Reading & Library

Our school library is a central and vibrant hub in the school and it is busy, bustling and popular from morning to noon and towards the night. This reflects to the high priority we place on independent learning and reading and Barack Obama’s assertion, that “reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible” holds true as the standpoint if our school.

Improving the ability to read for these students is essential, and we have a programme of targeted interventions in place. According to Ofsted, in Support for Secondary School Pupils who are Behind with Reading (April 2022) specifies that: “Assessment should determine whether pupils have difficulty with accuracy (decoding) and automaticity being able to read words speedily enough to focus on the meaning, or language comprehension.” Consequently, we use initial testing such as WRAT5 and TOWRIE2 to identify the specific barrier to reading.

Reading Interventions

Nationally, around 25% of children enter secondary school below expected standard in reading though the most recent figures for our school were 14.2% (or 31 students). 

In order to close this gap, reading interventions take place in tutor time and through quality first teaching. There are three specific interventions led by the SEND team and English Department.

Firstly, our Accelerating Reading programme sees a 1hr baseline test followed by five sessions per fortnight of focused reading intervention. This is for our weakest readers who require 1-to-1 or small group intervention.

Secondly, our Guided Reading programme sees 20-minute weekly reading sessions with a Sixth Form student. Progress is monitored through accelerated reader/star tests or Word Reading Efficiency Tests. This is for students with below average reading ability.

Thirdly, SUMDOG is our online spelling and grammar programme accessed by students who require literacy support. It provides personalised practice in line with curriculum delivery and gaps in students’ literacy skills. SUMDOG is accessed by up to 20 students in supervised group sessions, two tutor time slots per week. Students can complete additional tasks as part of their independent home learning.

Elsewhere, we have a phonic scheme in place to support the very weakest readers, a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ programme, reading training for staff to deploy across the curriculum, wide reading lists for all Key Stages and subject areas, parental support, and a wide range of promotions and activities designed to encourage reading.

Indeed, our general reading lists can be found here:

Y7 Reading List
Y8 Reading List
Y9 Reading List
KS4 Reading List


With over 6,000 books in the library there is plenty to choose from, both fiction and non-fiction. The most recent additions to the library are the eight fantastic books shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

In Year 7, all students receive library orientation lessons to help them make the most of this fantastic resource for years to come.

Elsewhere, all students benefit from a comprehensive Learning 2 Learn programme as part of our Enrichment curriculum that develops study skills and equips them to work independently.

Using the Facilities

The Library is open from 8.30am until the start of the school day, and from 3.05pm to 4.30pm (Monday to Friday) for Homework Club.

Remote Book Orders – Resource Catalogue

Although students can browse the bookshelves and choose a book the traditional way, this can now be done virtually too.

Available books can be viewed and reserved here.

Further Information

If you would like to find out more about our reading programme, please contact Sam Sullivan, Assistant Headteacher, via

If you would like to find out more about the school library, please contact our School Librarians, Helena Cresswell and Nicola Burdett, via