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We outline in our curriculum intent that it is our purpose for all students to develop a passion for life-long learning, gain first rate qualifications and develop a love of reading. We outline reading in our curriculum intent because we firmly and passionately believe it fundamentally underpins progress in reading, writing, literacy and therefore progress and achievement in all subjects and aspects of life. We therefore place reading as a high priority in the Academy and firmly believe that ‘we are all teachers of reading’. We aim to create a culture of reading and a love of reading throughout the Academy, staff and students.

Why we focus on reading

To be able to gain first rate qualifications, a students’ level of comprehension is most vital. We believe that for a student to access the breadth of the curriculum, students’ require resilient reading skills. Not only this, but confident and secure readers are more likely to read for pleasure and read out of curiosity. We intend to illuminate students’ understanding of the world to gain a heightened sense of cultural and global awareness. This is made possible by exposing students to a vast array of challenging texts across the curriculum. With this in mind, we truly believe that all teachers are teachers of reading. Reading material in lesson occurs in every subject, we acknowledge that all teachers are presented opportunities to improve the reading skills in our students.

Teachers are equipped with strategies to support reading and comprehension in their subject, we focus on the central skills of clarifying, summarising and questioning when reading texts. Supporting students with subject specific terminology and disciplinary literacy through constant clarification is a strategy we continue to drive. Reading data has been made available to staff and is included on our MINT class seating plans. This way, we are aware which students require support with reading and we can plan to successfully support these students.

To achieve our curriculum of intent of all students developing a love of reading at Wath Academy we advocate reading for pleasure. We recognise there is a strong association between the amount that students read for pleasure and their progress in vocabulary, spelling and maths (Sullivan and Brown 2013). Not only this, but by reading for pleasure students can increase empathy, improve relationships, give an insight into the world views of others and shape them into responsible citizens. At Wath Academy we have an extensive wider curriculum programme with activities that foster reading for pleasure these include: The Torch student magazine, Votes for School, an extensive library and activities that surround the literacy calendar. It is our intention to extend these opportunities further by introducing reading role models in school, student reading passports and further improvement to our school library.