Reading for Pleasure and Progress

The Importance of Reading and Accelerated Reader

Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.

All Key Stage Three students follow the Accelerated Reader programme. This is a tried and tested method to improve reading comprehension and foster a love of reading. We have a huge variety of books in the Library which cover a host of different interests and topics. Students are supported to develop their reading habits in weekly Accelerated Reader lessons.

Guides and Top Tips can be found by clicking the following links.

A Parents’ Guide to Renaissance Accelerated Reader

7 Top Tips to Support Reading at Home

We have a list of recommended books.  Please click the following links.

Protected Characteristics Reading Lists

Curriculum Reading List – Key Stage 3

Curriculum Reading List- Key Stage 4

Reading List of books that deal with complex issues

LGBQT+ Reading List

Women’s History Month- Reading List

Reading challange- History

Books that explore British Values

Science reading challenge



Strategies to Support Your Child with Reading

Please click on the picture below to find some further information with tips and strategies of how to support your child with reading from our session in the Academy.

Parent Reading Event


Reading for Progress

At Biddick Academy we use a common language to develop strategic readers called ‘Reading High 5’, a reciprocal reading strategy that develops student reading comprehension whilst exposing students to rich high-quality texts to promote progress. We have developed this strategy using the EEF’s Literacy Guidance Report and it includes opportunities for students to activate prior knowledge, make predictions and develop questions to develop comprehension. We provide academic reading across the curriculum both within class and through homework so that students read for depth and breadth to develop hinterland knowledge.

We model the High 5 approach across the academy so that students master the skills to read strategically. We also provide scaffolding of each part of the Reading High 5 so that students learn how to use it as a metacognitive strategy for reading to learn independently with confidence.

Across the curriculum students read a range of non-fiction, fiction, and authentic real-world texts. We provide challenge for students ensuring texts are rich grammatically and in terms of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary.

Our focus on reading enables us to build curious learners who seek to read beyond the core curriculum. We also use a range of reading strategies in the classroom to support the development of reading across the Academy as presented below:


Tutor Time Reading Programme

Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9

Students in Year 7,8 and 9 read collaboratively as a Form class each week during registration. This is a mixture of teacher-led whole class reading as well as ‘round robin’ class reading. This enables tutor groups to engage in the experiences of characters inviting them to have conversations about issues and experiences as part of their personal development. The sessions promote teachers modelling expert reading whilst also developing reading fluency. The programme of books enable students to learn about The Biddick Way pastoral values whilst also developing students’ social, moral, spiritual and moral (SMSC) development. The texts have also been selected to celebrate difference and invite students to delve into the lives of characters with Protected Characteristics, including those with different disabilities, races, religions and gender identities.

Year 10 and 11

Students in Year 10-11 have a weekly tutor time slot called ‘Register, Read, Respond’ for literacy development.

The intent for these sessions is to improve students’ reading comprehension​, develop their ability to understand sophisticated (Tier 2/3) vocabulary in context​ whilst building background knowledge linked to our Personal Development, SMSC and Biddick Way pastoral values.​

There are a mixture of short stories and authentic texts with pre-reading questions to provoke thought and build student curiosity to engage with texts. ​


Lexia is a rigorously researched reading programme that we use with some of our struggling readers to develop critical reading and language skills through individualised, motivating learning paths via an online platform.  Lexia provides a balanced approach to reading covering six areas: phonological awareness, phonics, structural awareness, automaticity, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Lexia begins with an assessment to place students at the appropriate starting point on the programme and the software then tracks pupils’ progress as they work independently, automatically providing extra practice on areas of difficulty where needed.

Who is it for?

Lexia is designed for students of all ages who would benefit from additional support with reading. We use ‘STAR reader texts’ through the Accelerated Reader programme to test every student’s Reading Age and Standardised Age Score. At the Academy, using these results, we target students who are reading significantly below their chronological age. Once a student’s Reading Age has improved to a level where they can access our Secondary Curriculum, they will graduate from the Lexia programme.


Talk to Write

At Biddick Academy we want students to be curious and aspirational and we recognise the importance of being able to express oneself fluently and confidently. Most of us will need to be able to do this in our everyday lives. To develop this in our students, we have implemented a range of ‘talk’ or ‘oracy’ strategies that teachers use across the curriculum in their lessons.

We also know that high quality talk leads to high quality writing and so we have used this as a tool to further support the development of students’ writing.

One of our key oracy strategies includes challenging students to extend their answers by asking them to ‘say it again like an expert’. In this way we can promote the importance of high quality talk from students and support them to talk using language that is rich in subject specific vocabulary.

In lessons we may also ask them to ‘talk like a scientist’ for example, or ‘speak like a critic’ so that they can practise their speaking skills and then transfer this to their writing.

How can you support your child?

Why not try our ABC discussion strategy at home or even insist on son/daughter answering you in extended sentences!









If you would like any further information about our literacy strategies or how best to support your son/daughter with their literacy skills, please contact Mr C. Brown at


Find out more about Dan Smith, his books and his virtual visit to Biddick Academy on World Book Day – 4th March 2021


Click here to see a details and a synopsis of all books by Dan Smith

Dan Smith Books