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At Sir Thomas Wharton Academy, we are believers that "every teacher is a teacher of reading". 



'To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many enquiries.’ (A.C Grayling)

Students’ reading skills are important to their success in school as they will allow them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improve their communication and language skills. It is vital that students are exposed to a range of texts which both challenge and illuminate their understanding of the world and it is therefore our firm belief that all teachers are teachers of reading. Disciplinary literacy is an approach to improving literacy across the curriculum. It recognises that literacy skills are both general and subject specific, emphasising the value of supporting teachers in every subject to teach students how to read, write and communicate effectively in their subjects.

Here at Sir Thomas Wharton Academy, we also advocate reading for pleasure as there is a strong association between the amount of reading for pleasure students do and their reading achievement. Students who read for pleasure make significantly more progress in vocabulary, spelling and maths than students who read very little (Sullivan and Brown 2013). Plus, reading for pleasure has many non-literacy benefits and can increase empathy, improve relationships and give an insight into the world views of others. We therefore encourage and support parents in cultivating a culture of reading both at home as well as in school. We also use social media as a platform to share our reading with the wider community.


Every student in KS3 accesses 50 minutes of reading for pleasure each week, which is in addition to their normal English lessons. The lessons will consist of Oracy, independent reading and post-read tasks. Students will use a variety of reading strategies and be exposed to key vocabulary throughout their RfP lessons. Students will use a booklet to aid their reading. Lessons will be differentiated based on ability and support required. During reading, students will either read independently, in groups or will read with their class teacher or the librarian. The texts have been carefully chosen to expose students to topics they may never have encountered but also to ensure that they enjoy what they are reading. Students will have their lessons in the school library so that they fully embrace the reading for pleasure culture. 


Developing students into confident, well-read readers, is a key aspect of our broad and balanced curriculum here at Sir Thomas Wharton Academy. To monitor and support our year 7 to 10 students, we are continuing to invest in The NGRT reading assessment test which will generate a report about your child’s reading ability. The test will highlight individual student’s reading strengths and weaknesses and highlight any vocabulary gaps. The test is fully adaptive to a student’s ability and therefore offers a personalised experience, guaranteeing it is accessible for all. Areas of assessment will include: decoding ability, sight word knowledge and comprehension (such as retrieval, context, inference and purpose). 

The test will take approximately 30 minutes to complete in the study centre, supervised by your child’s English teacher. Key data from the report will be shared with all staff, so teachers can ensure they are planning and delivering lesson content which is challenging yet appropriate for our learners. We will test your child biannually so we can track their progress and offer specific intervention where needed.

It is vital that your child takes the test seriously; please discuss with them the importance of the reading assessment and alleviate any concerns they may have. As an academy, we will support your child to develop their confidence, enjoyment and reading skills through their English and reading lessons and the wider curriculum, as every teacher at STWA is a teacher of reading.


As a school, we offer a wide range of intervention to support students with their reading ability and comprehension.

Students below 88 on their reading tests will access intervention during tutor time. These students are placed in a "Reading Tutor Group" where they will receive support by a member of the English department and a teaching assistant. They will access this support every morning for 30 minutes. The intervention will include support with comprehension, challenging vocabulary and reading fluency.

Students will also receive support in their Reading for Pleasure lesson, which takes place once a week for 50 minutes.  Some students will have access to a reading buddy from STWA Sixth Form during their reading lessons, who have been trained on how to support students.

All teaching staff across the school have received training on how to best support students during reading. Staff use different strategies to enable children to access their reading with ease. All staff can access students’ reading ages and scores to prepare their lessons in advance.


As well as the excellent reading provision available in school, the following websites are useful to develop your child's reading skills further. These sites contain a variety of free reading materials for different reading abilities and interests.‐online‐resources‐for‐teaching‐struggling‐learners‐at‐home/‐home/find‐a‐book/library‐page/‐ks3‐ks4‐reading‐lists/


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Miss N Carter,