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At Denbigh High School we are determined that every student will learn to read well, regardless of their background. We recognise the importance of reading for our students’ well being, their ability to access the curriculum and to thrive in their future lives.

The aim of our reading strategy is to develop students’ reading fluency, accuracy and pace as well as increasing students’ enjoyment of reading. Our reading strategy has a number of components which seek to work holistically to achieve our ambitious reading aims:

1:  Our school library 

Supporting academic life at Denbigh High School, the Library provides a learning environment where students are able to work alone or in study groups. Our library acts as a gateway to external sources of information such as the Encyclopedia Britannica and The Day.

All KS3 students have regular, integrated lesson time in the library.  Our library lessons provide students with a structured time to develop their reading skills and support students with the selection of appropriate reading material.

In addition to our main library we also have a reading room that has been designed as a quiet and inviting space to encourage an enjoyment of books and reading.

2:  Supporting parents and carers

The home environment can play a big role in assisting students to develop their reading skills.  We see to work with parents through a number of parental engagement sessions throughout the academic year.  We work with parents collectively and in small groups to provide reading strategies and models. 

3:  Literacy Events Calendar

We have a Literacy Events Calendar of all reading events occurring throughout the year.  The aim of these events is to keep students engaged in reading outside of the classroom. Details of the literacy calendar can be seen below: 

Autumn Term 1


Autumn Term 2

 Harry Potter Competitions  

 Remembrance Book Display 

 Festive Season - Reading rewards

Spring Term 1

 National Storytelling Week

 Safer Internet Book Display

Spring Term 2

 World Book Day

 PE -Orienteering 

 Careers Week Book Display

Summer Term 1

 Mental Health Awareness Week

Summer Term 2

 Luton Library Visits - Membership - Summer Reading Challenge

4:  Dedicated reading time in our personal development curriculum

Once a week all form tutors have a dedicated time to read aloud to their students.  The aim of this is to bring together form groups as reading communities and to increase the frequency of reading opportunities. 

As form tutors read aloud our students actively listen, closely following the text. Form tutors focus on teaching new vocabulary, modelling good reading, and checking for comprehension and understanding by discussing the narrative. 

We have carefully selected the books so that pupils read diverse content that seeks to advance equality, diversity and inclusion.  Every student will be given a copy of the book and will be expected to bring that book to school.  The books for each year group are listed below:

Year 7: Sweet Pizza

Year 8: Nought and Crosses

Year 9:  My Hair is Pink Under this veil

Year 10:  Greetings from Bury Park


5:  Reading Across the Curriculum

Reading is a focus in every area of the curriculum. All teachers have a role in providing reading opportunities for students, as well as teaching for the development of reading. There are a number of strategies used across the school, deployed as appropriate to the curriculum, for example:

  • explicit teaching of key vocabulary planned into the curriculum
  • wider reading embedded into schemes of work
  • use of the Frayer Model and Thinking Hard strategies to develop comprehension
  • reading for meaning practised through group, paired or individual reading
  • teacher-led reading, with fluency modelling

6:  Reading in the English Curriculum

The English curriculum has a significant role in developing students’ reading skills. The English curriculum features high-quality texts and wider reading of both fiction and non-fiction to enrich student understanding. 

Our Reading Across the Curriculum approaches also feature in English, where we focus on explicitly pre-teaching tier two and tier three vocabulary and employ adaptive teaching strategies to meet our students’ needs. Reading for meaning is a core feature, alongside prioritising the development of reading fluency. 

Library lessons are a component of our key stage three English curriculum. As part of this, students follow the Accelerated Reader Programme and Lexia. The English department works closely with the Library, SEND and SFL team to provide effective interventions for targeted pupils. 

7: Reading Assessment & Intervention

We use assessment to identify students who need further support and then diagnose the need, to ensure they are placed on the most suitable intervention, tailored to their abilities. 

These interventions are targeted to remove barriers to learning that students.  The school uses CATS and Star Reading baseline tests to screen students reading ages, we use this data to identify students who may need additional support, some students do extra testing to check their phonic knowledge.

Interventions include:

RWI Fresh Start - for students lacking phonic knowledge.

Traditional reading and comprehension groups

Study Plus 

Literacy Catch-Up 

Extra English 

Form Time Library 

Online interventions


Rapid Plus