Ensuring that students are given the opportunity to become engaged with reading from the start is one of the most important ways to make a difference to their life chances. For this to happen, however, they need to learn to read as fluently as possible and be motivated to continue reading. We want our students to be confident, fluent readers who actively choose to read.

We teach reading through the study of narratives, books, poems and plays. We carefully select our books and reading materials to ensure they are interesting to students of all abilities. Our students have access to a wide range of reading genres to ensure we offer reading material that will appeal to but maybe also challenge the thinking of our students. 

We understand that many of our students may come to our setting with issues or prior experiences which make them reluctant readers. On entering our setting, we will quickly assess students and put a programme of support or phonics in place if required, to help them engage in reading and become a successful, independent readers.

How are knowledge and skills acquired in reading?

We understand that within the class there can be students with very different reading abilities. Reading texts and lessons are planned to the meet the needs of the students in the class and activities are adjusted to the abilities of individuals in the classroom. To support students, teachers plan activities that provide opportunities to work as a class, group or pair to help them share ideas and model and scaffold each other in their reading.

Our intent is to ensure that all pupils are supported and encouraged to read to the best of their ability, with confidence and passion, in any subject by establishing an environment where reading for pleasure is promoted and for pupils to be able to access and acquire knowledge across the curriculum using their comprehension skills.

Why is Reading so Important?

  • Reading a variety of texts is an expectation of society both for work and in our day-to-day lives
  • Those who read independently while at secondary school do better at BOTH maths and English
  • According to the latest report from the National Literacy Trust, as children transition from primary to secondary school, their levels of literacy engagement and mental wellbeing both decline and continue on this downward path. Those who DO read, have significantly better mental health than their peers.
  • The GCSE examinations have a lot of challenging texts to read.  To fully understand these exams, you need a reading age of at least 15 years old, reading widely and frequently helps with this.
  • A wide vocabulary is one of the most powerful things we can own. There’s no better way of expanding this knowledge and understanding of words than reading
  • Reading helps to develop imagination and creativity.
  • Reading novels is a way to experience different cultures and lifestyles; this helps to build the essential skills of empathy and understanding which help to make us valued citizens

Reading at Castlefield Campus

The model above shows how we will support students to develop their literacy skills.  The entitlement of each student to be supported in reading in the curriculum and reading for pleasure will be met in the following ways;

  • Each classroom will have a selection of books (fiction and non-fiction) on display.
  • Classroom staff will identify and take opportunities to read to students everyday.
  • All staff will actively talk positively about books, stories and reading – Be role models.
  • All teachers have identified opportunities for reading in their curriculum.
  • All students are tested in reading and spelling to establish level of support and intervention required.
  • Reading incentives such as reading points will be used to encourage students to actively read in school and at home.

How to support your Child with their Reading?

  • Allow them to visit and join their local library.
  • Read the same book as them so you can talk about it together.
  • Read the books they are studying in English so you can discuss them with your child.
  • Set a timer for 20 minutes as many days a week as you can and sit together reading books, magazines, blogs.  This way you model that it is important to you aswell.
  • Point out an article you have read in a magazine, newspaper or online. Ask them what they think about the issues raised in it.
  • Ask them what they are reading in their own time so they know that you expect them to do this.
  • Ask them to read aloud to a younger member of the family.
  • Ask them to read aloud to you and to explain the meaning of difficult word or summarise what they have read.
  • Encourage them to look up words they are unsure of so they can grow their vocabulary.
  • Accept that young adult books are a safe and trusted way to explore the controversial issues around them.