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Home | Curriculum | Reading

Reading and Literacy at Ken Stimpson

Strong and effective reading and literacy skills are fundamental to students improving learning and raising standards across the curriculum.  At Ken Stimpson we place a strong emphasis on developing these essential skills to ensure that our students are well prepared for examinations and life after school, be that Higher Education, work or continued training.

Our Reading and Literacy Strategy

Reading and literacy unlocks the curriculum for students and provides a foundation for excellence in all subjects. Indeed, literacy is about people’s ability to function in society as private individuals, active citizens, employees or parents. Additionally it is about people’s self-esteem, their interaction with others, their health and employability. Ultimately whether a society is fit for the future.

Ken Stimpson offers a range of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom designed to enrich students’ reading and writing skills, vocabulary knowledge and oral communication. Our passionate and knowledgeable teachers are able to deliver challenging and engaging lessons, and nurture students towards success. A whole-school approach to reading and literacy is essential to support our students in developing keys skills which aims to increase their progress in all subjects.

The aims of our reading and literacy strategy are as follows:

  • To enable students to have skills to be able to achieve good GCSE grades including English and Maths;
  • To develop reading and literacy skills to allow all students to access the curriculum;
  • To ensure all students have good functional reading and literacy skills to enable them to access documents and literacy in the future;
  • To ensure additional support is provided for students with SEN, EAL or Pupil Premium as appropriate;
  • To instill a passion for reading, which students carry with them throughout their time with us and into the future;
  • For staff from all faculties to take responsibility for raising standards of reading and literacy across the school.

We implement this strategy in a number of ways including:

  • Reading tests and re-tests to establish levels and identify needed interventions.
  • Year 7 and 8 guided reading during tutor time twice a week.
  • Reading clubs for both staff and students.
  • Author visits.
  • Reading week activities.
  • Regular reading competitions.
  • Speaking and Listening Activity days.
  • Working with Primary schools for early intervention.
  • Distributing information via the website and newsletters for staff, students and parents.
  • Library access for years 7, 8 and 9 during social and tutor times via a rotation for quiet reading and library access.
  • Encouraging reading outside of the curriculum and discussion within lessons.

Tutor Time Reading Programme

The Tutor Reading Programme provides Students in years 7-10 with at least four reading sessions of up to 30 minutes each week. This ‘daily diet’ of reading indicates the importance and value of reading. Additionally, it supports our whole school strategy of ensuring our young people receive the best possible deal in their education whilst they are in school. The programme intent is to promote engagement with quality reading and a love of reading. Our students will be equipped language and vocabulary for both their school and future life. Specifically, focus is placed on tier 2 and 3 vocabulary, understanding of unfamiliar words to boost knowledge together with empathy of characters and situations. The texts are thought provoking and leads into oracy skills development through discussion of key aspects and events. In turn, critical thinking and evaluative skills are enhanced.

The reading books have been selected from a canon and feature a variety of authors, eras, settings, contexts, genres, themes. The books have been chosen to broaden horizons and understanding of cultures and situations in life. This provides important student experiences in the safety of literature; we do not shy aware from challenging topics.

The goal is that each student will read at least five books this academic year.

Click here to see a full list of the books we are reading


To grow and develop our culture of reading, further inspire students to read for pleasure, and to highlight the wonders of a shared reading experience, selected students in Years 7 and 8 have been chosen to partake in the Carnegie Shadowing Scheme.

Throughout the Summer Term, these students gather weekly with members of staff to read each book, write blogs about their experiences, and to create evaluations and synopses summarising their opinions of each novel. We aim to read 8 books in this scheme, all of which have been specifically selected for their enjoyment and popularity, with each one being nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal Shortlist for 2021 – an accolade which annually recognises one outstanding book for children and young adults.

Whilst reading each book, the students discuss the plot, characters, and themes it explores in preparation for writing their reviews which are submitted to the official Carnegie website.

For more information on the novels our students read, the tasks they complete, and the Carnegie Shadowing Scheme, please use the following link: The CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist 2021 – The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards (

Ken Stimpson Academy
Staniland Way
PE4 6JT (Sat Nav users: PE4 6WR)