Literacy is one of the four pillars of our curriculum vision and is one of the keys that unlocks a robust academic curriculum. We aspire for all students to achieve their full potential via a reading age in line with their chronological reading age, for example. To achieve this we:

  • Identify need

Twice annually students will have their reading age testing using NGRT tests. This data will be shared with staff and used to identify students who need additional support.


  • Quality-first teaching practice

All teachers are teachers of reading and literacy. In lessons, therefore, we expect to see:

  • Carefully selected, challenging reading is chosen

  • Pre-teaching of tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary

  • A mix of teacher modelling reading and students reading aloud

  • Formative assessment to check understanding

  • Using a shared understanding of how we read. We use numbered lines (where possible), have all students track the text as they read (using a ruler or their finger) and use phonics (or “sounding out”) to help when students encounter tricky words

  • Have regular bespoke checks on literacy (See the guide on marking & assessment)

  • The use of reading rulers.


  • Interventions to boost literacy

    • Where students are more than 3 years below their chronological age, we use “thinking reading” - a nationally recognised programme to rapidly improve their reading age

    • Where students are 1-2 years behind we use Lexia to support them which is done as part of our wider English curriculum

    • Rosetta Stone is used to support EAL students who are at the early stages of exposure to the English language.


  • Offer further engagement

Our 17+ club provides an extra challenge to those who can read fluently.


We passionately believe in the power of reading and all students at Hewett Academy should be reading a wide variety of high-quality texts.

  • Our library promotes high values, classic texts that help to develop both the reading age of the students but also their cultural capital.

  • The library will also focus on providing students with a “what’s next…” theme where they can choose further books based on others they have enjoyed.

  • Each week a minimum of two form times will be dedicated to reading so that students will get - as a minimum - 30 minutes of reading time per week. In addition to this, we recommend 30 minutes per day at home.

  • Each department in the school issues a list of books they recommend students who are interested in their subjects should read. All of these books will be available in the school library.

  • In their English lessons, students are taught a direct instruction grammar scheme to help them perfect written English.

  • The library has a wider range of reading, including newspapers & magazines. 

Take a look at the Inspiration Trust's Secondary Reading Strategy here