Strong literacy skills have a positive impact on students’ self-esteem, behaviour, motivation, and attainment, as well as being fundamental to student development and the achievement of a rich and fulfilling life. Mastery of language is and always will be, a top priority. All our pupils will experience a high-quality synthetic phonics programme to support the early development of reading. Pupils will be encouraged to keep up, with prompt catch-up given to ensure that no pupil falls behind. For pupils who are not at national expectations aged 6, comprehensive interventions take place until they are at the reading standards required as a gateway for further learning.

From early reading, we transition to the mastery of reading. Reading underpins everything that our pupils do in school. We believe that our pupils are entitled to become competent, resilient, and fluent readers. We achieve this by:

  • equipping them with a range of skills and strategies;
  • promoting reading and understanding of challenging texts;
  • developing an appreciation of a wealth of literature to build upon their cultural capital.

We expect our pupils to read, discuss and write about whole-class engaging texts. Background knowledge to every text our pupils encounter is vital to reading comprehension. Our teachers are the experts of content in the classroom and deliver necessary background knowledge and pre-teaching to enable pupils to comprehend texts.

A recent Department for Education study showed that there “is a difference in reading performance equivalent to just over a year's schooling between young people who never read for enjoyment and those who read for up to 30 minutes per day”. We recognise the importance of reading and expect that every pupil should be reading every day for a minimum of 30 minutes.

We expect all pupils to be reading challenging and appropriate material. We do not allow pupils to choose books that lack challenge or that are not matched to the learning they are experiencing. We actively promote and embed the reading of a variety of classic literature including poetry and challenging non-fiction books. In our specialist settings, the selection of work and material is bespoke to the needs of individual pupils to enable them to progress securely from their starting points.