Reading and Literacy are the golden threads that run through our curriculum. Not only do they unlock access to our broad and balanced curriculum, but they are valuable life skills that we know students need to be successful.

The Reading Curriculum is a rich, vast and varied diet. Reading and Literacy are fundamental across the Academy from Year 7 to post-16 and embedding this is everyone’s priority. There are a range of strategies that all subjects use to promote reading: visualisers are used to model and demonstrate reading and staff and students track texts to improve fluency. New, subject specific vocabulary is pre-loaded and the etymology of words explored.

Reading is celebrated and praise is at the heart of what we do; termly assemblies celebrate students who have read the most and also have improved in their reading age. Our friendly and helpful librarian ensures our Learning Resource Centre is a vibrant, welcoming space with well stocked shelves, computer access and a quiet place to study. Across the year there are exciting promotions and seasonal events to share the joy of reading and advertise what’s new, including engaging and unique talks from visiting authors and end of year trips.

Students take part in regular STAR reading tests to celebrate books that they have read as part of the Accelerated Reader programme and assess their reading age. Reading ages are used by teachers to ensure texts in lessons are challenging and ambitious yet accessible. Students’ reading ages are closely monitored as part of a weekly Literacy meeting to ensure that students are receiving the necessary and suitable support. 

For those students who need it, we ensure that personalised and high-quality interventions are delivered as relevant to support with improving students’ reading ages:
  • Fresh Start/Ruth Miskin supports emergent readers to develop their phonics and become increasingly independent readers;
  • The comprehensive computer-based Lexia programme offers a bespoke package to develop word recognition and vocabulary, reinforce phonological awareness and enhance comprehension and inference to enable students to become increasingly confident readers;
  • Peer reading mentors, including with post-16 students, develop fluency and reading for pleasure, as well as sparking discussion around both fiction and non-fiction texts.

Students are encouraged to read outside of school and we ask parents/carers to support this by reading with students where possible.