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Reading Policy



Reading is arguably the most crucial literacy skill for cross-curricular success in secondary schools. The curriculum continues to be dominated by text, both in print and on screen, and our learners need to be able to read effectively to understand, make sense of and take meaning from the wide range of texts presented to them. For learners who enter secondary schools with a reading age below their chronological age, the reading demands of the secondary curriculum prove extremely challenging. Students with a reading age lower than their chronological age have significant problems accessing the information they need to be successful learners.  


At Crofton School, we recognise our students who continue to have difficulty accessing text have already struggled with learning to read for up to seven years. They have experienced years of falling further and further behind their peers; as a result, these readers can have low self-esteem and lack confidence in the classroom.   


We aim for all students to leave Crofton School as confident, fluent readers who will become successful adults. We strive to mitigate ‘the Matthew Effect’ by creating a reading culture throughout the school, where reading is something everyone in our community does, whether to enable learning or reading for pleasure. This ethos stretches beyond the boundaries of our gates and into the wider community. 






To help identify students who may need additional support with reading, all students in KS3 undergo NGRT reading tests in English once a year which test them on a range of reading skills. The data from the tests is available on SIMS for all teachers to use to inform their planning and adaptive teaching. 


By encouraging teachers across the curriculum to develop reading skills in their lessons  

we can develop reading confidence in our learners, enabling them to access new and  

unfamiliar texts. 


At Crofton School, we want to promote a reading mindset within the whole community which:  

  • creates a mental model, amending and updating what they know with new information 

  • draws on their experience and knowledge, making inferences, automatically filling in the gaps at sentence level, across the text, and between the text and what they already know 

  • considers the meaning, implication, and nuance of every word, drawing upon a wide and deep vocabulary and body of knowledge, much of which they have acquired from their previous reading and experience 

  • understands when the understanding of the precise meaning of words is vital and when it can be skipped 

  • draws upon their knowledge of sentence structure, including punctuation; 

  • constantly anticipates what might be coming next and considers how to align with what they know already 

  • spots when their understanding has broken down, and rewinds to pick up past information 

  • reads silently, sometimes drawing on prosodic information to hear the voice of the narrator or characters.*


The role of the teacher in developing reading skills 


To support and enhance students’ reading skills, it is essential that teachers across the curriculum provide opportunities for learners to: 

  • read and engage with a variety of different texts both in print and on screen 

  •  learn how to sift and select information appropriate to the task 

  •  follow up on their interests and read texts of varying lengths 

  • question and challenge printed information and views 

  • use reading to research and investigate 

  • participate in choral or echo reading, where appropriate 

  • Practise finger-pointing with all reading, regardless of level. 



Reading Activities 


Students will have the opportunities to: 

  • use reading to research the subject area 

  • use the LRC to support subject learning 

  • be as independent as possible through reading to learn 

  • read for pleasure 

  • read a range of non-fiction text types 

  • read narratives of events  

  • locate and retrieve information 

  • select and make notes from a text 

  • use a range of reading skills such as skimming, scanning, reading for meaning 

  • read fiction texts which will support their learning in a subject area. 




Teachers will: 

  • facilitate reading development through their subject 

  • enable reading at all levels of tier 2 vocabulary, through adaptive practice 

  • draw students’ attention to structure, layout, format, print and other signposts 

  • encourage students to skim, scan or read intensively according to the task 

  • teach students to select or note only what is relevant 

  • encourage students to question, challenge and recognise bias in a range of texts 

  • support students who are at the early stages of reading 

  • teach students to read identified subject vocabulary (tier 3) 




Students will be provided with: 

  • a range of materials to support the subject topic, including glossaries and vocabulary PowerPoint etymology slides 

  • texts at appropriate readability levels which cater for the range of students’ reading needs 

  • materials reflecting a balance of culture and gender 

  • materials which are up-to-date and attractive 

  • resources/reference materials which enable all students to be independent 


Strategies for supporting reading 


To support and develop students’ reading skills all teachers should:  

  • Teach the reading skills needed in their subject using reciprocal reading strategies 

  • anticipate Tier 2, and Tier 3 vocabulary and idiomatic language and addressing before asking students to access texts 

  • pre-teach vocabulary for each unit of work, e.g. before reading ‘Macbeth’ teach the language of tragedy; before teaching forces, teach the language of forces 

  • include a ‘big picture’ question or statement at the start of units/topics/hand-outs to help students understand what they are doing/reading and what help it will provide (this will help students draw on prior knowledge and begin to make links)  

  • ensure that the questions asked about texts assess comprehension first AND move further to exploratory talk involving “why”, “how” and “what if” questions. 

  • use reading as home learning tasks with AfL (Assessment for Learning) strategies in the classroom to check and correct misunderstandings. 

  • promote the Bedrock Learning programme used by all KS3 students, monitored through English and KS3 tutors 


Support for students below their chronological age 


Following the NGRT in year 7, students who achieve less than 85 Standardised Score undertake the following interventions: 

  • A YARC (York Assessment of Reading and Comprehension) to diagnose areas for intervention 

  • Synthetic phonics intervention using Toe by Toe, Precision Teaching and Polynon Breakdown 


Our reading culture 


The benefits of reading for pleasure are well-documented and it is essential that Crofton School has a strong a vibrant reading culture throughout the whole community. To facilitate this:  

  • all students in KS3 should have a reading book with them, as part of their equipment, which can help promote conversation around the books they read 

  • all Year 7 and 8 English classes have a fortnightly LRC lesson and follow a reciprocal reading programme; students are also encouraged to continue to explore their individual reading for pleasure through the Reading Cloud 

  • reading weeks to celebrate reading, are timetabled in the calendar  

  • author visits are a part of the school’s literacy offer  

  • SORA is used by all as an online library for students and teachers to access materials for all subjects, in a variety of formats  

  • teachers display their own reading for pleasure, in classrooms, and display in the LRC celebrates this further 

  • the LRC promotes suggested book recommendations for KS3 and KS4, and the Bedrock word of the week for each KS3 year group, which are also displayed in classrooms 

  • social media platforms are used to communicate reading activities as development to parents, as well as the monthly newsletter 

  • reading clubs encourage KS4 students through ‘Lit Lovers’, and adults within our school and wider community, through a Crofton Book club, to share their love of reading. 

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