenings a week in our school library.  The English team use the data supplied from Sparx to track reading progress, engagement and to ensure pupils are developing good habits of reading frequently and often outside the classroom. 


Developing Vocabulary

As regards vocabulary, pupils are taught new tier 2  vocabulary explicitly. Departments routinely include explicit teaching of Tier 2 vocabulary in their schemes of learning. Displays around school reflect the vocabulary being taught in lessons.

For homework in English, all pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 complete a weekly task of 30 minutes on 'Bedrock Learning', a personalised online vocabulary and grammar programme.  Department displays, prizes and our school newsletter promote and reward both the top achievers at Key Stage 3 and also those who have made the most progress each week.  English class teachers regularly review progress on Bedrock for all groups of pupils. 

Each week, we promote a word of the week from Bedrock in all classrooms and in all lessons. These are displayed in every classroom and pupils are rewarded for using the word of the week either orally or in written form each week.  We share the word of the week via our weekly newsletter with parents and invite families to promote the word in conversations at home.  Each term, special competitions are run to engage pupils in retrieving words learnt previously during the year for a range of prizes.  Many pupil engage in these competitions with conversation cards that are signed by teachers whenever pupils use the different vocabulary items in conversations or in classwork appropriately. 

All teachers have received CPD on how to incorporate reading into their lessons, and how to promote reading skills to pupils, in particular, reciprocal teaching of reading strategies (summarise, clarify, predict, ask questions).


Identifying gaps

All pupils are assessed using NGRT (New Group Reading Test) as they start in school in Year 7 or for those joining our school in-year, this is done immediately as they start school.   NGRT reading tests are used routinely once per year at Key Stage 3 to track progress as chronological ages increase and as one measure of the interventions and opportunities to read on offer.

All pupils who score in the below 36% on an NGRT are assessed again using an NGRTb test before interventions are considered.    This data is carefully considered by our Reading Intervention team in order to match the pupil to the correct intervention.

NGRT reading data is available for all teachers via our school Synergy and clearly visible to staff via the reading profile and displayed on seating plans.  Where pupils are part of a specific intervention, further information and advice for support are listed under the strategies tab on Synergy and the pupil is highlighted on the class list to alert class teachers.

If a pupil scores below 36% on two NGRT tests, then the team consider their suitability for the Thinking Reading programme.  The team will use the Thinking Reading probes to identify whether the pupil needs decoding support and to identify the gaps to tailor their one-to-one programme. 


Thinking Reading

Thinking Reading is an intensive, personalised intervention delivered three times per week by trained practitioners. Pupils make quick progress and graduate from the programme once they are reading at their chronological age.  We celebrate pupils graduation with certificates and a trip to our library where pupils can choose a book which is suitable to their reading age and preference which is then awarded to them by our Headteacher in a private ceremony.


Corrective Reading

Where pupils’ reading age does not meet their chronological reading age but they do not need decoding support, or where pupils complete Thinking Reading but repeat NGRT testing shows comprehension support is necessary, we use Corrective Reading placement tests to place pupils in a comprehension support group.  These pupils complete three lessons per week during form time with a trained practitioner to develop their comprehension skills.


Coram Beanstalk Reading programme

Where Year 7 pupils score between 6-18 months beneath their reading age, they become eligible for our Coram Beanstalk Reading programme. The programme aims to develop a pupils reading fluency and confidence in reading via weekly one to one sessions with an older pupil.  All of our Coram Beanstalk ambassadors receive a full day’s training and support from our librarian where necessary.  The team of Year 9 pupils run this intervention with pupils in Year 7 on a one-to-one basis in the school library during a lunchtime each week.  Year 7 pupils meet their Year 9 reading partner and together they read a range of texts and discuss their reading using a log book of activities led by their Year 9 partner.  Year 9 pupils are able to use this volunteering work for the Duke of Edinburgh award and forge strong relationships with their Year 7 reading partner. 


Form time Reading

Every week all forms in Year 7-10 read together for 20 minutes twice a week.  Year 11 read for 20 minutes once a week and this can be independent reading or reading as a group.  We have a identified a range of books for each year group and the form tutor reads aloud as pupils follow in their own copy of the book.

Teachers modelling good practice by reading themselves, fosters a culture of reading around school and sees every teacher as a teacher of reading, whatever their subject discipline.

The books selected for each year group include a range of fiction and no-fiction texts across a range of genres to ensure a diverse reading experience.  As each form completes a book, pupils are encouraged to complete a Book review for the book and to discuss their opinions with their form tutor.  The book review also invites pupils to make links between the book and other books they may have read or other experiences they might have had together with what they have learned by reading the book about another culture, time or place in the world.