Approach to Reading

Approach to Reading

At The Oakwood Academy, we recognise the importance that reading has in ensuring that students achieve well academically as well as expand their knowledge and vocabulary. With this in mind, we invest curriculum time in Years 7, 8 and 9 to ensure that students read widely and make rapid improvements in their reading ages. As part of the Redhill Trust, our aim is for all students in Year 9 to have a reading age of 15.


Reading in Years 7, 8 and 9.

Students in Years 7 and 8, will have one lesson in the library a week. This is known as their Accelerated Reader lesson. Students will work with a programme called Accelerated Reader which helps students to understand the level of book they should be reading. Once a student has read their book they complete a short online quiz to check their comprehension of the book and then discuss with the librarian, based on these results, what to read next.

Students can log onto Accelerated Reader here :

You can read more about how AR works in this Parent Guide and Parent Guide - Helping your Child with Literacy too.

Students in Year 9 have a dedicated reading hour every week which is differentiated based on their ability and graduated response in reading.

Students in these years will all have 15 minutes a day Drop Everything and Read time. This allows them to read for 15 minutes every day. The time for this is rolled through the periods of the week (e.g. in the first week it will be 15 minutes every period 1. The week after it will be during period 2). During DEAR students are encouraged to discuss the big reading question which is sent to staff weekly. Beyond this, we encourage students to read for 30 minutes extra a week to improve their own reading ability and enthusiasm.

Reading in Years 10 and 11

Although they do not have a daily reading slot, students in Years 10 and 11 still need to bring a book to school as part of their ready to learn equipment as they will have one DEAR period during a tutor time slot. Further to this, Y10 and Y11 have a curriculum which is designed to give ample opportunity for reading and develop their skills in line with our whole school approach of disciplinary reading.



At the Oakwood Academy, we have a graduated response for intervention based on the stage in which a student is on their reading age journey. This may include

-       Phonics baseline for students who are under the Reading Age of 7 or present traits of requirement of phonics intervention

-       Group Reading in AR

-       Tracking based on key reading skills such as fluency, decoding and comprehension

-       Curriculum design based around reading skills such as  reciprocal reading

-       Trust wide events for students who want to challenge their reading beyond the classroom

Reading in the Curriculum

A big focus for our school and as a Trust is that we have put reading as a focus point to our curriculum deliverance. Without our curriculum, students are given different reading strategies based around the concept of Disciplinary Reading. Students are encouraged to read a range of subject specific books through our subject-specific reads. This allows our students to develop their own concept of non-fiction reading, while also pursuing their own subject specific interests.