Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible

Barack Obama, 2008. “An American Story: The Speeches of Barack Obama”, Independent Publishing Group

Reading is a gateway. The gateway to academic success. The gateway to discovering passions and inhabiting a world beyond our immediate reality. The gateway to be able to articulate when something is not right, because we have the language and the confidence to do so.

At Egglescliffe School, we have the highest expectations of all pupils and we pride ourselves on having a strong reading community. All KS3 students follow a ‘Reading Spine’ (see below) so they can access and enjoy reading a varied range of texts. Reading habits are continued into KS4 with registration time dedicated to quality reading. We intervene quickly when pupils cannot read at a level and fluency appropriate for their age, so that they can access the broad curriculum we offer. We continue to adapt and personalise this support for our students for as long as it is needed.

  • All students will be explicitly taught to “read to learn” across the curriculum to enable them to independently engage with and learn from challenging texts.
  • All students will be immersed in broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts to enrich their cultural understanding of the world and develop their vocabulary.
  • Some students will be given the intensive support they need to develop their ability to decode and comprehend texts.

KS3 Reading Spines

Egglescliffe School is a reading community. Reading regularly, from a range of text-types and genres appropriate to their reading age, develops students’ vocabulary, cultural knowledge and understanding of our world.

Students in KS3 will follow a Reading Spine: a selection of texts chosen to engage and challenge. Each Reading Spine will take the student on a journey through genre and topic with books accessible to their current reading age.

Reading Spines are designed to act as a spring-board to wider reading; staff take part in reading conversations and offer reading suggestions to students. Two registration sessions a fortnight will focus on reading spine texts.

Students can access the spine texts via the library platform ‘Reading Cloud’. Reading books form part of expected equipment for students. Students can choose to submit reviews via the Reading Cloud platform in order to achieve reading e-Praise points.

Year 7 Reading Spine
Year 8 Reading Spine
Year 9 Reading Spine

Reading to Learn

At Egglescliffe School, pupils move from learning to read to reading to learn. We support the development of academic reading skills across our curriculum areas

The Explicit Teaching of Vocabulary

In every curriculum area, students will be explicitly taught vocabulary that is essential to their understanding of a given topic. We consider the roots of words and how they link to other terms we may encounter in other subjects. We do this to model to our students strategies for tackling new and difficult vocabulary; we give them the power to know more and remember more.

Reading for Purpose

We guide our students to read complex academic texts using four key skills: prediction, clarification, questioning and summary. However, students also recognise that reading is different in every subject. We teach subject-specific skills when we read for purpose. Students develop an understanding of these specialised approaches, so that they develop independence.